SIR – F Baigel’s attempt to excuse the demolition of the Palestinian Bedouin village of Kahn Al Ahmad by the Israeli government (‘Jahalin Bedouing illegal squatters’ Letters, October 13th), as due to its occupants being squatting and squabbling trouble makers living in run down shacks, is typical of the misinformation fight back by apologists of the illegal Israeli military occupation of Palestinian land.
The account of a missionary’s (Rev John Howard) visit to the village contradicts the attempt at dehumanising the villagers: ‘I visited Khan Al Ahmad today. This Bedouin Village was created fifty years ago when the parents and grand parents of the present folk were forcibly moved from the Negev.
Now the Israeli Supreme Court has approved the demolition of the whole village, including the school where about 150 Bedouin children attend.
‘The villagers have been told that they have to move to a location in East Jerusalem, it is totally unsuitable. This is a community of shepherds, the proposed site would leave them nowhere to graze their sheep. The school is to be demolished with no intended replacement.’
The report by the missionary, who refers to a social media false news attack on villagers coinciding with the demolition, includes photos of the well-established pristine village school, part-funded by EU, which housed 151 pupils pre-demolition.
The portrayal by Frank Baigel of Palestinians living the good life with fast cars, etc could not be further from the truth of occupied Palestine today: Since the protests by those wanting to return to their dispossessed homes and land began on March 30, Israeli forces have killed 205 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip (UN Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory report of October 4th).
There have been 21,288 injured, including 5,345 from live ammunition, resulting in 11,180 hospitalisations. Thirty-eight of the dead and 4,250 of the wounded were children.
It is time for Mr Coveney to take more action to protest against the carnage by the Israeli Defence Forces and to instead show solidarity with the illegally-occupied Palestinian people.