Veteran British politician, Clare Short, who is also a patron of ICAHD UK, volunteered her time for the first part of this yearas summer camp. Since 2003, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) has organised this annual two-week event where internationals are invited to work alongside Israelis and Palestinians, who refuse to be enemies, in this act of non-violent resistance to Israelas Occupation.
“I participated in the camp because I am a great admirer of ICAHD’s work and a patron of ICAHD UK so I wanted to experience the reality of the work on the ground. Whilst there I was surprised and impressed by the quality of the visits which were arranged for various afternoons. I have visited the Occupied Territories often and follow the situation quite closely but still learned a lot by actually seeing more of the reality on the ground.”
The Hamdan family
Since 1967, more than 24,000 Palestinian homes have been demolished by Israeli authorities, leaving more than 160,000 people homeless _ an act illegal under international law. ICAHD has rebuilt 167 homes since its founding in 1997.
More than u13,000 was raised in the UK towards the cost of the building materials for the Hamdan home and much of this was done during the speaking tour undertaken by Salim and Arabiya Shawamreh, Palestinians who have had their home demolished four times by the Israeli authorities because they were never granted permission to construct a home on land that they own. Israel rarely gives building permits to Palestinians, yet has allowed the building of Israeli settlements housing half a million Israelis, despite the fact that settlement building in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is illegal under international law.
Others from the UK who participated in ICAHDas summer rebuilding camp this year included:
Terry Meade, architect and university lecturer from Brighton, Jessica Lousley, anthropologist and photographer from Dorchester, Tim Kent, university lecturer in education from Brockham, Surrey, Wesley Wroe, Cambridge University student and Linda Ramsden, Director, ICAHD UK. Each is available to speak about their summer camp experience _ please contact ICAHD UK to arrange a meeting in your locality.
|International volunteers on 2010 Camp|
Since ICAHDas founding in 1997, it has rebuilt 167 Palestinian homes and only a dozen have been demolished. When this happens each family has the option to have ICAHD rebuild it again. ICAHD director, Jeff Halper, states, _The message of the bulldozers is clear: Israel has created one bi-national entity between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River in which one population (the Jews) has separated itself from the other (the Arabs) and instituted a regime of permanent domination. That is precisely the definition of apartheid._
Please help us continue our rebuilding program by sending donations _ designated for the rebuilding _ either online, by cheque or through bank transfer. See our website for further information and instructions. Each home costs around u18,000 to construct. Consider becoming a member of ICAHD UK joining us as we inform people about the situation in Palestine, brief UK and EU politicians, and contribute new ideas on requirements for a just and sustainable peace for both people groups. Attend our annual conference and our other events to gain information and skills in campaigning. Help us change history!