For immediate release
The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) launched its eleventh annual Rebuilding Camp on Monday, 12 August, 2013. Thirty volunteers from around the world joined with Palestinians and Israelis to create a site for commemorating demolition and displacement. Beit Arabiya, a Palestinian home in the West Bank town of Anata, near East Jerusalem, has been demolished six times by the Israeli authorities. In the camp it is being reconstructed into a place where Palestinian and Israeli activists can meet, and where international visitors can view exhibits on aspects of the Occupation and attend performances by Palestinian artists.
Since 1997 ICAHD has been raising awareness around the world about Israel’s policy of house demolitions — more than 28,000 Palestinian homes in the Occupied Territories since 1967 – all illegal under international law. This policy is the flip side of its settlement policy which is intended to empty most of the West Bank (Area C) of its Palestinian citizens so as to prepare the way for annexation, and to “Judaize” East Jerusalem. It represents a direct and fundamental threat to any effort to achieve a just peace – and certainly undermines US Secretary of States John Kerry’s latest initiative.
Since its founding, ICAHD has rebuilt 187 homes as political acts of resistance to occupation. Beit Arabiya, the home of Salim and Arabiya Shawamreh, has become its “flagship.” Demolished in November 2012 for the sixth time after standing for nine years, Beit Arabiya will be a centre for outreach from Palestinian and Israeli peace activists to the international community. The reconstruction of the Beit Arabiya site provides both a practical and symbolic form of resistance to occupation and effective education regarding Israel’s intent to perpetuate its control over the Palestinians and their land forever. Rebuilt, it will become a centre for promoting a just and sustainable peace for both peoples.
PRESS RELEASE ENDS HERE
For further information including site visits to the rebuilding camp, please contact:
Jeff Halper 054-303-9170 or Linda Ramsden 054 785 6852