Al-Khalil (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Wednesday demolished a Palestinian traditional oven in the village Umm al-Kher east of Yatta in the southern West Bank after Jewish settlers from the nearby Karmel settlement complained about smoke from the oven.
Coordinator of a local committee Rateb al-Jubur said that Israeli forces demolished the traditional baker “for the second time this week” and assaulted villagers who attempted to prevent the demolition.
Umm al-Kher has been targeted repeatedly by Israeli forces for the traditional ovens used by locals, called “tabun,” to make bread. The ovens produce smoke and as a result are a frequent target of Israelis who have built settlements on confiscated land in the area.
In February, local Salim al-Hathalin told Ma’an that a settler in Karmel had launched a lawsuit against him asking for a compensation of 250,000 shekels ($72,000) for the smoke from the oven, less than two months after Israeli forces tried to demolish the oven and assaulted three villagers in the process.
The oven reportedly makes bread for between 40-50 members of one extended family in the village.
Around 3,000 Israeli settlers live in Jewish-only settlements in the Yatta region, according to the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem, and they regularly attack local Palestinians with impunity.
The safety of these settlers is often given as an excuse for forced displacement of Palestinians who live in villages in the area.
More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.
The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.