Yesterday I posted about the latest in illegal home demolitions in Palestine by Israeli soldiers …. 

Click HERE to see post

Today I post the reactions of those soldiers as they celebrate their ‘victory’.





Israeli forces began Monday demolishing buildings in an East Jerusalem neighborhood under the control of the Palestinian Authority, following a legal challenge to the Defense Ministry-issued order to evacuate apartments deemed too close to the West Bank separation barrier, which runs through the city.

The International Court of Justice in The Hague issued an advisory opinion in 2004 that building the barrier on occupied territory was “contrary to international law.”

Israel Begins Demolition of 70 Homes in Palestinian-controlled East Jerusalem Neighborhood

Forces deploy at dawn days after top court approves order to evict Wadi Hummus residents, in a move activists are concerned sets a precedent to affect thousands

Israeli forces began Monday demolishing buildings in an East Jerusalem neighborhood under the control of the Palestinian Authority, following a legal challenge to the Defense Ministry-issued order to evacuate apartments deemed too close to the West Bank separation barrier, which runs through the city.

Israeli and international activists said Israeli forces deployed in the neighborhood at dawn, evacuating one family from one of the buildings, as well as activists who protested the move.

Two hours prior to the demolition, activists say they saw Israel Defense Forces‘ soldiers placing explosives in an eight-stories building set for demolition. Later, the forces removed furniture and vehicles that were parked next to the buildings.

Aviv Tatarsky, a researcher for the left-wing Ir Amim organization, blasted the move, saying: “In the name of the demographic war waged against East Jerusalem residents, the State of Israel is withholding approval of construction plans allowing those residents to legally build within the city.

“Residents who didn’t want to build without a permit, sought a creative solution and were granted construction permits from the Palestinian Authority to build in areas and A and B where Israel doesn’t have any authority concerning construction plans. The Israeli insistence to prevent this solution is a very cruel act,” Tatarsky added.

“I built this house stone by stone. It was my dream to live in this house. Now I am losing everything,” said Fadi al-Wahash, 37, his voice breaking as a bulldozer destroyed his unfinished three-floor house.

“I had a permit to build from the Palestinian Authority. I thought I was doing the right thing,” he said.

Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said 700 police and 200 soldiers were involved.

“Despite an order from the military commander, the residents there are making their own law, building. There are hundreds of illegal structures,” he told Israel’s Army Radio.

“To my regret there is no sufficient governance there. But it is not just that there are hundreds of structures there — several dozens of them sit almost on the route of the separation fence, endangering the security forces that operate there.”

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said the Palestinians would complain to the International Criminal Court about the demolitions in Sur Baher.

“The cabinet condemns this grave aggression. This is a continuation of the forced displacement of the people of Jerusalem from their homes and lands — a war crime and a crime against humanity,” Shtayyeh said.

In June, Israel’s High Court of Justice has ruled in favor of the demolition of 13 large buildings in the Wadi Hummus neighborhood, located on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

It is on the edge of the Palestinian village of Sur Baher, in southeast Jerusalem. Unlike the rest of the village, this neighborhood lies beyond the city’s municipal boundaries, in the West Bank. Most of the area it occupies is designated as part of Area A – i.e., under the control of the Palestinian Authority.

Sur Baher residents say Wadi Hummus is the only area that remains for future expansion of the village, which is surrounded by the fence and Jewish neighborhoods.

The Defense Ministry instructed to demolish some 70 apartments, citing concerns over their proximity to the separation fence, which it said made them a security threat. Two out of the 13 buildings set for demolition are populated with some 17 residents.

Jamie McGoldrick, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator, and other UN officials called on the Israeli authorities last week to halt the demolition plans. The European Union issued a statement saying: “The continuation of this policy undermines the viability of the two-state solution and the prospect for a lasting peace.”

On Sunday, the court rejected a petition to postpone the demolition, which Palestinian activsts are concerned sets a precedent that will enable the demolition of thousands of buildings across the West Bank, effectively annulling the legal protection residents of other PA-controlled areas have.

“Some families put everything they have to put a roof over their heads, and it’s all being ruined in front of their eyes in this despicable crime committed by Israel,” community organizer Hamada Hamada told Haaretz.

“large forces entered after 2:00 A.M. to the neighborhood, preventing any access to the homes and forcefully removing the residents as well as dozens of activists who were present at the scene, evacuating them while women and children were heard screaming in the background,” Hamada added.

Palestinian officials say some of the threatened structures lie within areas that they should control. The Palestine Liberation Organization issued a statement accusing the Israeli court of aiming “to set a precedent to enable the Israeli occupying forces to demolish numerous Palestinian buildings located in close proximity” to the barrier.

The office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas released a statement saying that “Israel bears the full responsibility for the dangerous escalation in Sur Baher, which is part of the implementation of the “deal of the century” whose goal is to bury the Palestinian issue.”

According to the statement, Abbas has approached international and Arab officials in order to halt the demolitions.

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said “We will not renounce our lands, and everything that was demolished will be rebuilt.”

“The demolition is an implementation of the Bahrain conference and we have thousands of documents and petitions filed to the International Court of Justice in The Hague against Israel,” he said in reference to the economic peace conference in Bahrain sponsored by the United States that took place in June.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said “The demolition of buildings in Sur Baher by the authorities of the occupation is a despicable crime, which is a direct result of the Bahrain Conference and the warm relationship between Israel and some Arab nations.”

The Israeli military had no immediate comment on Monday, but a statement last week by Israel’s military-run civil administration in the West Bank said enforcement would be pursuant to “operational considerations” and “state policy.”

The International Court of Justice in The Hague issued an advisory opinion in 2004 that building the barrier on occupied territory was “contrary to international law.”

Israel dismissed the non-binding decision as politically motivated and says the barrier played a key role in drastically reducing the number of attacks, which peaked in 2002 and 2003 during the Second Palestinian uprising known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada.

The West Bank separation barrier, which was being built since 2003, was intended to pass through Sur Baher, but its route was changed due to residents’ campaign.Thus Wadi Hummus ended up on the Israeli side of the barrier, although legally it part of the West Bank and under the PA’s authority.

Many buildings were erected in the neighborhood over the last decade or so, most occupied by young couples and families from the village. The buildings set for demolition have some 100 apartments, 20 of which are tenanted and the rest are under construction.

Building permits for the construction were issued by the PA’s planning ministry. However, seven years ago, the Israel Defense Forces Central Command issued an injunction banning construction of buildings within 250 meters of the separation barrier.

Locals say the order was not publicized and they had no knowledge of it, and that in any case, it is the PA that has planning authorization in the area.

More photos and videos at SOURCE


“To finish building this house and get married – these are my dreams, that’s it, but apparently they don’t want it.”

Related Post (Click on link)

Demolished dreams



Where are the outcrys against this injustice?

When a government removes its Bedouin citizens from their home in order to settle its own Jewish citizens in their stead, this is racist dealing. Dispossessing people of their land in order to plant a forest on that same land is inhuman. Had these Bedouins been Jewish settlers, the government certainly would not evict them before finding an alternative dwelling for them that would suit their demands.

By its own acts the government of Israel proves that the UN’s outrageous ruling was not erroneous. Citizens of Israel who do not protest this extreme injustice in fact support the government in its racist policy.

Bedouins hold placards during a protest against a plan to uproot Umm Al-Hiran Village

Bedouins hold placards during a protest against a plan to uproot Umm Al-Hiran Village


By Amos Gvirtz

Anxiety is fierce. Israeli citizens are in their homes, demolition orders hovering that may be acted upon any day now. What will happen to them? Where will they go? Where will they live? No one offers them any alternatives. They are not, after all, settlers who settled lands that are not theirs, violating Israeli and international law. They are citizens of Israel. Their sole “crime” is to have been born Bedouins in the State of the Jews. They were evicted of their land – of which they were dispossessed – in 1949. The Israeli government transferred them twice until it finally settled them, sixty years ago, in Umm Al Hiran and Attir. Now this government claims they are invaders! Invading the localities where the government itself settled them sixty years ago…

Why is it so important for the government to remove them from the localities it had settled them in? Anyone visiting Umm Al Hiran will see a vast, empty area all around. But apparently the government of Israel has decided to create a Jewish settlement, named Hiran, right where it once settled the Bedouin inhabitants of Umm Al Hiran. And plant a forest right where the government of Israel once settled the inhabitants of Attir!

The question is why does the government of Israel do this. Unfortunately, the simple answer is because it can. Because there are not enough citizens who oppose such racist policies.

The UN General Assembly once came out with an outrageous declaration, ruling that Zionism is racism. The insult was severe. How could once accuse the State of the Jewish Peoplel – who had suffered so long from racism – of racism? Indeed, a few years later the UN General Assembly revoked its own outrageous ruling.

In the 1980s the Isrsaeli Knesset (parliament) legislated a law against racism. I fear that this law is actually against racist incitement, not against racist deeds. The law in fact protects all the racist deeds committed by the government. No one may demand to outlaw the Israeli government because of its own racist acts.

When a government removes its Bedouin citizens from their home in order to settle its own Jewish citizens in their stead, this is racist dealing. Dispossessing people of their land in order to plant a forest on that same land is inhuman. Had these Bedouins been Jewish settlers, the government certainly would not evict them before finding an alternative dwelling for them that would suit their demands.

By its own acts the government of Israel proves that the UN’s outrageous ruling was not erroneous. Citizens of Israel who do not protest this extreme injustice in fact support the government in its racist policy.


The D9 is the type of machine that an Israeli soldier used to kill American activist Rachel Corrie in Gaza in 2003.


Israel uses Caterpillar equipment in apparent extrajudicial killing

Israeli occupation forces used a Caterpillar excavator to carry out the apparent extrajudicial execution of a Palestinian man using the so-called pressure cooker procedure in which construction equipment is employed as a lethal weapon, analysis by The Electronic Intifada shows.

Caterpillar, based in Peoria, Illinois, has long been the focus of boycott and divestment campaigns for selling equipment Israel uses in human rights abuses and war crimes, including the demolitions of homes and construction of settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

Late on Tuesday night, Israeli forces massed in the town of Surif, near the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, and launched an assault on a house in which they besieged Muhammad al-Faqih. The Israelis eventually demolished the house with al-Faqih still inside.

Israel’s internal intelligence agency, the Shin Bet, claims that al-Faqih, from the nearby village of Dura, carried out a shooting near Hebron earlier this month that caused the crash of a car, killing an Israeli settler and injuring his wife.

According to the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz, the Shin Bet, whose use of torture is systematic, accused al-Faqih of the killing after obtaining confessions from two other Palestinians who allegedly assisted him, including al-Faqih’s brother.

As the journalist and close observer of Israel’s occupation Marian Houk noted, Israeli media reproduced the Shin Bet’s allegations as fact “without an ounce [or] gram of doubt” and without the need for any judicial process.

Anti-tank missiles

The Israeli army claimed that its forces “called on the operative [al-Faqih] to surrender, and he responded by opening fire and hurling explosives.”

The army said that it “responded according to procedure and returned fire” and that al-Faqih “was killed in the exchange.”

Military spokespersons also told media that soldiers fired anti-tank missiles at the house and then used an excavator to demolish it with al-Faqih inside.

Video published on YouTube shows Israeli soldiers pulling al-Faqih’s body from the rubble of the house and loading it into the excavator’s bucket before taking it away.

The Quds news website, citing witnesses, said dozens of Israeli military vehicles took part in the seven-hour siege and assault as drones circled overhead.

Village youths responded by throwing stones at Israeli forces, and several protesters were injured by rubber-coated steel bullets. Israel also sealed off the village, cut electricity and Internet services and barred Palestinian ambulances from entering the area.

The Ma’an News Agency reported that a woman was also injured during the operation and several people from Surif, including the owner of the destroyed home, were detained.

The lethal raid comes amid massive Israeli closures and arrest sweeps in the Hebron area in recent weeks following attacks on Israeli settlers, including the killing of a 13-year-old child in her home. A field director with UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestine refugees, decried Israel’s closure for “collectively punishing innocent people for the acts of others.”

In his home village of Dura, al-Faqih’s family received condolences and his mother praised her son as a “hero” and as “stubborn,” adding that he would never have surrendered himself to Israeli forces.

“Pressure cooker”

While the Israeli army said that al-Faqih fired first, a claim that cannot be independently verified, the “procedure” its forces appear to have used is the “pressure cooker” in which construction equipment is deliberately used as a weapon.

Who Profits, a group that researches companies involved in Israel’s occupation, describes the pressure cooker procedure in a 2014 report on the use of construction machinery in Israel’s occupation.

Originally developed to handle alleged hostage-takers barricaded inside a building, the procedure was modified during the second intifada of the early 2000s and used against any Palestinians who were inside a house who Israeli forces wanted to detain.

First, the forces surrounding the house use a loudspeaker to order anyone inside to come out immediately. If the persons remain inside, the soldiers start shooting at the building first with small arms, then machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades and finally tank shells or missiles.

If the persons survive and still refuse to surrender, an armored bulldozer or excavator is sent to the scene. The bulldozer initially shakes the house and then starts peeling off the walls, ultimately destroying the house and burying the target of the attack beneath it.

“Although heavy engineering machinery clearly plays a significant role in the human rights violations caused by different types of house and property demolitions, its brutal use in the framework of the pressure cooker procedure upgrades it from a potentially deadly tool to a lethal weapon used systematically for extrajudicial killings,” Who Profits states.

In August 2014, Israeli forces used a militarized Caterpillar D9 bulldozer in a similar assault on a building in the village of Qabalan near the West Bank city of Nablus. Zakaria al-Aqra, the 24-year-old target of the attack, was killed, six of his relatives were wounded and the house was badly damaged during the eight-hour operation.

Armored excavator

Analysis of video and photos of the Israeli assault on Surif allows the large machine used to demolish the house where al-Faqih was besieged to be identified as the Bagger E-349 armored excavator.

As the Israeli army’s ground command website shows, this is a weaponized version of Caterpillar’s model 349E Hydraulic Excavator.

An independent UN inquiry into Israel’s assault on Gaza found that Palestinian resistance organizations used tunnels only to attack “legitimate military targets.”

“Primary weapon”

As long ago as 2004, Human Rights Watch called on Caterpillar to halt sales of bulldozers to Israel because of their use as a “primary weapon to raze Palestinian homes, destroy agriculture and shred roads in violation of the laws of war.”

Since then, pressure has mounted on Caterpillar as dozens of campaigns have urged institutions to divest from the firm. The Presbyterian Church USA and the United Church of Christ have voted to do so since 2014.

In 2012, Caterpillar was dropped from a leading index of socially responsible investments in part because of concerns over its products’ use by Israel to violate human rights.

Caterpillar has always tried to distance itself from the Israeli army’s use of its equipment but has done nothing to halt sales. The company says that the machines are not sold to Israel directly, but through the US government and that it “cannot monitor the use of every piece of its equipment around the world.” Caterpillar says that it does not militarize the machines it makes, but that this is done by Israel.

But photographs published by Evenor appear to show Israeli army weaponized bulldozers being serviced at Caterpillar corporate facilities in Israel, suggesting that the company’s complicity is more direct than it claims.

Additional research by Dena Shunra.

More photos at SOURCE


Surely NOT THIS ….

THIS is more like it ….

A Palestinian family stands amid the remains of their home after it was demolished by Israeli forces in Masafer Jenbah in an undated photo. (AFP/Hazem Bader, File)

A Palestinian family stands amid the remains of their home after it was demolished by Israeli forces in Masafer Jenbah in an undated photo. (AFP/Hazem Bader, File)

Israel demolished more Palestinian homes in past 6 months than in all of 2015

Israeli authorities have demolished more Palestinian homes in the West Bank in the first six months of 2016 as they did in all of 2015, Israeli human rights group B’Tselem revealed in a report released on Wednesday, in a worrying confirmation of Israel’s ongoing crackdown on Palestinian communities in Area C of the West Bank.

The report, which was also presented by the Arab Joint List during a Knesset conference on Israel’s home demolition policy the same day, said that 168 homes were destroyed during the first half of 2016 for lacking hard to obtain Israeli-issued building permits, leaving 740 Palestinians homeless.

B’Tselem’s report did not include punitive demolitions enacted on the home of suspected Palestinian attackers and their families.

The B’Tselem tally marked a higher count than the total number of houses destroyed by Israeli each year in the past decade, with the exception of 2013, when 175 homes were demolished.

The 2016 statistics marked a drastic increase from 2015, when 125 homes were demolished, leaving 496 Palestinians without a home.

B’Tselem further estimated that Israel had demolished some 1,113 Palestinian homes in the West Bank alone from 2006 to June 2016, primarily targeting Palestinian communities east of Jerusalem, in the South Hebron Hills and in the Jordan Valley — where a large number of illegal Israeli settlements are located.

The group added that during that decade, at least 769 Palestinians in the West Bank, including 340 minors, saw their homes demolished more than once.

During the Knesset conference on the report, Ayman Odeh, the head of the Joint List which brings together political factions representing Palestinian citizens of Israel, said the demolitions showed that in spite of calls by Israeli right-wing groups to annex all of the West Bank, “actually and practically, we know that Israel prefers to perpetuate its control in a gray area… while paying lip service to the international community.”

Beyond homes, B’Tselem highlighted the fact that Israeli authorities also demolished structures Palestinians depended on for their livelihoods, such as livestock pens, sheds, and bathroom facilities, and confiscated solar panels and water tanks.

“In doing so, the Civil Administration not only leaves these residents homeless but also severely lacking basic services and the ability to earn a living,” the report read.Joint List MK Dov Khenin denounced the demolitions during the Knesset conference as a deliberate move by the Israeli government to annex parts of Area C — the 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military control.“

Demolishing houses, water tanks and solar panels does not happen by coincidence or by mistake,” he told the Knesset. “It is an organized policy that aims to change the current political condition, force Palestinians to leave the area and annex parts of Area C to prevent the two-state solution. Therefore, it is no longer a human rights case but a first-degree political case.”Natalie Grove, a representative of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights also present at the Knesset, said that “Israel does not fulfill the minimum of its basic commitments as an occupying power.”

“Israel is creating humanitarian crises, and when the international community intervenes to solve these crises, Israel increases obstacles in front of these interventions,” Grove added. “This policy has led to the worsening of the humanitarian crisis and created the danger of population transfer which leads to a confrontation between Israel and the international community and raises fears that Israel is not serious regarding the two-state solution.”

The publication of the report came two days after some 30 Palestinian families lost their homes during demolition raids of unprecedentedly large scale in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Issawiya and Ras al-Amoud, and in the village of Qalandiya in the West Bank district of Jerusalem.According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Israel only granted 33 building permits out of 2,020 applications submitted by Palestinians between 2010 and 2014.

The dismal number of permits granted by Israeli authorities has forced many Palestinians to build without permission, at the risk of seeing their homes demolished.

B’Tselem said Israel’s pretexts in demolishing so many Palestinian homes constituted “a spurious claim given the absence of any real possibility for Palestinians to build legally in the area.”

“The Israeli authorities impose an impossible daily reality on Palestinian communities in Area C,” B’Tselem concluded in its report. “Israel acts to establish facts on the ground and to create a reality that it will be difficult to change in any future agreement.”




Short documentary about life in Jerusalem on the other side of the wall




The short documentary ‘3 Houses’ was filmed in Ras Khamis and Ras Shahada, Jerusalem neighborhoods that were cut off from the rest of the city when the Separation Barrier was built in 2002. Since then, these neighborhoods and the tens of thousands of people who live there have been utterly neglected by the Jerusalem municipality. In 2013, the desperate situation in this no-man’s-land was even further exacerbated when the municipality announced its intent to demolish the homes of thousands of residents.

Directed and Edited by Omri Shenhar
Producers Ronit Sela and Marc Grey
Cinematographers Hanna Abu Saada and Issa Qumsiya
Sound recording by Shiraz Rashmawi
Sound design by Yuval Shenhar
Music by Yehezkel Raz
Additional instrumentation Gilad Weiss
Online editor Ron Lindenbaum
Finished at Edit Post Production Studios, Tel Aviv
Produced by The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)
Produced with the support of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Tel Aviv

For further information about ACRI and its work in East Jerusalem, visit us online at

Donate to help ACRI support Human Rights in Israel and the Occupied Territories:


Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. It has demolished at least 27,000 Palestinian homes and structures since occupying the West Bank in 1967, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.
Israeli bulldozers demolish mosque, 3 houses near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli bulldozers on Tuesday demolished a mosque and three houses in a Palestinian village south of Nablus, an official said.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement-related activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that over 20 Israeli military vehicles entered Khirbet al-Tawil near the town of Aqraba early Tuesday morning.

Bulldozers immediately began demolishing a mosque and three houses belonging to Osama Anas, Anwar Sidqi Hani, and Muhammad Hani.

The structures were demolished under the pretext that they were built without permits, Daghlas said.

Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. It has demolished at least 27,000 Palestinian homes and structures since occupying the West Bank in 1967, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

Israel destroyed more than 663 Palestinian properties in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 2013, displacing 1,101 people, according to UNOCHA. Some 250 people have been displaced since the beginning of 2014.

The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.


When I think of Rutgers University the first thing that comes to mind is the fact that Paul Robeson was an All American Football Player there, the first Black man at a major US campus to have that honour. I thought of Rutgers as a bastion of Liberal thought, that is, until I read the following;

Rutgers students face “bias” probe for flyers criticizing Israeli home demolitions

 Ali Abunimah 


SJP member Amanda Najib delivers a mock eviction notice at the Rutgers University campus in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

 (Syjil Ashraf)


Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey, is under investigation by campus administrators after complaints of “bias.”

One Zionist group has alleged that SJP specifically targeted the dorm rooms of Jewish students on the New Brunswick, New Jersey campus with mock “eviction notices” designed to draw attention to Israel’s practice of demolishing Palestinian homes.

But this claim has been contradicted by the university in a statement to The Electronic Intifada.

A campus rabbi has even demanded that SJP be “disbanded” by the university to set an “example.”

The “bias” investigation comes after the university has already issued a written warning to SJP that it violated school policy by posting the flyers without prior approval from administrators.

The claims are only the latest in a long-running effort by pro-Israel advocates to paint Rutgers University as hostile to Jewish students.

Action to raise awareness


Activists have used mock eviction notices on several campuses to draw attention to Israel’s demolitions of Palestinian homes.

 (Syjil Ashraf)


“On the night of Sunday, October 6th, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) board members printed mock eviction notices and distributed them in dormitory buildings,” Students for Justice in Palestine — Rutgers New Brunswick explained in a statement emailed to The Electronic Intifada.

“This action was intended to call attention to the systematic demolition of the homes of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and Israel.”

Last week, The Electronic Intifada published a photo story of Khirbet al-Makhul, a Palestinian community of 120 people in the occupied West Bank, demolished to make way for a live-fire training area for the Israeli army.

In August, Human Rights Watch urged Israel to “immediately end unlawful demolitions of Palestinian homes and other structures,” noting an alarming increase in the number of Palestinians made homeless in eastern occupied Jerusalem since last year.

“Our completely fake notices brought no harm; it is the confiscation of Palestinian land that these notices bring attention to that continues to bring harm to millions,” Rutgers SJP added.

Bogus allegation Jews targeted

Andrew Getraer, executive director of the pro-Israel advocacy group Rutgers Hillel, told theDaily Targum, the campus newspaper, that “We had many students who came to us who were very upset when they received eviction notices, who felt harassed, who felt that they have been deceived and made to feel targeted and unsafe in their dorm rooms, and … We directed them to the appropriate deans … There were several students who filed complaints.”

Getraer claimed that “in some cases, Jewish students were targeted and explained how some students came to Hillel stating how they were the only student who received a flyer on their floor.”

SJP at Rutgers denied this, explaining the measures it took to avoid the possibility of bias accusations:

We posted the notices under many doors on different floors of student dormitories and residence halls. We chose doors at random, aiming to maximize the number of people who would be viewing the notice, with one exception: we intentionally avoided the Hillel building and Les Turchin Chabad House, locations with many, if not exclusively Jewish, residents. This was done to avoid the possibility that Jewish students would feel that they were singled out or targeted.

A university statement appears to support SJP’s account and contradict the claims of Hillel’s Getraer.

“The flyers were distributed randomly to about 800 students and the university is in the process of reviewing a student complaint arising from the incident,” university spokesperson E.J. Miranda wrote in an 11 October email to The Electronic Intifada.

Identical claims that Jews were targeted have been made in other cases where campus Palestine activists distributed mock eviction notices, including at Harvard University andFlorida Atlantic University.

Florida Atlantic confirmed there was no evidence Jewish students were targeted and declined to take punitive action.

The claim that Jews were targeted at Harvard appears to have been fabricated by Israel’s far-right Arutz Sheva website.

Call to disband SJP

Pro-Israel groups have been swift to condemn the SJP educational effort and to call for official retribution.

Rabbi Esther Reed of Rutgers Hillel told the Targum that she found the flyers “alarming and reprehensible” as well as “factually inaccurate,” complaining that they “vilified Israel.”

Rutgers Hillel also released a formal statement condemning the flyers, stating that they made “students feel unsafe in their homes.”

Another Hillel official, Rabbi Akiva Dovid Weiss, opined on the incident for Arutz Sheva, calling on Rutgers to ban SJP to set an “example for all others”:

[No] student in this university ever will feel safe until they know that university groups that engage in this kind of behavior will be unconditionally disbanded, since actions that compromise the emotional safety of our students within the privacy of their own residences cannot be tolerated and have no place on our campus.

The flyers were also condemned by anti-Palestinian and anti-gay activist group Christians United for Israel (CUFI) on the conservative news site The Blaze, which stated that “We focus on the real debate as opposed to theatrics.”

Bias investigation

The Targum reported on 11 October that complaints had been filed with the bias committee, and that committee, which “deals with the content in the flyers,” in turn alerted the Office of Student Life, which oversees student organizations.

Kerri Wilson, director of student involvement, told the Targum that SJP “was found responsible for violating student involvement posting policy for the residence halls,” resulting in a written warning over the unauthorized distribution of the flyers.

“We have faith that the Rutgers community and administration will recognize that our cause is important, not only to the Palestinians, but to the humanitarians in all of us,” the Rutgers SJP statement said in reference to the complaints.

“Students for Justice in Palestine is proud to be at Rutgers University, and we will not — should not — be silenced.”

Bias complaints are handled by the university’s Bias Prevention Education Committeewhich includes a “Response Team” made up of deans of students and a “Bias Prevention Education Advisory Team.”

The Bias Prevention Education Advisory team Team is co-chaired by Hillel Rabbi Esther Reed herself.

It is unclear whether she would play any role in the investigation, given her organization’s advocacy for Israel and her own prejudicial public statements regarding the flyers.

Rutgers Hillel has itself come under attack for promoting bias on campus. In 2003, sixty professors signed a statement expressing “growing unease to the role [Rutgers] Hillel has recently come to play in the promotion of the extreme right on campus.”

Then, as now, Getraer was executive director.

As recently as 2012, Rutgers Hillel has hosted Israeli soldiers who have personally participated in the military occupation of Palestinian land and justified killings of Palestinians.

Rutgers targeted

The allegations of “bias” at Rutgers are only the latest in a series of attempts to portray the campus as a hostile environment for Jewish students as a result of Palestine solidarity activism.

Rutgers is the subject of a 2011 complaint to the US Department of Education by the Zionist Organization of America under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, alleging pervasive anti-Semitism on campus.

A similar tactic has been used by various Zionist groups in an effort to suppress Palestine solidarity activism on other campuses.

But three similar complaints against the Berkeley, Santa Cruz and Irvine campuses of the University of California were recently thrown out by the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, in what has been seen as a major victory for free speech.

While the Rutgers case is still pending before the Office of Civil Rights, university officials have dismissed the allegations as “factually inaccurate and significantly distorted.”

Gregory S. Blimling, the university’s vice president for student affairs, told the Chronicle of Higher Education in April 2012 that the issues raised in the complaint were not about anti-Semitism, but disagreement over Israel’s policies.

“There are people on both sides of that debate,” Blimling said, “who would like to have the other side of that argument not have the same freedoms they do.”

While Blimling may believe that, the indisputable fact is that only anti-Palestinian groups have resorted to legal measures to try to silence criticism of Israel on campus.

Faculty “frightened”

The attack on Rutgers has already affected the right of students to freely learn and talk about the question of Palestine.

Junior faculty are too afraid to even discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in class, according to Professor Charles G. Häberl, 2009–12 director of the Rutgers Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

“They are frightened to say anything about these issues, especially since they don’t have the shield of tenure to hide behind. And I don’t blame them,” Häberl told the Chronicle.

Anti-Palestinian groups are likely to consider that a success.

Full statement from Rutgers SJP

On the night of Sunday, October 6th, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) board members printed mock eviction notices and distributed them in dormitory buildings at Rutgers New Brunswick. This action was intended to call attention to the systematic demolition of the homes of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and Israel. Since 1967, approximately 24,000 Palestinian homes have been demolished by Israel, as estimated by the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. The facts about Palestinian home demolitions included on the mock eviction notices are all true and substantiated by human rights organizations, as well as international bodies such as the United Nations and International Court of Justice. More information can be found at

We posted the notices under many doors on different floors of student dormitories and residence halls. We chose doors at random, aiming to maximize the number of people who would be viewing the notice, with one exception: we intentionally avoided the Hillel building and Les Turchin Chabad House, locations with many, if not exclusively Jewish, residents. This was done to avoid the possibility that Jewish students would feel that they were singled out or targeted.

The fake eviction notices were just that—fake. The notices clearly stated that the eviction was not real, and was authored by SJP.

This peaceful, quiet demonstration is not unprecedented. It originated with student activists at New York University and has spread to other schools across the country, including Harvard, Yale, San Diego State, and Florida Atlantic University. This action is part of our long-term mission to draw awareness to a human rights issue that affects the global community on many levels, including social, psychological, humanitarian, and economic.

The Palestinian-Arab refugee and displaced population is the largest in the world, and forced evictions are one of the milder methods used to achieve this. It cannot, thus, be truthfully denied that for 65 years now, the Israeli government has oppressed and traumatized the Palestinian people by means of racial discrimination, ethnic cleansing, illegal settlement and colonization, forced military occupation, and more. Thousands of Palestinian men, women, and children have been killed since the beginning of this conflict, and Palestinian refugees and their descendants number in the millions.

Rutgers University has a strong history of student protests and being the voice for those whose cries have fallen on deaf ears. We are proud to uphold this tradition that is fundamental to what it means to be a student at this university as well as a citizen of this nation. The First Amendment protects our right to free speech at a public university – especially speech about one of the most urgent international human rights issues of our time. This is a college campus, the quintessential marketplace of ideas, where vigorous debate about serious problems is part of the educational experience. Free Speech is sometimes controversial and upsetting to some; it would be worthless if it were not. But as was recently noted by the U.S. Department of Education in dismissing complaints against campuses like Rutgers alleging that pro-Palestinian activism creates a hostile environment for Jewish students, “[i]n the university environment, exposure to robust and discordant expressions, even when personally offensive and hurtful, is a circumstance that a reasonable student may experience.

Our completely fake notices brought no harm; it is the confiscation of Palestinian land that these notices bring attention to that continues to bring harm to millions. We hope that those who received and read them were given more insight as to the plight of the Palestinian people after being put in their shoes for a few seconds.

We have faith that the Rutgers community and administration will recognize that our cause is important, not only to the Palestinians, but to the humanitarians in all of us. We ask for your support not only in our fundamental right to freedom of speech, but also in fighting for Palestinian liberty, justice, human rights, and self-determination. Students for Justice in Palestine is proud to be at Rutgers University, and we will not— should not— be silenced.

In solidarity,

Students for Justice in Palestine — Rutgers New Brunswick.



Written FOR


House demolitions: Zionism’s constant background noise

Hardly a day goes by without the State of Israel demolishing an Arab home between the Jordan River and the sea. The hum of bulldozers is the constant background noise of Zionism. Listen to it for a few moments.

By Idan Landau, translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman


House demolition in Anata, Northern Jerusalem, April 14, 2008 (Photo: Meged Gozani/



When people summarize the Zionist project, with the fanfare of victory or the gloom of defeat, one thing will be certain, they will be puzzled over one strange mystery. How could so many people associate Zionism with creation and construction, and not with regression and destruction. After all, in parallel with the endless construction frenzy, especially beyond the green line, the hum of bulldozers has always been audible: beating, breaking, shattering. Housing projects for new Jewish immigrants were built in record speed. Build-your-own-house neighborhoods, neighborhoods for IDF career officers, commuter suburbs, and luxury residential towers popped up everywhere; and at the very same time, the angel of Zionist history left more and more piles of ruin and devastation behind.

The demolition policy has, of course, been the Arabs’ share. From time to time, the state demolishes a tiny shred of a Jewish outpost in the occupied territories; just going through the motions, while bowing sanctimoniously to the Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ). Let no one compare the master race, whose members have the benefit of myriad legal options when building their house, to the enslaved race, whose members are denied access to land, everywhere, by mountains of legal barriers; those who wish and even succeed in building their home on stolen land, to those who wish and fail to build their home on their own private land; those whose house will be protected by the sovereign through a reign of terror imposed on their neighbors, to those who can only dream of having the sovereign’s protection.

And perhaps those analysts in the future will inquire further as to why so few Israelis knew about this devastation at all, even though it took place constantly, week by week. Hardly a day goes by between the Jordan River and the sea, without a demolition of an Arab home by the State of Israel. And they will be baffled by the short Israeli memory, a memory that had forgotten long ago that the foreign British rule had committed the same crimes against us. And the greatest mystery of all will regard those who had known, yet had always assumed that the demolition policy was right, appropriate, legally justified; those who had assumed, with unquestionable simplicity, that half of the population between the river and the sea, which happens to be the Arabic-speaking half, was also delinquent by nature, simply unable to abide by the laws of planning and construction; and not only that, the other half also suffered from such staggering folly and shortsightedness, that it brought those endless demolitions upon itself, impoverishing itself to perdition in the process. After all, would there be anything simpler than lawful planning, and lawful submission of plans, and lawful attainment of permits, followed by construction? In short, is there anything simpler than being Jewish?

Yes, that is what law-abiding Israelis think to themselves, and someone will be perplexed by this as well one day. Let us now put all this perplexity aside, and get back to the dismal reality of rubble and furniture lying upside down. It happens all the time, with hardly any media coverage; reports go through one ear and come out through the other. The hum of bulldozers is the constant background noise of Zionism. Listen to it for a few moments.


The demolition of the el-Arabiyeh family home in Anata exceeds all the terrible things I have seen in my 17 years in Rabbis for Human Rights. The sight of a boy or a girl coming back from school and discovering that their house was demolished is something I would not wish my worst enemies to see.
Rabbi Arik Asherman)

* * *

Excluding bodily and psychological harm, no graver cruelty can be inflicted on people than the demolition of their home. The financial consequence for most people is the loss of most of the capital they had accrued throughout their lives; being pushed back 20-30 years as far as their financial independence is concerned. But the demolition amounts of course to much more than that. It’s a demolition of the personal, intimate space where one’s most precious memories were formed; for a child – it is the space where all her/his intimate memories were formed. Every little detail of the house, seemingly trivial to the outside observer, is loaded with intensive meaning to those living in it. The tree in the backyard, the angle formed by shadows penetrating the room, the cracked door frame, the personal arrangement of clothes or toys. All these are wiped out in a brutal instant when the bulldozer goes over your house, and you are bound to feel disconnected – sheer detachment and floating in an alienating, impersonal space; this word, which has undergone such appalling devaluation in our language – “Trauma” – describes the situation precisely.

* * *

The State of Israel demolishes, time and time again. Here is a sequence of such demolitions, a devastating sequence, from the beginning of the year up to the past few days. It is impossible to document everything. Hundreds of photos, of every single house demolished by the state in the past six months, cannot be uploaded. One must perceive the catastrophe, but it is imperceptible. For now, we will settle for a sample. Hail the demolishing hero.

The State of Israel demolished the house of Rafat Issawi, in order to pressure his brother Samer, who went on hunger strike, Issawiya, East Jerusalem, Jan 4 2013, (photo: Activestills/Shiraz Grinbaum)



The State of Israel demolished four houses and left 36 people homeless, Um el-Kheir, South Hebron Hills, Jan 14 2013, (photo: Activestills/Keren Manor) 


The State of Israel demolished 70 structures and left an unknown number of people homeless, Jan 17 2013, Hamam el-Maleh, Jordan Valley, (photo: Activestills/Ahmed el-Bazz)

The State of Israel demolished 55 structures, leaving 187 people homeless, El-Maita, Jordan Valley Jan 20 2013, (photo: Activestills/Keren Manor)   

The State of Israel demolished two houses and left 30 people homeless, Feb. 5 2013, Beit Hanina, East Jerusalem. (photo: WAFA)

The State of Israel demolished the Abu-Saffa family house, leaving 12 people homeless, Feb 18, Beit Hanina, East Jerusalem. (photo: PNN.)

The State of Israel demolished a restaurant, Beit Jalla, Apr 18 2013. (photo: Anne Paq/Activestills)

The State of Israel demolished parts of the Jaradat family house, a-Tur, East Jerusalem, Apr 24 2013 (photo: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills)

The State of Israel demolished the Sabah family house and left two parents and five children homeless, Shuafat Refugee Camp, May 20 2013. (photo: Tali Maier/Activestills)

The State of Israel demolished 15 structures and left tens of Bedouins homeless in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Atir, Negev (within the 67 borders), Mat 21 2013. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills)

The State of Israel demolished two apartments belonging to the el-Salaima family, leaving 13 people homeless, Beit Hanina, East Jerusalem, May 21 2013. (photo: Lazar Simeonov) 

* * *

In 2011 alone, Israel demolished around 1,000 houses in the Bedouin villages in the Negev. The Ministry of Interior refuses to disclose data for 2012.

In 2012 alone, Israel demolished around 600 buildings throughout the West Bank. As a result, 880 people, more than half of them children, have lost their homes. Around 90 percent of the demolitions were carried out in Area C, and the rest in East Jerusalem.

As of now, more than 400 houses in neighborhoods of East Jerusalem are under the threat of imminent demolition.

Since 1967, Israel has demolished more than 28,000 Palestinian buildings in the Occupied Territories.

37 percent of state owned land on the West Bank has been allotted to Jewish settlements since 1967. Over the same period, just 0.7 percent of this land has been allotted to Palestinians.

Since 1967, East Jerusalem’s Palestinian population has grown by almost 250,000; throughout the same period, only 3,900 building permits have been issued in that part of the city.

Nearly half of East Jerusalem still does not have zoning plans, after 46 years. 35 percent of the planning area has been designated as “open view areas,” on which construction is prohibited. Just 17 percent of Palestinian East Jerusalem is available to residents for housing and construction, and these land resources have been nearly exhausted. Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem have no legal way of building houses.  

Between 2005 and 2009, the construction of 18,000 housing units in Jerusalem was approved; just 13 percent of them were in Palestinian East Jerusalem.

In most parts of East Jerusalem, building density is restricted to 75 percent. In West Jerusalem, the rate goes up to 150 percent.

180,000 Palestinians who reside in Area C have to settle for just 0.5 percent of this area for legal construction.

In 2009-2010 just 13 out of 776 requests for building permits by Palestinians in Area C were approved, no more than 1.7 percent.

Demolition orders have been issued against the majority of the buildings in the 180-year-old village of Hirbet Susya, home to 250 people, and the same goes for the inhabitants of the Hirbet Dukaikah and Hirbet Zanuta (Hebrew), home to 550 people. The State of Israel intends to wipe out entire villages in Area C.

* * *

And what happens when you demolish the wrong house? Mistakes (by Jews) are paid for (by Arabs), and then you confess (to Jews) and get a warm embrace:


* * *

Your country lies desolate,

   Your cities are burned up with fire.

   Foreigners devour them in your presence,

   And it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers





A Palestinian child reacts after coming back from school to find his house destroyed by the Israeli occupation forces, east of Jerusalem, today.


All his books, toys, memories … Everything he had represented a threat for “Israel’s security” !!??!!


That look …Can you imagine how much anger he carries in his heart now ……!!!!!


Photo Essay: West Bank home demolished by Israel is rebuilt

International volunteers join Palestinians and Israelis to build ‘alternative facts on the ground’ in defiance of Israeli demolition policy.

By Activestills

Arabiya Shawamreh and her husband Salim stand in the ruins of their house that Israeli authorities demolished on January 23, 2012 for the fifth time. The same night, between 11:00 pm and 4:00 am, seven other homes were demolished in Anata, displacing more than 60 Palestinians. (Photo: Anne Paq/

Six months after Israeli bulldozers demolished the house of Salim and Arabiya Shawamreh, Palestinian workers, Israeli activists, and international volunteers gathered to celebrate their successful efforts to rebuild it. Dubbed “Beit Arabiya” (“Arabiya’s House”), and used as a peace center by the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) since 2003, it has long been a gathering place for ICAHD’s efforts to resist the Israeli government’s discriminatory housing policies that systematically refuse building permits to Palestinians and then demolish houses that are built regardless.

Left: Beit Arabiya in August 2, 2007. Right: the house after it was demolished for the fifth time, January 25, 2012. Located northeast of Jerusalem in the West Bank town of Anata, it has become a symbol of resistance to Israeli demolition policy. (Photo: Keren Manor/

More background from the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions:

More than two hundred people gathered in the West Bank town of Anata to celebrate the rebuilding of Beit Arabiya, home of Salim and Arabiya Shawamreh family. Since 1998, this home has been demolished five times by the Israeli government but rebuilt each time by the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) as a political act of resistance to Israel’s demolition policies, which are illegal under international law.

Palestinian volunteers and international activists pass floor tiles ‘hand to hand’ while rebuilding Beit Arabiya. (Photo: RRB/

The home was rebuilt during ICAHD’s tenth annual rebuilding camp that attracted more than thirty internationals that stood side by side with Israelis and Palestinians who refuse to be enemies, demonstrating that there are partners for peace. Within two weeks, the pile of rubble left after the demolition of the house in the middle of night on 23 January earlier this year, was transformed into a fully functioning house with an extensive terrace, made possible by nearly one hundred additional volunteers, including international youth, part of summer delegations to Palestine who worked with temperatures soaring over 30 degrees C and with limited water supplies.

An international volunteer hands a stone to a local Palestinian contractor. (Photo: RRB/

Every year hundreds of Palestinians are forced from their homes, homes built on land they own. Since 1967 Israel has demolished more than 26,000 Palestinian homes in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. ICAHD has rebuilt a total of 186 Palestinian homes illegally demolished by Israel and is determined to see this cruel policy stop.

An international volunteer hands a bucket of cement to a local Palestinian contractor plastering the house’s exterior. (Photo: RRB/

ICAHD Director, Prof. Jeff Halper, calls the rebuilding “an overtly political act of defiance. By rebuilding, we set alternative facts on the ground.” The Shawamreh family applied three times to the Israeli Civil Administration for a building permit and was refused each time, as were 94% of Palestinian permit applications since 1993. Having no other alternative, they proceeded, as have thousands of other Palestinian families, to build their home, in which they lived for five years despite having been issued a demolition order.

Local and diaspora Palestinian volunteers take in the view atop the newly rebuilt house. (Photo: RRB/

Arabiya Shawamreh embraces a supporter inside her newly rebuilt house. (Photo: RRB/

Local Palestinian workers dance arm in arm with ICAHD volunteers at the dedication ceremony on July 15, 2012, just six months after the demolition of Beit Arabiya. (Photo: RRB/


Activestills is a collective of Israeli, international and Palestinian photographers, united by a conviction that photography is a vehicle for social change. To stay updated on our latest images, like Activestills on Facebook  or follow @activestills on Twitter. You can also visit ourflickr photostream.




This is what she supports …. THIS is how.
Child in the the Shaour family whose house was demolished. Israeli soldiers pulled him out of the house by his neck. (Photo: ISM)*

Home Demolitions: Child dragged out by his throat

by Sarah

On Monday the 5th of December, in the Azzun district of Qalqiliya, a stone factory was destroyed at 6:00 am. The owner, Hussain Anam, explained to us that the factory was built 3 years ago, but his only demolition notice was when the bulldozer came this morning. The demolition order stated that the building was built without permission. The bulldozer was accompanied by 15 jeeps and 50 soldiers to destroy the property. This factory employed 10 people and now they are asking,”Where will we work today?”

In Arab an Ramadin al Janubi, two houses were destroyed at approximately 7:30 in the morning. The demolition was executed by 50 soldiers using 2 bulldozers.


Demolitions near Qalqilia – Click on photo for more images


The first home belonged to the Shaour family. The home was built through donations by the 320 residents of the village. And today the Israeli Army forced this family out of their home with violence. One of the children was dragged out of the house by his throat. Their first demolition notice was sent two weeks ago and then another notice three days ago. The evicted family included 8 children and their parents. The only thing that was saved from the home was the grandmother’s medical bed. The grandmother had to watch her son’s home being demolished as she laid in her bed not able to move.

After the first demolition the soldiers continued their efforts to destroy homes. The next on the list was the home of Mohammed and his 5 children. Mohammed originally received a demolition order 10 years ago, and today the Israeli army fulfilled their threats by destroying Mohammed’s house.

He is now asking himself, “Where will I sleep tonight with my children?” All of their possessions including a refrigerator, TV, and sofa lay under the rubble of this 8 by 10 meter squared house.

“All the belongings we cumulated during these 10 years, the family souvenirs, pictures”, Mohammed said as he began to cry. They have lost everything .

In both of these home demolition cases the soldiers did not let the family save the furniture, electronics, or clothes. Now both families have no place to call home.

Sarah is a volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement (name has been changed).



Reading and rereading my previous post, I can’t phantom the inhumanity of the Israeli forces responsible for the home demolitions described.  It’s freezing here…. 30 human beings were just rendered homeless for no reason at all. Israel does things to Palestinians ‘because they can’ … no other reason.
A Palestinian man rebuilds his home in the northern West Bank village of Khirbet Tana after it was demolished by Israeli troops (Brendan Work, PNN).
What is just as bad as the Israeli actions is the silence from the rest of the world. Silence is complicity …. can you live with that? I wouldn’t be able to…
Here is contact information for the Israeli government throughout the world… let them know this madness has to end NOW! Most contact info is found HERE.
Call, Write, Demonstrate untill this madness ends! THE OCCUPATION MUST END NOW!!


Instead of American football, this is how Israeli Occupation Forces ‘observed’ Thanksgiving. Also gives a new meaning to ‘Black Friday’ … video at end of post..
Israel Demolishes Mosque in South Hebron Hills, Homes in Beit Hanina, Arrest Two Teenage Girls
Israeli forces carried out a demolition campaign across West Bank on Thursday, destroying a mosque and several other buildings in the village of Susya in the South Hebron Hills, as well as several Bedouin homes in the town of Beit Hanina, near Ramallah. Soldiers also arrested two girls and demolished a cave dwelling with a woman still inside it, breaking her leg.

A Palestinian man rebuilds his home in the northern West Bank village of Khirbet Tana after it was demolished by Israeli troops (Brendan Work, PNN).
Two Palestinians were also arrested in Jerusalem during dawn raids on Friday—Haytham Shukri Taha from Beit Hanina and 46-year-old Bassem Idris from Silwan. Both were taken from their homes in the middle of the night and Idris’ cell phone was confiscated. Taha was interrogated at the al-Moskobiyya Police Compound in Jerusalem. Neither have been charged.

On Thursday, east Hebron Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements coordinator Ratib al-Jabour told Palestinian government news wire Wafa that an “enormous” Israeli force raided Khirbet al-Maqfareh, near Susya in the South Hebron Hills, and demolished a 50-square-foot mosque and two houses inhabited by 24 people. According to the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC), no demolition order was ever presented.

The owner of first house, Maher al-Tahaan, said the majority of its 10 inhabitants were orphaned babies, while the second building, owned by Mahmoud Hussein al-Tahaan, housed 14 people, four of them with special needs. 

Also in Susya, Palestinian eyewitness Sulaiman Salem al-Adreh from Yatta said that Israeli forces arrested two teenage girls: Amal Jamal Mussa al-Burqandi Hamamdeh, 17, and Sawsan Mahmoud Hussein al-Tahaan, 19. 

When Israeli forces demolished a cave dwelling in Susya, a stone fell on 45-year-old old Halima Shahadeh Hamamdeh’s leg and broke it. She was taken to a nearby hospital. 

The Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC) reported that Israeli troops also tore down a barn containing a hutch of rabbits, injuring and killing many of the animals. The property owners were not allowed in to remove them before the demolition.

Also in Susya, a house and cattle barn belonging to Mohammed Musa Mughneym were demolished, and the Susya school was also raided. According to local sources, Israeli soldiers attacked and severely beat the school principal, Mohammed Jaber Musa al-Nuwaja’a, then threatened him that they would be coming back to the school to demolish it.

Demolition notices were given to families from Khirbet al-Derat, east of Yatta, and at least four men were summoned for interviews with Israeli intelligence.

On Thursday in the Jerusalem-area town of Beit Hanina al-Tahta, Israeli bulldozers accompanied by heavily armed troops demolished several Bedouin homes, leaving about 30 Palestinians homeless. The demolition was caught on video by photojournalist Fadi Arouri :


Almost certainly, the United Nations General Assembly will vote in September to grant statehood to Palestine, thus legally removing it from Israeli authority. Almost every U.N. member will vote “aye.” See growing map of support HERE
BUT … before the long awaited for vote takes place Israel has been systematically destroying whatever remains of Gaza and demolishing homes in the Occupied West Bank. So, I ask again, will there be anything left of Palestine by September?
Join those who SAY NO to the destruction of Palestine!

Demolitions by Israel increase fivefold, says new UN report

The Israeli army has increased the number of demolitions of Palestinian homes in the West Bank. (Keren Manor / ActiveStills )

RAMALLAH, Each year, hundreds of Palestinians in the West Bank have their homes demolished by the Israeli authorities because they are unable to obtain permits for their buildings, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The demolitions take place in Area C, a zone designated by the Oslo accords covering 60 percent of the West Bank with a Palestinian population of about 150,000.

Israel retains military authority and full control over building and planning in Area C: as much as 70 percent of it is inaccessible to Palestinians, classified as Israeli settlements, firing zones or nature reserves.

In the remaining 30 percent there are a number of other restrictions that reduce the possibility for Palestinians to obtain a building permit, reports OCHA. In practice, Palestinian construction is normally permitted only within the boundaries of a plan approved by the Israeli Civil Administration, which covers less than 1 percent of Area C, much of which is already built-up, according to OCHA.

Many Palestinians living in Area C are left with no choice other than to build without a permit.

Israel says authorities have only demolished illegal structures, and that Jewish and Palestinian residents in Area C are subject to the same restrictions.

An August 2011 OCHA report highlights the concerns of 13 Area C communities, including restrictive and discriminatory planning and zoning policies which limit Palestinian construction and use of the land, and lack of effective law enforcement in response to settler attacks.

Also, movement and access restrictions, like those created by Israel’s wall in the West Bank, limit access to land and water resources for many communities.

Racist grafitti

Residents of Khallet Zakariya, located in Area C south of Bethlehem say Israeli authorities are demolishing their homes and settlers have destroyed their livelihoods in an effort to force the community to relocate.

Farmer Mohamed Khalil, 55, from Khallet Zakariya, says Israeli settlers ruined about half a hectare of his agricultural fields in June and spray-painted “death to Arabs” in black on the wall of his home, which is still visible.

“It’s not the first time settlers destroyed my land,” said Khalil. “It takes 3-4 years to cultivate crops of grapes and plums.”

The lost crops will affect income for three families, including 19 people. Mohamed has filed a complaint with Israeli police.

According to Khalil, officials from the Civil Administration, the Israeli governing body that operates in the West Bank, came and offered to relocate his community of about 350 people to an area west of Bethlehem called Nahhlin.

“My father cultivated this land — we declined,” he said.

With the Bat Ayin settlement located directly west and the Rosh Zurim settlement directly to the north, residents of Khallet Zakariya say there is a strategy to force them out to allow further settlement expansion.

However, expansion has mostly been in larger settlements over the past year, according to Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem.

20 minutes notice before bulldozing

Fatima Saed, her husband Mahmoud, and their four children had 20 minutes notice to pack their belongings and evacuate their home in Khallet Zakariya before it was bulldozed by Israeli authorities on 25 July.

“Our lawyer was not informed that we had lost our court case disputing the demolition order for our home,” said Fatima. Her family is now living at her brother’s house nearby, with 21 people crammed into two rooms.

“We built here without a permit, because my family owns the land,” she said.

In the first six months of 2011, OCHA reports that the Israeli authorities demolished 342 Palestinian-owned structures in Area C, including 125 residential “structures,” displacing a total of 656 Palestinians, including 351 children — almost five times as many demolitions and people displaced as during the first half of 2010.

Guy Inbar, the Israeli coordinator of government activities in the occupied Palestinian territory (COGAT), said: “There is no policy to move people from their homes.”

He acknowledged, however, that Israel has increased action to monitor unapproved building, both in Jewish and Palestinian sectors within Area C. Under international law, all Israeli settlements in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) are illegal. But Israel has created confusion by referring to settlement expansions not officially authorized by its governments as “illegal outposts.”

“A similar number of illegal Israeli and Palestinian structures have been demolished by Israel so far in 2011,” said Inbar, and “Israel is working to approve and authorize more areas within Area C that Palestinians will be permitted to live [in] and build [on].”

Few building permits

B’Tselem spokesperson Sarit Michaeli said: “Israeli settlements were built in contravention of international law in the West Bank, while the Palestinian population in Area C is under occupation and protected by international law.”

Another Israeli organization, Bimkom, comprised of planners and architects to strengthen human rights in the field of planning, published a comprehensive report in 2008 detailing what it describes as separate planning systems for Israeli settlements that allow for growth and expansion.

From 2000 to 2007, the Civil Administration approved 5 percent of the applications for building permits submitted by Palestinians in Area C. The total number of building permits issued to Palestinians during these seven years was 91, an average of 13 building permits per annum, Bimkom reported.

This item comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian news and information service, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. All IRIN material may be reposted or reprinted free-of-charge; refer to the copyright page for conditions of use. IRIN is a project of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.



Image by Skulz Fontaine


click on image to enlarge



The latest numbers from the United Nations show a two-fold increase in the number of Palestinian homes and agricultural buildings destroyed by Israel order this year, causing concern among officials.

UN: Massive increase in home demolitions

Members of the Younis family watch while their home is demolished by Israeli
bulldozers in the West Bank village of Azzun Atma near Qalqilia, January 11,
2011. The village, stranded between the Green Line, Israel’s separation wall
and two settlements, is only partially under Palestinian control. Areas of the
village near the barrier and settlements come under Israeli civil and military
jurisdiction. [MaanImages/Khaleel Reash]

BETHLEHEM — The latest numbers from the United Nations show a two-fold increase in the number of Palestinian homes and agricultural buildings destroyed by Israel order this year, causing concern among officials. 

The UN Relief and Works Agency recorded 70 demolitions since the start of 2011, displacing 105 Palestinians, of whom 43 were under the age of 18. The demolitions were carried out across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and ordered by Israeli police, municipal officials and by mandate of the Civil Administration.

Commenting on the jump, UNRWA spokesman in Jerusalem Chris Gunness told Ma’an that officials were concerned, comparing the number to the average of 24 demolitions per month since 2000, when the agency began monitoring.

The last two months in 2010, Gunness said in comparison, saw 29 structures demolished.

“The High Commissioner for Human Rights described this as discriminatory,” he said, referring to comments of Navi Pillay who visited the region last month. She said, “All settlement-related activities, and any legal or administrative decision or practice that directly or indirectly coerce Palestinians to leave East Jerusalem, including evictions, demolitions, forced displacements and cancelation of residence permits on a discriminatory basis, should be halted and restrictions on access to East Jerusalem by other West Bank inhabitants should be lifted,” in a statement on her final day in the region.

“Pillay clearly related these demolitions to the peace process, to human rights,” Gunness continued, calling the process of demolitions a “triple humiliation, with families forced to build illegally, faced with the demolition of their homes, a process that all too often occurs in front of the faces of their children.”

In East Jerusalem, Israel has zoned 13 percent of the city for Palestinian building, “most of which is already incredibly built up,” Gunness noted. “They are forced to build without a permit.”

In the West Bank, Palestinians are prohibited from building in zones declared by Israel to be military training zones, firing areas, state land, near settlements, or areas otherwise declared to be “Area C,” which falls under Israeli Civil Administration. According to UN numbers, more than 60 percent of the West Bank falls under one or more of these designates.

‘Slow demolition of the peace process’

In the context of peace talks stalled since September 2010, the recent announcement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of another 500 settlement homes in the West Bank in reported retaliation for the slaying of a settler family by unknown assailants, and the consequent spike in settler violence against Palestinians, Gunness said of the parallel increase in home demolitions:

“We are seeing the bulldozing of people’s hopes in a peaceful future and the slow demolition of the peace process itself.”

Bedouin village receives demolition orders

The most recent demolition orders to hit Palestinians were delivered to the Auda family, an extended network of Bedouins living in the Arab Ar-Rashayida village.

Family members told Ma’an on Friday that at least a dozen tents and animal shelters were included in an order delivered by representatives of Israel’s Civil Administration.

Ali Auda, the head of the family, said the orders “say we are violating the borders of Israel under the Oslo Accords … we are more than 450 meters away from where they put the signs.”

He said if their homes were taken down, the family — 50 members in all — would have nowhere else to go.

“It is the farce of the twenty-first century, imagine, an occupying state telling Palestinians they are violating their own land.”

Auda said he believed that his family was served eviction notices because “Israel wants to rid the area of its residents.”

A spokesman for Israel’s Civil Administration said he was unaware of any recent orders being delivered to the area.


Erasing links to the land in the Negev

By Noga Malkin*

Hiding in the cemetery where her parents are buried, Hakma al-Turi, an Israeli citizen, has watched bulldozers demolish her village — al-Araqib — more than 20 times. The Israel Land Administration first demolished the 45 structures on this patch of land in the Negev desert eight months ago. When the 300 Israeli Bedouin who lived here defiantly rebuilt tarp-covered shacks, the Israel Land Administration demolished them again and again, the last time on March 7.

But the Land Administration inspectors and the police officers escorting them have so far been reluctant to enter the cemetery adjacent to the village, where the extended al-Turi family has been burying family members since 1907. So Hakma, a mother of nine, devised a plan to protect her most fragile possessions: she put her family photographs, children’s medicines, and a small refrigerator full of milk in an improvised wheeled cart. When the bulldozers came, her husband would tie it to their car and drag it from their house and into the cemetery.

But on January 17, as the tenth demolition took place, Hakma’s family was too slow. Police officers caught them on the way to the cemetery, commandeered their car, forced in five other “illegal” residents, and drove it at what Hakma thinks was a deliberately reckless speed over unpaved roads to the police station. “They broke the cart and most of what was in it flew out; they confiscated the rest,” Hakma told me.

The extended al-Turi family lived in al-Araqib from Ottoman times until 1952, when the Israeli army commander told them to leave for six months for military training, according to a government report citing village elders’ testimony. Israeli authorities never allowed them to return, refuse to recognize Bedouin ownership claims, and consider the village illegal.

Al-Araqib is, or was, one of 36 “unrecognized” Bedouin villages — home to at least 50,000 people — that, as Human Rights Watch documented in a 2008 report, Israel refuses to connect to basic services or infrastructure such as water, electricity, sewage treatment, and garbage disposal. Israeli officials encouraged the Bedouin to relocate to the seven state-built new towns — among the poorest communities in Israel. Many al-Araqib residents own homes in one such nearby town, Rahat.

“Those of us who could afford it bought homes in Rahat, because we wanted water and electricity,” said Dr. Awad Abu Freih, chairman of the biotechnology department at a nearby college and al-Araqib’s unofficial spokesman. “Does that justify evicting me and destroying the village where I was born?”

Hakma’s family also settled in Rahat, but moved back to al-Araqib 12 years ago after hearing that the Israel Land Administration intended to plant a forest there, which would be a de facto revocation of their claims to the land. Indeed, according to the plans the Jewish National Fund is carrying out on behalf of the Land Administration, the village is a “recreational area” designated for “forestation.”

But the government’s professed plans seem to be more about politics than forestation. In March 2010, Israel’s then-agriculture minister told the parliament that the Jewish National Fund was planting forests around al-Araqib “in order to safeguard national lands.” In January 2011, the Israel Land Administration’s development director said to Israeli news media that the agency “has begun preparing the ground for planting to guard the land.” When it first demolished al-Araqib in July 2010, the Israeli government uprooted 850 of the villagers’ olive trees, an administration spokeswoman told Human Rights Watch. All the while, Israel could easily plant forests in vast areas of the Negev where Bedouins have no land claims without erasing Bedouin links to their land.

Indeed, the day before the government first demolished al-Araqib, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted at the real motive, warning in a government meeting that “if we allow for a region without a Jewish majority” in the Negev, that would pose “a palpable threat” to Israel.

As Netanyahu’s comment suggests, Israel’s attitude to Negev land rights is different when it comes to Jewish citizens. Bedouin constitute 25 percent of the population of the northern Negev, but occupy less than two percent of its land. Over the past decade, Israeli authorities have allocated public funds and large tracts of the Negev to create 59 private ranches and farms, of which only one is Bedouin-owned. These farms stretch over 20,000 acres of land, greater than the total land area of the seven Bedouin towns built to house 85,000 people. Israeli authorities have never produced a justification for this difference in treatment.

The government’s discriminatory practices in the Negev sometimes resemble its settlement policies in the West Bank, where Israel limits Palestinians’ ability to build while encouraging Jewish settlement expansion, as Human Rights Watch documented in a recent report. In a nighttime operation in January 2004, the then-housing minister had ten mobile homes constructed on land adjacent to al-Araqib for settlement by a Jewish community and promptly connected them to electricity and water. The land, previously promised to Bedouin, is now the Jewish town of Gvaot Bar.

While international entities almost uniformly oppose the construction of Jewish settlements on Palestinian land in the West Bank, however, many of the same actors appear unaware of the simultaneous land grab happening in the Negev. In December 2005 diplomats from 49 countries, including Germany and Spain attended the inauguration of the “Ambassador’s Forest,” which villagers and an Israeli NGO, Dukium, says is on al-Araqib’s land.

Meanwhile, Hakma’s family has one remaining asset: a minivan parked in the graveyard. I looked inside and saw the family’s clothes, and the younger children’s schoolbags hanging neatly on nails. “We used to have a nice house,” Hakma told me, searching for photographs to show me. Then she remembered that the police had confiscated them.

*Noga Malkin is a Jerusalem-based research assistant for Human Rights Watch.



The settlers have been able to expand their hold in the neighborhood because prior to 1948 there was a Jewish neighborhood in Sheikh Jarrah. The court recognized the right of Jews who inherited properties to reclaim their properties. Since then, the settlers are working hard to convince the owners of the properties to sell them the rights so that they could evict the Palestinians and populate the area with Jewish families.

We often hear the zionists cry out that ‘the Arabs want to drive the Jews to the sea’…. but the reality remains that the zionists themselves are doing exactly that to the Arabs. One by one, family by family, Palestinian families are being driven from THEIR homes in Occupied East Jerusalem to make way for illegal Jewish settlers.

These Palestinians are also crying out about their plight….. but no one seems to hear them, no one is listening. In this case, the problem is real, not a ploy to get billion$ from the West to protect what isn’t theirs. In this case, the homes in question belong to the families in question. This is the Nakba continued…..

Jerusalem council set to approve Jewish housing in Arab neighborhood

Several Palestinian families in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah will be evicted to pave way for two new buildings meant to comprise 13 apartments.

The Jerusalem Municipal Committee for Planning and Building is expected to approve Monday the construction of two buildings that will include 13 apartments for Jewish residents in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

Backing the plan are settler organizations who currently occupy three homes in the neighborhood. Following the plan’s approval, it will be necessary to evict a number of Palestinian families living on the site in order for construction to commence.

Settlers evict Palestinians from their home in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, December 1, 2009  

Settlers evict Palestinians from their home in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, December 1, 2009.

Photo by: AP

The planning committee is also expected to approve a new access road south of Har Homa, which will enable the expansion of the neighborhood.

According to the plan to be brought today for approval, two buildings will be razed in the western part of the neighborhood where, until now, nearly no Jews live. In its place, two new buildings will be built. One will have 10 apartments and the other, three.

In both cases Chaim Silverstein, a well known figure in right-wing circles in Jerusalem, is proposing the plans to the municipality. The companies behind the project are registered in the United States, and are probably front companies set up by right-wing activists in order to transfer funds for the purchase of real estate in Israel.

Silverstein has power of attorney rights in both companies, Debril and Velpin.

For the past 18 months there has been a struggle between Arabs and Jews over the activities of settlers in Sheikh Jarrah and against efforts to evict Palestinian families from the neighborhood.

The settlers have been able to expand their hold in the neighborhood because prior to 1948 there was a Jewish neighborhood in Sheikh Jarrah. The court recognized the right of Jews who inherited properties to reclaim their properties. Since then, the settlers are working hard to convince the owners of the properties to sell them the rights so that they could evict the Palestinians and populate the area with Jewish families.

A Supreme Court ruling in 2001 included the possibility of applying for Jewish property rights in the western portion of the neighborhood, and right-wing activists announced that they intended to expand their activities in the area over that portion of Sheikh Jarrah.

“Continuing Jewish settlement in Sheikh Jarrah will seriously harm relations with the Palestinians and will break all agreements that Jewish neighborhoods will remain under Israeli sovereignty and Arab neighborhoods will be under Palestinian sovereignty,” says Yosef Alalu, a Meretz city councillor.



As he stood near a tent on top of the place where he once lived, Muhammad Abu Eid, a youthful-looking 16-year-old, asked, “What would they feel if we demolished a Jewish home?”

No place to sleep for Lydd family
Alex Kane 

Hamza Abu Eid, 17, was at school when he first heard the news that his extended family’s seven homes in Lydd — a mixed but segregated Palestinian and Jewish area of Israel — were being demolished. When he arrived to his house the morning of 13 December 2010, the rain was pouring and he was greeted by a full force of Israeli police and bulldozers destroying his family’s residence and belongings.

“The police are continuing to destroy my life,” Hamza said as he led me through his family’s rubble-covered belongings. It’s been approximately a month since the destruction of their homes, but nothing has changed. “I felt so angry, so sad, so crushed, so shocked. It’s a horrible thing.”

Hamza is one of 67 members of the Abu Eid family — among them dozens of children — who were displaced by the home demolitions in Lydd, a city that is representative of the stark contrast in living standards between Israel’s Jewish and Palestinian citizens.

According to Israeli historian Benny Morris, during the 1948 dispossession of historic Palestine during the establishment of the State of Israel — what Palestinians call the Nakba — the Palestinian residents of the town were driven out in the aftermath of a massacre that left hundreds dead. The residents of Lydd were also forced to walk miles in brutal heat, and many more Palestinian refugees died. The Abu Eid family are originally from al-Mansoura, but were expelled during the Nakba to the northern area of Safad and then to Wadi al-Hamam before arriving in Lydd in the late 1950s.

Currently, the Jewish areas of Lydd are built-up and visibly nicer-looking, populated by many Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Palestinian residents, who make up nearly a third of the city’s population, are routinely denied permits to expand or build homes in their city and are faced with systemic discrimination. For example, the Abu Eid family had to build and expand their homes without a permit as the family grew. The family sought to obtain retroactive permits, and many appeals were made while the Abu Eid family’s case was litigated in Israeli courts.

As he stood near a tent on top of the place where he once lived, Muhammad Abu Eid, a youthful-looking 16-year-old, asked, “What would they feel if we demolished a Jewish home?”

According to members of the Abu Eid family, while the demolition was happening, Israeli police brutalized them. Police hit them with batons and kicked women and children, including a pregnant woman. The Abu Eid family also said that the police shot their dog. Sitting by a fire, 75-year-old Safia Abu Eid added that the police kicked her after she asked “Why are you demolishing, destroying our house?”

The Israeli police have also set out to intimidate the Abu Eid family by calling family members into the police station with questions about the weekly protests that have been held in Lydd since the demolitions.

Meanwhile, the winter months in Lydd are cold, and the women have been sleeping in their neighbors’ homes while the men have to sleep outside in tents.

“What [the Israelis did] was terrorism,” said Riad Abu Eid, 54. “Until now, we have no solution,” he said, explaining that the family had been living there since the 1950s.

The housing demolitions aren’t the first time the city of Lydd made headlines this year. The city garnered Israeli media attention in the wake of a spate of violent crimes in October 2010. In response, the Israeli government passed a large “emergency assistance” plan meant to “strengthen and develop the crime-ridden city,” according to the Israeli daily Haaretz (“Israel approves NIS 160 million project to save crime-stricken Lod,” 31 October 2010). Part of that plan, though, went to “enforcement regarding illegal construction” (“PM Netanyahu to Submit Lod Development Plan for Cabinet Approval on Sunday,” Prime Minister’s Office, 31 October 2010).


According to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, the Israeli actions were “one of the biggest demolition operations inside [Israel] this year. The houses, owned by Palestinian citizens of Israel, are located in an area which is not zoned for building despite the repeated attempts of the residents to re-zone the area in order to permit building. At the same time, large plans are already approved for Jewish-Israeli building as soon as the Palestinian houses are gone” (“Demolitions in Lod,” 13 December 2010).


The Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported that the demolished homes are among more than a hundred in Lydd that are facing demolition, and that a dozen other homes had been bulldozed in recent years. Forty-two-thousand Palestinian homes throughout Israel are also currently under threat of demolition (“Family takes stock after mass Lod demolition,” 16 December 2010).


“There is no democratic government in Israel,” said Ziad Abu Eid, 47, as he overlooked the rubble on the ground where his home once stood. “They have no feelings. There are no human rights. How are they doing this in Israel? The other countries and nations see Israel as a beautiful country, but they do not know what happened here inside Israel.”

Buthaina Dabit, a Palestinian citizen of Israel and director of the New Israel Fund Shatil’s Mixed Cities project, sees the home destructions as part of the systematic oppression that Israel’s Palestinian citizens face on a daily basis. The current right-wing coalition government in Israel has pushed a number of discriminatory bills aimed at Palestinian citizens of Israel.

“They tell us, you are the problem, and we are going to fight you,” she said.

“We are not accepted as residents here, as citizens,” Dabit added. “We need to demand international defense, to defend us from our state, in our place. We are indigenous here.”

As for the Abu Eid family, they remain defiant in the face of Israeli brutality. “We will not move from here until they give us a solution,” said the teenaged Hamza as he walked past the rubble of his home. “Give us houses, because at this time we have no houses. We have no place to sleep.”

Hamza Abu Eid speaking about his family’s situation after their home was destroyed. (Alex Kane)

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