Palestinian families homeless as Israeli military demolishes West Bank houses

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Palestinian families homeless as Israeli military demolishes West Bank houses

Post by sassy on Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:38 pm

Israeli bulldozers destroy 23 houses in two West Bank villages within controversial ‘military’ zone in one of biggest demolitions of recent years

     
   A distraught Palestinian family amid the remains of their home after it was demolished by Israelis in Musafir Jenbah. Photograph: Hazem Bader/AFP/Getty Images


Israeli military bulldozers have demolished 23 houses in two impoverished southern West Bank villages, including structures that were home to more than 100 people.

The demolitions, one of the most significant in recent memory, occurred in a controversial Israeli-designated military area known as Firing Zone 918, which comprises approximately 115 square miles (300 sq km) and was declared restricted by the Israelis in the 1970s.

The action came despite a long-running and internationally high-profile campaign to protect the eight villages in the zone, including a petition signed by some of the world’s most famous authors.

Human rights groups have repeatedly challenged Israel’s claim to the land, arguing it is illegal to establish a military zone in occupied territory. Tuesday’s demolitions were described by the Israeli veterans group Breaking the Silence – which has long supported the villages – as one of the biggest demolitions in the past decade.

Israeli bulldozers moved into Khirbet Jenbah and the nearby hamlet of Khirbat el-Halawa just after dawn on Tuesday morning, destroying a dozen homes in Jenbah itself as well as other structures, some of which are funded by European countries including the UK.

According to Israeli NGO Peace Now, among the 110 people made homeless during the demolitions were dozens of children from 12 different families.

The 12 buildings destroyed were among 40 properties that had been earlier earmarked for destruction, in three locations in a remote area of rolling hills accessible only by dirt roads. The destruction of the remaining buildings was temporarily halted after lawyers for the villagers obtained a court injunction, which provided a stay of execution until next week.

The families, many of whose homes are attached to caves that are also used as houses, argue that their families have lived on the land since long before Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967.

   
   
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 Villagers in Khirbet Jenbah rescue furniture following house demolitions. More than 80 villagers lost their homes in a single morning. Photograph: Peter Beaumont for the Guardian
Villages like Jenbah are some of the poorest in the West Bank, unconnected to the grid and reliant on donated solar panels, some of which were destroyed by the Israeli military.



On Tuesday villagers dug through the remains of their homes, set up temporary tents and transported furniture they had managed to save from houses to the places they planned to sleep.



Among them was Khalid Hussein Jabari, who lost his house in Khirbet Jenbah along with other family members. Standing over the ruins of his brother’s house he said: “They came the day before and marked the houses for demolition. We knew it was serious because some of the villagers who can understand Hebrew heard the soldiers talking about how the buildings were going to be destroyed.”



“I was in [a nearby town] when I heard the news at 3.30 on Tuesday morning. I just got back here when the bulldozers arrived, just after 5am.”

A few metres away Mahmoud Ahmad Isa, 30, watched as members of his family moved furniture down a flight of stone stairs into a cave entrance next to the wreckage of his home.

“It is wet [in the cave] but we’ll see how we get on. The first thing we need to do is clear the rubble and rebuild,” he added. “We don’t have any other alternative.”



While Israel has long wanted to move the villages, located in part of the occupied territories known as Area C, which is under full Israeli administrative and security control, the villagers have enjoyed high-profile international support.



Two years ago 51 acclaimed international authors, among them Mario Vargas Llosa, Seamus Heaney and Orhan Pamuk, signed a petition asking the Israeli government to allow the villages to remain.

It is also not the first time the Israeli military has destroyed Khirbet Jenbah. The village was demolished in its entirety in 1999. The villagers, however, returned later and won a court ruling allowing them to stay on the land if they agreed to arbitration with the military.



On Monday, however, the state of Israel declared that mediation had failed because of the villagers’ unwillingness to relocate,. A statement from Cogat, the Israeli defence ministry unit that administers civilian affairs in the West Bank, confirmed that “enforcement measures were taken against illegal structures and solar panels built within a military zone”.

Cogat said the negotiations failed as “the building owners showed no willingness to get the situation in order and illegal construction did not stop”. As such, “measures were taken in accordance with the law”, it added.

Campaigners on behalf of Jenbah and other villages in the south Hebron hills – and more widely in Area C – point out, however, that Israel consistently refuses to give building permits to villagers or permit development of communities despite allowing construction by Jewish settlers in the same hills.

Commenting on the demolitions, Sarit Michaeli of the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said: “This basically means we are back to square one. The government wants to remove them. The residents object.”

Others flagged up the timing of the demolitions. Knesset member Dov Khenin of the Israeli Arab Joint List said he had written to Israeli defence minister Moshe Ya’alon pointing out that the house destructions would leave people homeless in the middle of the cold winter months.

“The decision came without prior warning, in a sudden and extreme move that will leave many families without a roof over their heads during the winter,” Khenin said.

   
   
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 Miriam al-Shehadeh, aged 70, (right) sits in the rubble of her home, one of a dozen destroyed in Khirbet Jenbah on Tuesday. Photograph: Peter Beaumont for the Guardian
Sitting in the rubble of her home in the village under a dark sky spitting rain, 70-year old Miriam al-Shehadeh said: “I am going to stay. We will rebuild. And if the Israelis demolish it again, then they demolish it again. We are farmers and this is where we earn our income.”



http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/02/palestinian-families-homeless-as-israeli-military-demolishes-west-bank-houses

They are demolishing Palestinian homes left right and bloody centre at the moment.

From my friend in Palestine:


Great, inspiring and proud man,
His name is Abu Tariq, he is about 70 years old, I had the honor to meet him today but in a bad occasion and circumstances, his house, his brothers and children houses were demolished today by Zionist occupation forces to force them out of their houses. I shock hands with him, introduced myself and offered help on behalf of the organization I represent "Colonization and Apartheid wall Resistance Commission), he smiled with love and respect and said: they could demolish our houses every day but I assure you that we will rebuild over and over again, we are the salt of this land, they could demolish our houses but will never be able to uproot us from our land", then he added, :"many years before, they used to come here every day morning, chase us out of our houses at gunpoint, and we come back same day evening, many years doing that almost every day, but never succeeded to drive us away from our land and will never be able, we were born here, grown up here and will certainly die here, we are going no where no matter we they do, our houses were demolished before, we were beaten, kidnapped but we never give up, we are still here and will continue to stay here, our roots run very deep in our land like an olive tree", 2 February 2016.




The house demolished today morning in Silwan town, occupied Jerusalem, by Zionist occupation forces, 2 February 2016.
















Forced displacement,
Zionist occupation forces demolished today early in the morning 22 residential structures in Jenba and Halawa localities in south Hebron Hills (Yatta) housing more than 80 people in a new Zionist try in this area to force the whole localities out of their land in favor of colonial expansion, 2 February 2016.











+5





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Re: Palestinian families homeless as Israeli military demolishes West Bank houses

Post by Raggamuffin on Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:02 am

Oh but surely they can do what they like. They don't answer to you.

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Re: Palestinian families homeless as Israeli military demolishes West Bank houses

Post by sassy on Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:40 am

Nope, it ain't their land, it isn't in Israel, it's in Palestine.  Big difference.

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Re: Palestinian families homeless as Israeli military demolishes West Bank houses

Post by Raggamuffin on Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:45 am

sassy wrote:Nope, it ain't their land, it isn't in Israel, it's in Palestine.  Big difference.

Makes no difference. You support a Zimbabwean couple being chucked out of their home on the grounds of their colour, so why should you have a problem with Palestinians having their homes demolished?

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Re: Palestinian families homeless as Israeli military demolishes West Bank houses

Post by sassy on Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:49 am

No, I support them being chucked out because IT WASN'T THEIR LAND.  I don't give a flying fuck what their colour is, unlike yourself.  The West Bank is PALESTINIAN, NOT ISRAELI and isn't doesn't have the right to take the land.  Zimbarbwe has the right to take back state land, like it or not.

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Re: Palestinian families homeless as Israeli military demolishes West Bank houses

Post by Raggamuffin on Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:01 am

sassy wrote:No, I support them being chucked out because IT WASN'T THEIR LAND.  I don't give a flying fuck what their colour is, unlike yourself.  The West Bank is PALESTINIAN, NOT ISRAELI and isn't doesn't have the right to take the land.  Zimbarbwe has the right to take back state land, like it or not.

No, you support them being thrown out because they're white, and you support another person who is of another nationality being moved in because he's black. Away with you and your revolting racism. You disgust me. If you think Mugabe has the right to take land off Zimbabweans because they're white, then Israel has the right to do what they like - according to your own logic.

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Re: Palestinian families homeless as Israeli military demolishes West Bank houses

Post by sassy on Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:09 am

Nope, I don't give a fuck what colour anyone is, never have, never will.  It's skin that holds your organs together thats all.  Nobody with a brain could care about skin colour.  Get a life.

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Re: Palestinian families homeless as Israeli military demolishes West Bank houses

Post by Raggamuffin on Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:11 am

sassy wrote:Nope, I don't give a fuck what colour anyone is, never have, never will.  It's skin that holds your organs together thats all.  Nobody with a brain could care about skin colour.  Get a life.

Yes you do care, otherwise you would never support a citizen of a country being thrown out of their home in favour of someone who is another colour. On what other grounds are you supporting it? It can't be because the couple are not Zimbabwean.

You sit here day after day whinging on about Palestine, and you say I should get a life? You're a fraud. You don't give a shit - you just want a "cause" that you can rant about.

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Re: Palestinian families homeless as Israeli military demolishes West Bank houses

Post by Guest on Wed Feb 03, 2016 6:48 am

Completely wrong these homes have been destroyed and condemn the Israeli government over this. This is sadly the outcome also of Palestinian failure to conclude and finish what was started with the Oslo accords. The area is area C which was signed to have effective control of by Israel which if the Palestinians had accepted the last offer by Israel, this would have never happened, which gave 95% of the West Bank and part of Jerusalem as an offer with them firm borders for each country. So whilst I condemn the actions of the Israeli government for their vile actions here I also fundamentally blame the Palestinians authorities for continuing to to fail the Palestinian people by spurning peace at every opportunity it is offered to them

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