Soldiers demolish Bab Al-Karama 22Jan13 January 22, 2013

IMEMC   -    21 January 2013

460_0___10000000_0_0_0_0_0_karama_1Monday at dawn – January 21, Israeli soldiers invaded the Bab Al-Karama Palestinian village, installed by Palestinian activists on lands Israel intends to illegally confiscate in Beit Iksa, north west of occupied Jerusalem, and removed all tents and structures.

Palestinian activists in Bab Al-Karama (Gate Of Dignity) stated that the soldiers removed and demolished everything the activists installed, and started forcing them away from the entire area.

Kamal Hababa, head of the Bab Al-Karama village council, stated that a large number of Israeli soldiers, accompanied by military vehicles and bulldozers, invaded the area and removed the structures.

The army also continued its siege on the area preventing the residents from reaching Bab Al-Karama.

The new Palestinian ‘village’ was installed on Friday on privately-owned Palestinians lands that belong to the residents of Beit Iksa; the lands are on the area Israeli dubs as E1 where the Netanyahu government intends to build thousands of units for Jewish settlers.

On Sunday, the Israeli forces closed the checkpoint leading to Beit Iksa and attacked nonviolent protesters with gas bombs and stun grenades, and gave notice that they would evict the village.

The Palestinians insist that, similar to Bab Al-Shams village that was also attacked and removed by the Israeli army and police, last Wednesday at night, Bab Al-Karama is built on Palestinian lands, and that the Palestinians have the right to build on their own lands, part of the future Palestinian state.

Israel on the other hand is building an expanding illegal Jewish-only settlements on Palestinian lands in different parts of the occupied West Bank, and occupied East Jerusalem.

The site where the Bab Al-Karama was installed overlooks the valley with the 1948 border where the remains of the village of Lifta are visible.

Lifta was one of hundreds of villages depopulated in 1948 when Israel was established in the historic land of Palestine. Just beyond Lifta, the remains of the village of Deir Yassin, also depopulated in 1948, are still visible.

Before 1948, the villagers of Beit Iksa had over 14000 Dunams of land, but they now have access to only 2000 Dunams of their lands. Should the Israel E1 Plan go forward, the villagers will only have around 600 Dunams. (1 Dunam = 0.247 Acres)

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