Military tanks in fields cultivated by the community, partially seen in the top-left corner. Photo by ‘Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem, 27 Jan. 2016
We got orders to vacate our homes on 26 and 27 January. The military had decided to evacuate families in western Khirbet a-Ras al-Ahmar, but because of the severe weather, the Palestinian DCO and various organizations intervened and the evacuation was called off. Despite this, soldiers parked their tanks close to our homes and did not let us access the grazing pastures nearby. Dozens of tanks fired near our houses and our neighbors’ houses. The noise was deafening. Our children really panicked, and we were afraid we’d get hit by a shell. The minutes passing felt like eternity. There were dozens of tanks and hundreds of soldiers here. They damaged the land and ruined everything. They destroyed the road that leads to the community, too.It was like a war. They fired shells everywhere and destroyed the area. We’re still afraid of the duds they left behind. It’s scary, especially in the fields, where you can’t see the duds, and touching them can be lethal. We’re especially worried about the children, because they don’t know how to identify the duds and keep away from them. The military trains all over the place here. They want to push us out of our land. This is our land. We have no other source of income except herding. We live here so we can feed our children. We want to live in peace.