WEISS: UN – ‘The family has requested a tent as they have nowhere else to live’ (US – ‘What, me worry?’) November 29, 2010

by Phillip WEiss  -  MONDOWEISS -  28 November 2010

A friend just sent me a summary of a comprehensive report being circulated inside the U.N. that details the latest house demolitions by Israel. They are not just in the Jordan Valley, as earlier reports suggested, but all over the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Below is the roundup in my friend’s paraphrase. Note the disputed claims in illegally-occupied territory that are always resolved in Jewish settlers’ favor, even on the Mount of Olives. This little list from 4 or 5 days of demolitions and evictions gives a real feel for the enormity of what is taking place daily.

If you were Palestinian, you would feel humiliated, despairing, angry– and as afraid as my ancestors felt when pogroms were happening in Russia 120 years ago.

Where is the United States, which claims to be supporting a two-state solution on lands east of the Green Line? From the U.N.:

November 22

Israeli forces demolished Palestinian structures in the Al Isawiya area between East Jerusalem and the settlement of Maele Adummin. Initial information: at least 2 barracks used for work purposes and some stone walls. Some fence material was also confiscated. This is the second time that barracks here were demolished. Last time was 27 October.

November 23

As you know, Israeli police and settlers this morning forcibly evicted 3 Palestinian families from their home in Al Farouq neighbourhood of Jabal al Mukabber in East Jerusalem. A large force of Israeli police and border police were reported to have forcibly evicted the families between 9.00 and 10.00. Immediately following the eviction the building was handed over to a group of settlers that reportedly are affiliated with the settler organization El Ad. The settler group is currently undertaking some work on the premises — 3 separate apartments located on 3 floors.

It was inhabited by the Qara’in family, which includes 3 families of 14 people, among them 5 children ranging from 3 to 10 years of age. The families are currently sheltering with neighbors, they have no place to live. Supposedly the settler group claims to have purchased the building from a deceased relative of the family a few years ago. The family and their lawyer tried to challenge these claims before Israeli courts.

November 24

Israeli forces destroyed a large number of Palestinian-owned structures in several locations in the West Bank, forcibly displacing 23 people, including 16 children , and destroying the livelihood of dozens of others. Also on this day, Israeli settlers took over an uninhabited apartment in East Jerusalem. The reports:

–In the At Tur neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem , the Jerusalem Municipality demolished the home of a Palestinian family, forcibly displacing 7 people, including 4 children . The family, which has lived in the building for 8 years, had attempted to obtain an Israeli building permit for the home. The family has requested a tent and other basic humanitarian assistance as they have nowhere else to live.

–In the area around Hizma checkpoint , the Jerusalem Municipality demolished 7 work-related Palestinian structures, 6 of them plant nurseries/shops and 1 a furniture business. The demolitions reportedly devastated the livelihoods of 13 Palestinian families and resulted in extensive loss of materials and equipment.

–On the Mount of Olives, Israeli settlers took over an apartment on the 3rd floor of a building near an existing Israeli settlement (the one overlooking the Old City). The apartment, which is one of 4 apartments in the building, was uninhabited at the time; it was vacated and sealed last year by a Palestinian family which had purchased it in 2005. Since that time the settlers have disputed the family’s ownership. The apartment was sealed last year following an order from the District Court.

–On Nov. 23, the Jerusalem Municipality returned to Al Isawiye and completed the demolition of 2 Palestinian work-related structures that were partly demolished on 11 November. This included a stable for horses and a cement structure where some members of the family lived when tending the farm.

–In the Abu Al Ajaj area of Jiftlik in the Jordan Valley , the IDF demolished 3 large structures , including 2 buildings (containing 2 units each) that were used for residential and work-related purposes. 2 Palestinian families of 16 people, including 12 children , have lost their home and been forcibly displaced. In addition, a number of young sheep were killed as the structures were demolished on top of them. A considerable amount of fodder was destroyed. The structures in question received demolition orders from Israeli authorities in 2008, but the families were challenging the orders before the Israeli High Court. This is the same area that in recent weeks has been targeted by Israeli settlers from Masu’a settlement, who have made repeated and aggressive attempts to expand the settlement by taking over village land, using illegal fencing that cuts the Palestinian herders residing in the area from their livelihood. For information about these attempts, please see the Humanitarian Monitor for October.

* In the village of Qarawat Bani Hassan in the West Bank, to the north of the Ariel settlement “finger”, the IDF reportedly demolished at least 1 work-related Palestinian structure. Levelling of land was reported in nearby Wadi Qana.

November 25

Israeli forces have demolished a number of Palestinian structures in at least 2 different locations in the West Bank, displacing at least 31 Palestinians, more than half of them children.

–In Khirbet Yasra in the Jordan Valley, Israeli forces demolished at least 7 Palestinian structures. According to the village council, this included 2 houses and 4 work-related structures, as well as a mosque. As a result at least 2 Palestinian families of 11 have been forcibly displaced.

–In Ar Rifa’iyya village near Hebron, Israeli forces demolished a building containing 2 apartments, forcibly displacing 2 families of 20 people, including 16 children.

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