Faced with expulsion from their villages and the demolition of their homes by Israeli authorities, hundreds of Palestinians are trying to stay by reverting to an older form of shelter: living in underground caves.
“We have no home to live in and no tent — we have no option but to live in the cave,” said Wadha Ayoub Abu Sabha, 65, a resident of the village of Khirbet al-Fakheit, in a rural area of the Israeli-occupied West Bank that the military is planning to seize. “The beginning of my life was in the cave, and the end of my life will be in the cave.”
The residents of Ms. Abu Sabha’s village and surrounding herding communities, whose forbears long lived in the caves that dot the area, have been fighting efforts to displace them from homes where their families have lived for decades. Some have deeds to their land from before the modern establishment of Israel in 1948.
But in May, the Israeli Supreme Court approved the expulsion of some 1,200 Palestinians in the villages so the Israeli Army could use the land for a live-fire military training ground. That could set the stage for one of the biggest mass expulsions of Palestinians since 1967, which the United Nations says could amount to a war crime. [Continue reading…]