Tell Israel that more home demolitions are not the answer

November 19th, 2002

Dear friends, Please take action on the Alert against home demolitions in Hebron issued by Christian Peacemaker Teams and attached below. As a US-led war against Iraq looms larger, so does the Israeli threat of mass “transfer”--ethnic cleansing--of the Palestinians from the Occupied Palestinian Territories, under cover of such a war. In the meantime, quiet “transfer” is happening every day. See the article in Ha’aretz by Ta’ayush, the Arab Jewish Partnership movement. Israel’s planned demolition of Palestinian homes in Hebron will “transfer” several Palestinian families out of their homes to make room for Israeli settlers, and create more “facts” on the ground. CPT is an endorsing organization of the US Campaign, and their members have long had a base in Hebron. The CPT field report below concludes with the names and fax numbers of officials to contact. State your opposition to home demolitions, which violate international law, and call for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine and self-determination for the Palestinian people. Thank you, US Campaign Steering Committee __________________________________ CPTnet--November 19, 2002 HEBRON URGENT ACTION: Next 48 hours critical.

Tell Israel that more home demolitions are not the answer

On Monday CPTer Greg Rollins (Surrey, BC) walked around the area of Hebron that Prime Minister Sharon's latest plan would bulldoze for a new Israeli settlement. "The journalists with me shook their heads in disbelief; there's just no way, without demolishing hundreds of Palestinian homes," said Rollins. Three homes near the site of Friday's gunfight have already been demolished in retaliation. The Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reported that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is proposing that Israel should "quickly" expand the Hebron settlements. "Sharon said that for 'operational and political' reasons, Israel must move quickly. An opportunity has been created and facts have to be created in the coming 48 hours,' he said." [See Ha’aretz article at end of field report] Tuesday CPTer LeAnne Clausen (Mason City, IA) learned names of at least fifteen more Palestinian families near [the settlement of] Kiryat Arba who have just been given home demolition orders. "These Palestinian families had no connection with the shooting. The site of Friday's attack is not even visible from most of their houses. These demolitions would leave over a hundred innocent civilians homeless," said Clausen. At least one of the families is a partner in CPT's Campaign for Secure Dwellings. PLEASE FAX BRIEF NOTES to Israeli and US and Canadian officials saying that these planned demolitions and settlement expansions are escalations of violence and violations of international law. Making families homeless contributes nothing to peace or security for anyone. Ask these officials to make urgent, strong and clear representation to the government of Israel opposing new settlements/settlement expansion in general, and Kiryat Arba/Hebron expansion in particular. In your fax, you may refer to information you have received from Christian Peacemaker Teams. It never hurts to send a copy of the fax to members of Parliament, the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, U.S. senators and representatives. Ambassador Michael Bell, Canadian Embassy, 011-972-3-636-3384 Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer, US Embassy, 011-972-3-517-3227 Ambassador Daniel Ayalon, Embassy of Israel to the US, fax 202-364-5607, phone 202-364-5500 Ambassador Haim Divon, Embassy of Israel to Canada, fax 613-237-8865, phone 613-567-6450 Thank you, Rich Meyer Christian Peacemaker Teams Hebron Team Support __________________________________ Christian Peacemaker Teams is an initiative among Mennonite and Church of the Brethren congregations and Friends Meetings that supports violence reduction efforts around the world. Contact CPT, POB 6508 Chicago, IL 60680; Telephone: 773-277-0253, Fax: 773-277-0291. To receive news or discussion of CPT issues by e-mail, fill out the form on http://www.prairienet.org/cpt/ __________________________________ Ha'aretz 18 November 2002

PM demands 'quick' changes in Hebron for Jewish control . . . proposes plan for 'compact zone' of contiguity

By Aluf Benn and Gideon Alon Prime Minister Ariel Sharon yesterday said that a window of opportunity existed in the coming 48 hours to establish a "compact" zone of Jewish territorial contiguity between Kiryat Arba and the Jewish enclave in the heart of Hebron, including the Tomb of the Patriarchs. Touring the scene of Friday night's battle in which nine Israeli soldiers and three security officers from Kiryat Arba were killed in an Islamic Jihad ambush, Sharon yesterday told leaders of the defense establishment - including Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon - that it should reassess his 1996 proposal for "territorial contiguity" encompassing Kiryat Arba and the Jewish enclave. Sharon originally presented his plan during 1996 negotiations led by then-premier Benjamin Netanyahu for the Hebron redeployment. "When I proposed it then, they threw me down the stairs," he said yesterday. But now he believes that a readjustment in Hebron should be undertaken "looking years ahead" in the city, to create a Jewish area that would be "compact," with a small Arab population. He believes that the Israeli-controlled sector of the city could include some 2,000 Arabs instead of the 20,000 now living under Israeli control on the basis of the January 1997 Wye River Plantation accord. According to the prime minister's proposal, the Jewish zone would extend from Kiryat Arba to Tel Rumeida and Beit Hadassah, and would include the ancient Karaite and Sephardi cemeteries. That would create contiguity between Kiryat Arba and the Tomb of the Patriarchs, through the eastern Casbah. Prayer arrangements under which Jews and Muslims share the Tomb would not be affected. The Jewish area would be surrounded by a wall. Those Palestinians remaining in the Jewish sector would be able to enter and leave through gates in the walls, but there would be no Arab commercial ventures inside the walled Jewish area, according to Sharon's plan. Sharon believes there's no reason for a large Palestinian presence in Hebron under Israeli control. The prime minister's proposal does not affect the ongoing IDF security operations in the city. He ordered the army to continue its security operations throughout the city, "according to security needs and without limitations." Sharon said that for "operational and political" reasons, Israel must move quickly. An opportunity has been created and facts have to be created in the coming 48 hours, he said. ........ Some minister noted that despite the gloomy atmosphere in the cabinet as a result of the Friday night bloodbath, Sharon and Netanyahu continued using the setting as a stage for exchanging barbs. When Netanyahu said the Friday evening battle was "a massacre" - the term the Foreign Ministry used on Friday night, depicting it as the cold-blooded murder of Jewish worshipers, Sharon interrupted him and said "I'm very sorry, but we have to be credible. Soldiers fell in battle, and there was no massacre."