Home demolitions are taking place NOW in A-Tur near the A-Zaim checkpoint and Maavar Zeitim (Terminal crossing), just above the Eastern Ringroad as it comes in to the tunnel from Maale Adumim. The home is a 2-storey building.
We expect there to be more than one demolition today: near the current demolition site is the A-Ghalia family home which we anticipate will also be smashed, very near homes recently demolished next to the tunnel road. Attached are photographs from the demolition there a few weeks ago of a neighbouring home.
We will be glad if diplomats who have never witnessed a demolition will find time to go and see more families made homeless and forced to live in tents in this weather while the humanitarian crisis caused by demolition increases.
Israel has demolished over 18,000 homes in the OPT since 1967 and although people build without licences, they only do so because licences are virtually impossible to obtain and exorbitantly expensive (tens of thousands of dollars). Over half of East Jerusalem is zoned as “open green space” and 34% is zoned for Jewish settlers. East Jerusalem landowners pay rates and taxes, and yet receive almost no services from the municipality, except the omnipresent bulldozers. Significantly, the army ceased punitive home demolitions two years ago as it found them counter-productive – i.e. they are increasing the chances of attacks and stoking the fire of hatred.
18,000 buildings represents probably over 200,000 Palestinians made homeless over 40 years in a slow, relentless policy of deliberate displacement and “judaisation” of East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank. This is a humanitarian crisis far outreaching earthquakes or mudslides which hit the headlines.
And the world looks on. This is not news, it is cliche and history. We will be lucky if we can get any media or press to attend. The statistics will go out in our next report. And the world looks on.
For further details: Meir Margalit (0544 345 503)