Without Essential Needs... “Khirbet Tana” Village Continues to Stand in the Face of Occupation and Theft of Archaeological Treasures
By Aziza Thaher
a cave used as a house in Tana village
Exclusive to Environment and Development Horizons:
Khirbet Tana lies about 10 km east of Nablus city and close to the village of Beit Furik. It covers an area of 18 thousand acres. Israeli occupation forces have seized thousands of acres and annexed them to the settlements of "Majorah" and "Jafat Aollym"
It was named after a Bedouin who had 6 sons. He had them all married on the same day and on that day they all died from unknown reasons. From that day on the area was known by the Bedouins as Khirbet Tana- Tana’s disaster.
Khirbet Tana’s is part and parcel to Beit Forik whose lands reach the Jordan valley. The villagers have the documents and deeds to prove ownership. In 1968 the area was declared a military zone by the former Israeli minister Yigal Allon. The lands in the Jordan valley were confiscated under the pretext of security with the Jordan border. The confiscation of the lands the occupation has used displacement methods for its population by demolishing all roofed dwellings. The residents have taken refuge caves from the cold winter and summer heat. They have also set up residence in an old Ottoman building. The building was used for 11 years as a school but lack of facilities has forced the students to go back to Beit Forik.
The population has been suffering at the hands of the occupation because of the constant displacement. The National Al-Najah University has provided them with solar energy panels to produce electricity. They have also facilitated their access to water that has been restricted by the occupation. Even with the constant demolitions and uprooting, the village has withstood the trials of oppression.
The village depends on some water springs in the area for their water usage. The water is exposed to constant attacks from settlers who come for recreation and swimming. The settlers were throwing the dirt, and urinating in the water. The residents were forced to cover the pools of water and prevent them from swimming.
The area is endowed with a plethora of archaeological artifacts. The constant finds by the inhabitants of Khirbet Tana is a part of life. This has put the area at a high risk for marauders. They frequently excavate the area for precious historical artifacts. The Israeli antiquities authority also has had a hand in the abuse of history. The local population has tried to protect this area and its history. They have coordinated with the Palestinian Authority to help rid the area of thieves that also threaten their lives.
Translated by: Kefah Abukhdeir