Palestinian Homes Destroyed All Over West Bank

While visibly to the world helicopter gunships are bombing Gaza, another wave of destruction goes on nearly unnoticed. Palestinian homes are being systematically bulldozed all over the West Bank.
In this case there isn’t any pretence of “security interests” or “military
targets.”

While visibly to the world helicopter gunships are bombing Gaza, another wave of destruction goes on nearly unnoticed. Palestinian homes are being systematically bulldozed all over the West Bank.
In this case there isn’t any pretence of “security interests” or “military
targets.”

The houses destroyed yesterday and today belong to ordinary Palestinian citizens whose only crime is the wish to have a roof over their heads.

We just now hear of Rabbi Arik Asherman’s being arrested while trying to resist the 4th demolition of the Shawamreh house. Salim Shawamreh and his family at Anata already had their home destroyed three times and always rebuilt with the help of Israeli peace activists. (Salim Shawamreh also went on a speaking tour with Jeff Halper in the U.S. to explain the question of the so-called “illegal Palestinian houses.”) After a warning this morning , activists of ICAHD
(committee Against House Demolitions) hurried to Anata. Among them was Rabbi Arik Asherman of Rabbis for Human Rights who got arrested while trying to block the way of an enormous bulldozer.

We again call upon you to send your protest. (See sample message in the end), but this should not be all. We have to act also visibly. Actions of resistance and protest in Israel/Palestine should be accompanied by immediate protests and pickets at Israeli Embassies or Consulates. (You may try also to flood these institutions with your questions and protest messages, by phone, by regular mail, by fax and email.)

The miltary government’s long-standing policy is to restrict Palestinian construction to small enclaves, and to deny building permits to Palestinians whose land happens to be located outside these overcrowded designated areas (“ghettos” you could call them). Under Barak, the destruction of such “illegal” houses was stopped – after pressure from below and internationally. This restriction has now been removed, and the miltary authorities gleefully
embarked on a major wave of destruction. Yesterday, four houses were destroyed at Issawiya, just outside Jerusalem. As already mentioned, this morning we heard of four houses destroyed at Anata, another Palestinian suburb of Jerusalem followed by another two demolitions at Issawiya. Just now we heard of four houses destroyed in the Hebron area, between the settlement of Kiryat Arba and its offshoot enclave of Givat Haharsina. (The settlers have wanted to “get rid” of these Arab houses, which prevent the creation of a settler “territorial continuity.”)

Cynically, all this took place at the same time that Foreign Minister Peres held a highly-publicized
meeting with Palestinian officials at Athens, concerned with “ending violence” and “ameliorating the civilian population’s situation”…

A sample message which you may or may not want to use for your own letter:

To the responsible government ministers,

You may have thought that it would remain unnoticed that Palestinian homes are being systematically bulldozed all over the West Bank. Without even the pretence of “security interests” or “military targets” you try quickly to implement a policy aimed at keeping West Bank Palestinians locked in small and
overcrowded enclaves. The houses destroyed yesterday and today at Issawiyah, Anata and near Hebron belong to ordinary Palestinian citizens whose only crime is the wish to have a roof over their heads. The 34-year Israeli occupation
never provided any housing plans to fulfill their basic needs, while erecting tens of thousands of housing units for Israeli settlers – even denying the
Palestinians a permit to build at their own expence, on their own land.

To Prime Minister Ariel Sharon: webmaster@pmo.gov.il

To Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, Minister of Defense: sar@mod.gov.il

To Shimon Peres, Foreign Minister: sar@mofa.gov.il

Copy to some Labour and Meretz Knesset Members:

amaor@knesset.gov.il, hramon@parliament.gov.il, nchazan@knesset.gov.il, pinespaz@knesset.gov.il,
rancohen@parliament.gov.il, ydayan@knesset.gov.il, ykatz@knesset.gov.il,
zgalon@knesset.gov.il

Blind copy to:

Gush Shalom info@gush-shalom.org, Rabbis for Human Rights
info@rhr.israel.net,ICAHD halper@iol.co.il

Author:

News Service: Gush Shalom (Israeli Peace Bloc)

URL: http://www.gush-shalom.org/