In the midst of Israel’s attempt to end Palestinian armed resistance in Gaza as it did in Operation Defensive Shield in the West Bank in 2002, Palestinian Israeli and international activists continue their non-violent resistance to Israel’s Occupation. For the twelfth year activists of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) will rebuild a Palestinian home demolished by the Israeli authorities – one of 30,000 homes demolished.
This year we will rebuilding the home of A., M. and their five children (full names when the camp begins). In 2013 the Israeli Civil Administration (as it calls its military government in the West Bank) issued them a demolition order because, like thousands of other Palestinian families, A. and M. could not obtain building permits for their home. Unable to pay for a bulldozer to demolish his own home, however, A. was forced by the Israeli authorities to demolish it piece by piece in front of his children and family – twice, since he tried to rebuild.
A. and M. and their family then had to move into the home of A.’s parents, and when his brother died, to opened that small, now already overcrowded home to his sister-in-law and her five children. Ten children and five adults now inhabit that space in intolerable circumstances – and the elderly parents’ dwelling they all call home has been served with a demolition order from the Civil Administration, Israel’s military government .
“What can we do? We live behind the [apartheid] wall. The outside world cannot see us. They don’t see us struggling, trying to raise our children,” A. explains. “I built this home next to my father’s house, land that our families have lived on for generations and built on before the occupation. Now they come to us to demolish our homes…and for what? We don’t understand it. My father built his house before 1967 – before the occupation even existed. Why do they want to demolish a house that was here before the occupation? They want to take our land from us, to make us leave our land.”
A. is fully aware of the risks of rebuilding – having the home demolished again, experiencing the trauma and loss if the Civil Administration returns. He and his family dread having to confront the Israeli army, but they feel they have little choice.
ICAHD rebuilds homes as political acts of resistance to the Occupation. A. and M.’s home will be the 188th that ICAHD has rebuilt in political resistance to the Occupation, 173 of which remain standing even though demolition orders are forever. ICAHD and ICAHD-USA depend on your support to make this act of resistance and home for A. and M. possible. Your contributions help us purchase construction materials, provide a comprehensive educational experience to volunteers and to pay fair wages to the Palestinian workers that are integral to the camp.
This is precisely the time Palestinians need gestures of support and solidarity, and for that we are asking for your support. Donations for the rebuilding camp can be sent to ICAHD through the DONATE button on our website or deposited into the ICAHD bank account:
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
16 King George St. Jerusalem
Branch number: 690
Account number: 565651
Swift code: POALILIT
In solidarity, Jeff Halper, ICAHD