"Idhna, Southern West Bank, 19 Dec. (AKI) - Source IRIN - "The best thing about Khirbet Qassa was the grazing land. We had open spaces. Now we've become dependent on other people and their land," said Abdel Halim Nattah, a shepherd in the southern West Bank.
Several weeks earlier he and all his fellow villagers, 37 families numbering 272 people, were evacuated by the Israeli military from Qassa and told to find a new home somewhere else.
The Israel Civil Administration said the land the Palestinians were living on was an archeological site under state auspices, and the villagers had been given warnings about the impending evacuation.
"They came at 7:30 in the morning," one villager told IRIN. "We sent away the women, children and sheep. An old man pleaded with the soldiers saying 'we will move ourselves'. They gave us until the next afternoon, and said anyone remaining would be arrested and anything left confiscated."
When the villagers told the soldiers they had nowhere to go, the response was: "That's not our problem. This is state land.""