Showing posts with label demolitions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label demolitions. Show all posts

Monday, November 5, 2012

Palestinian Home Demolished for the Sixth Time

From our member group the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions-USA

Israeli authorities demolished Beit Arabiya (“Arabiya’s House”) on the moring of November 1, 2012 for the sixth consecutive time since 1998. It was reconstructed in July of this year in the aftermath of its fifth demolition in January 2012. 

Beit Arabiya, located in the West Bank town of Anata (Area C) just to the northeast of Jerusalem, is a living symbol of resistance to Occupation and the desire for justice and peace. Beit Arabiya is a home belonging to Arabiya Shawamreh, her husband Salim, and their seven children, a Palestinian family whose home has been demolished five times by the Israeli authorities and rebuilt each time by ICAHD’s Palestinian, Israeli, and international peace activists.

Arabiya and Salim have dedicated their home as a center for peace in the memories of Rachel Corrie and Nuha Sweidan, two women (an American and a Palestinian) who died resisting home demolitions in Gaza. In the past decade ICAHD has hosted numerous visitors at Beit Arabiya, and based its annual rebuilding camp at the house, rebuilding 186 demolished Palestinian homes.

Beit Arabiya was recently 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 extensive terrace, made possible by nearly one hundred additional volunteers, including international youth, part of summer delegations to Palestine.

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 illegal policy stop. 

In June 2012 the United Nations Human Rights Council received the annual report of Prof. Richard Falk, Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the OPT. Falk highlighted the disturbing case of Salim and Arabiya Shawamreh, and stated it was “illustrative of a common Palestinian complaint that their property rights are indirectly usurped through the denial of formal permits and the subsequent issuance and execution of demolition orders.” The UN expert further highlighted that “
while it will be rebuilt once again next month, the family will live under the threat of having its home demolished at any moment. The ever-present threat of Israeli bulldozers perverts the sense of normalcy so essential for raising children.” 

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Israel to Demolish Eight Palestinian Villages

Yesterday Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the demolition of eight Palestinian villages in the South Hebron Hills, displacing some 1,500 residents. The order came after the Israeli High Court of Justice issued its decision supporting the move, agreeing with a 2000 finding by the Israeli Civil Administration that “there were no permanent residents in the area” and that those present were merely seasonal residents.

The IDF has argued since 1999 that the villages needed to be destroyed because their presence has prevented the IDF from performing live fire drills in the zone. They also claimed that Palestinians in the zone could collect intelligence on Israeli tactics or gather weapons left over from training exercises and then "use them for terror purposes."

Village residents as well as Israeli human rights activists from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) and B’Tselem argued in court that the villages in question have been inhabited since at least the 1830s and represent natural outgrowths of cave-dwelling communities found throughout the region. Activists also argued that residents lived undisturbed in the region until 1997, indicating that Israel has recognized them as permanent residents.

But this failed to convince the High Court as the displaced villagers will be relocated to the town of Yatta and only allowed to return to their homes to work the land and graze flocks on a limited number of dates specified by Israel.

Home evictions and demolitions such as these present an ongoing challenge for Palestinians as Israel continues its colonization of the Palestinian Territories through settlements and military land grabs. Such a policy is not only inherently unjust, but stands as an obstacle to peace in the region. Israel must end its colonization of the Palestinian territories if a just peace for Israelis and Palestinians is to be attained.

Israel orders demolition of 8 Palestinian villages, claims need for IDF training land

Residents of targeted villages will be moved to the West Bank town of Yatta and its environs; state claims that most of those evacuated have permanent homes in the area.

By Amira Hass Jul.23, 2012 | 12:29 PM |  128

The West Bank town of Yatta. Photo by Nir Kafri
Defense Minister Ehud Barak has ordered the demolition of eight Palestinian villages in the South Hebron Hills because the territory is needed for Israel Defense Forces training exercises, the state told the High Court of Justice on Sunday...

Read more here

Friday, July 13, 2012

Caterpillar Failing to Meet Its Own Code of Social Responsibility

In a recent letter to the editor in the Journal Star newspaper of Peoria, Illinois (home of heavy machinery giant Caterpillar Corporation's headquarters), Mike Coogan of the US Campaign argues that "Caterpillar's inability to live up to its own social responsibility code is starting to pose serious problems for the company's bottom line."  Citing the recent removal of Caterpillar from the World Socially Responsible Index by MSCI Inc., a leading investment decision support provider, and subsequent divestment by TIAA-CREFF, he suggests that Caterpillar's business can only be harmed by the corporations continued complicity in Israeli human rights abuses.  Currently, D9 bulldozers manufactured by Caterpillar are used by Israel to demolish Palestinian homes and civilian infrastructure. As a result, according to Coogan, Caterpillar is "in the business of civilian displacement and flagrant human rights abuses," and their shares will continue to lose value due to the divestment of socially conscious investors.

Forum: Caterpillar is not being social responsible

Caterpillar's inability to live up to its own social responsibility code is starting to pose serious problems for the company's bottom line. MSCI Inc., an investment decision support firm, just announced that Caterpillar Inc. would be excluded from the World Socially Responsible Index, a benchmark for socially responsible investment...

Read more here

Want to help stop Caterpillar's support of Israel's demolition of Palestinian homes?  Join our campaign and TAKE ACTION to let Caterpillar know that their complicity in Israeli human rights abuses is unacceptable!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

ICAHD News: Displacement Report Released, Summer Rebuilding Camp Announced

ICAHD-USA, a coalition member of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, is the U.S. affiliate of the Jerusalem-based Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

ICAHD-USA The Judaization of Palestine: 2011 Displacement Trends

This publication provides a political analysis of the root causes and consequences of Israel’s house demolition policy, focusing on the demolition of Palestinian homes and other structures in the Occupied West Bank.

House demolitions and forced evictions are among Israel’s most heinous practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). In 2011, a record year of displacement, a total of 622 Palestinian structures were demolished by Israeli authorities, of which 36% (or 222) were family homes; the remainder were livelihood-related (including water storage and agricultural structures), resulting in 1,094 people displaced, almost double the number for 2010. The Jordan Valley sustained the largest number of demolitions (32% of total structures demolished, 40% of residential structures demolished, 37% of people displaced), with 199 structures demolished and 401 people displaced.

Israel now controls 40% of the West Bank through 149 settlements and 102 outposts, housing more than 500,000 Jewish Israelis, as well as through closed military zones and declared nature reserves. In addition, house demolitions, forced evictions, and land expropriation, exacerbated by settler violence and the economic effects of movement restrictions, have left Palestinian communities struggling to make a living. Palestinians live in constant fear of displacement and dispersion, while Israel secures its domination and control.

The demolition of Palestinian homes is politically motivated and strategically informed. The goal is to confine the 4 million residents of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza to small enclaves, thus effectively foreclosing any viable Palestinian state and ensuring Israeli control, and to allow for the expropriation of land, the ethnic displacement of Palestinians, and the Judaization of the Occupied West Bank.


Alternative Tours of Israel and Palestine

Having provided thousands of people from around the world with top-quality critical tours for over 15 years, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) is widely known for its knowledgeable tour guides and its grounded approach to the politics of Occupation and the difficulties of Palestinian life. On our tours you will see how Israel’s settlement project has created irreversibl e “facts on the ground.” You will better appreciate what a truly just and lasting peace would entail. If you wish, you can meet Palestinian families suffering under Israeli policies of separation and home demolitions. ICAHD believes that first-hand learning is the only way to grasp the social, cultural, political, and historical issues that underlie the Isr aeli-Palestinian conflict.

We look forward to seeing you on one of our East Jerusalem, "Greater Jerusalem", and Jordan Valley tours.


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 and East Jerusalem. In 2011 Israel demolished more than 500 structures, displacing hundreds of Palestinians. ICAHD rebuilds homes as acts of political resistance, creating alternative facts on the ground.

Every summer ICAHD organizes a rebuilding camp in the West Bank town of Anata in which dozens of volunteers from around the world join with Palestinians and Israeli activists to rebuild demolished homes. Within two weeks we rebuild an entire home from foundation to roof, and in the process send a message of solidarity to the besieged Palestinian people. We also send a message to the world: We refuse to be enemies; together we resist the Occupation. At the end of the camp international participants return home prepared to act as advocates for a just peace, carrying ICAHD’s vision of what a just and sustainable resolution might look like.

ICAHD invites you and all who support our efforts to participate in a very special rebuilding camp which aims to attract professionals - architects and others involved with housing and planning, lawyers with interest in international law, clinicians who focus on psycho-social issues and educators, activists, and university student leaders. It is expected that rebuilding will take place in East Jerusalem and in the Bedouin Jerusalem periphery. In addition to rebuilding Palestinian homes, the 2012 programme includes a number of field trips that allow participants to witness the reality on the ground in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and within Israel. The educational aspect of our programme includes films, meetings with Palestinian and Israeli activists and expert political analysis on house demolitions, displacement and Israel’s Apartheid policies over both the Palestinians of the OPT, and within Israel.


Incorporated as an independent non-profit in 2004, ICAHD-USA was founded by a diverse group of U.S. activists working to bring about a just and sustainable peace in Israel/Palestine while advocating for an end to the Israeli Occupation of Palestine. We draw from and supplement the educational work of ICAHD (Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions). ICAHD is an independent non-violent, activist organization originally established to oppose the Israeli demolition of Palestinian houses in the Occupied Territories. We also work cooperatively with ICAHD-UK and other peace and human rights groups working for a just peace in the Middle East.