Driving south from Jerusalem, the landscape changes visibly shortly after Hebron.

The terraces on which grapes are grown are disappearing, it is becoming sparse and traffic is scarce.

Just before reaching the "Green Line", the border between the West Bank and Israel, begins a hilly region known by various names: South Hebron Hills or Masafer Yatta.

But many also call the area the "Wild West" of the West Bank - because in the poor, remote region, even more so than elsewhere in the occupied Palestinian territories, the law of the strongest applies.

The stronger ones are the Israeli army and the Jewish settlers.

Christian Meier

Political correspondent for the Middle East and Northeast Africa.

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Just recently, a demolition squad came again.

Accompanied by a police and military escort, two bulldozers rolled into At-Tuwani, one of the largest Palestinian villages in the area, this morning.

There they destroyed a house under construction that had been intended for a family of nine.

It continued to the village of Al-Fakheit, where six buildings were demolished.

The women were previously allowed to take their belongings out of the houses.

In Al-Markaz, under the supervision of the soldiers, the bulldozers demolished five buildings.

Video footage shows occupation authorities clearing some of the houses beforehand;

the owners were out in the fields or with their herds.

According to local information, 45 Palestinians became homeless as a result of the demolitions in mid-May.

In addition, several stables of dozens of sheep and other animals were destroyed.

"It was one of the largest devastations I've ever seen," says Basil Al-Adraa.

The 25-year-old man comes from Masafer Yatta and works as a journalist and activist for the rights of the residents there.

Some of those affected would have pitched tents, "others are now without anything".

Al-Adraa says the Palestinian Authority (PA) and aid organizations are providing support to the 45 people, but their immediate situation is not even the main problem.

"The problem is that this situation will continue." The day after the destruction, he notes, soldiers were in the area making markings, such as paint on boulders.

Residents wondered what comes next.

Of the many fronts in the Middle East conflict, Masafer Yatta is one that is particularly ugly.

The settlers in the region are seen as ideological and violent, and the occupying army as very intolerant.

At the same time, this small area is a particularly good example of how the interaction between creating facts on the spot and selectively applying the law works.

Masafer Yatta is on the one hand Wild West, on the other hand it is also a venue for what is known in English as "lawfare": law and warfare - warfare with the means of law.

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