Ethnic cleansing in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

john.m. cox hazel_motes52 at
Wed Apr 4 11:56:06 MDT 2001

>Ethnic cleansing in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
>April 4, 2001
>Over the past four days, the Israeli authorities have demolished a large
>number of Palestinian-owned buildings in the West Bank (including occupied
>Arab Jerusalem) under the pretext that they are “unlicensed.”
>On Wednesday 4 April, members of the Israeli Building and Planning 
>in Bet Al arrived in the Palestinian town of Anata, Jerusalem, accompanied
>by two bulldozers and large number of soldiers. They proceeded to demolish
>the following houses:
>1. The house of Saleem Shawamra. Saleem is 43 and supports a family of
>eight. The 110 square metre house has been demolished twice before; in July
>1998 and in July 1999. The total loss of the demolition is US $90,000.
>2. A 135 square metre building belonging to Mohammad Karshan. 38 year-old
>Mohammad supports a family of 11
>3. A 40 square metre building belonging to Eed Karshan. Karshan is 45,
>unemployed, and supports a family of 15.
>4. A 50 square metre building belonging to 28 year-old Dawood Karshan, who
>supports a family of seven. The Karshans received a demolition order from
>the Israeli Building and Planning Committee in Bet El, due to expire on
>April 5, 2001. The demolition was carried out a day before the demolition
>orders expired.
>In Jenin, Israeli bulldozers knocked down the following buildings:
>1. The house of Adel Abed. The 216 square metre house was still under
>2. The house of Abdul Aziz Abu Ghali. The Israeli authorities demolished 
>rooms -60 square metres - in Abdul’s house, as well as a shed used for
>sheltering animals
>3. Deef Abu Ghali’s 60 square metre animal shelter
>4. The 150 square metre house of Nathmi Abu Hanana
>5. A 500 square metre warehouse used by Riyad Zakarna for his stone-cutting
>business, as well as two rooms used as offices.
>In Hebron, the following houses were demolished:
>1. The 210 square metre house of 31 year-old Faraj Jabir. Jabir told LAW, 
>live with my family of five in a rented house. I started building my own
>house two years ago. A year ago I received an warning to stop the
>construction, and today the army arrived and knocked down the house.”
>2. Mohammad Al Ja’bari’s house. Al Ja’bari told LAW “I started building 
>80 square metre house two years ago. It had not been completed yet. Five
>months ago I received an order to demolish the place I keep my animals. I
>wanted to enlarge the place since it is only 4 metres away from my home. My
>home is 90 square metres and accommodates 10 people.”
>3. Na’eem Al Fakhuri’s house. Na’eem, 65, told LAW, “I have been building
>this house for two years. It consists of two apartments of 500 square
>metres. There is also a water well, the house was supposed to accommodate 
>4. Nasir Masuda’s 90 square metre house.
>Israeli police arrested Pier Shatz, 26, a Canadian member of the Christian
>Peacemaking Team, who protested the demolition near the site.
>On Sunday April 1, Israeli forces demolished the following buildings in
>Farush Beit Dajan in the Jordan Valley:
>1. Khader Abu Salama’s 60 square metre house
>2. Abdul Raheem Muhawish’s 70 square metre house
>3. Mahmoud Bsharat’s 60 square metre house
>4. Sa’ed Bsharat’s 60 square metre house
>5. Khaleel Bsharat’s 50 square metre house
>On Monday April 2, Israeli forces demolished the Al Tur house of 64 
>Said Al Jamal. Mahmoud Al Jamal, Said’s son told LAW “Israeli soldiers
>besieged the area and two hours later two bulldozers arrived to knock down
>the house, which we started building half a year ago and was still under
>construction.” Mahmoud added, “The Israeli Building and Planning Committee
>in Bet Al delayed the building permission. The building is 400 square 
>and cost us US $150,000. It was supposed to house a school, a kindergarten,
>and a swimming pool. We did not receive any demolition orders before it was
>On Tuesday, Israeli forces demolished the following buildings:
>1. Ibraheem Kirhs’s house, which is still under construction. Ibraheem is 
>and supports a family of 12. The 120 square metre house, located in Al
>Azariyi, was first demolished in 1998.
>2. Ghalib Al Razim’s house in Al Zaeem. The 140 square metre house was 
>under construction, with the eventual aim of housing 18 people.
>3. Salah Al Ghawi’s under-construction house in Al Azariyi
>4. Mahmoud Rawayda’s 10 square metre shed
>5. A wall in Al Azariyi, 90 metres long, belonging to Khalid Al Ata.
>On Wednesday, Israeli bulldozers knocked down Mohammad Salah’s house in Al
>Khader, Bethlehem. The 100 square metre house has been occupied since 1998.
>LAW Society strongly condemns the Israeli policy of house demolition and
>views it as a method of ethnic cleansing and collective punishment against
>Palestinian civilians.
>Such acts violate Article 33 of the 4th Geneva Convention of 1949, which
>stipulates “No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she 
>not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of
>intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited. Pillage is prohibited.
>Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.” And
>Article 53, which stipulates “Any destruction by the Occupying Power of 
>or personal property belonging individually or collectively to private
>persons, or to the State, or to other public authorities, or social or
>cooperative organizations, is prohibited, except where such destruction is
>rendered absolutely necessary by military operations.”
>Henceforth, LAW Society demands the Israeli authorities to immediately halt
>such acts of aggression against Palestinian civilians. LAW also demand the
>High Contracting Parties to the 4th Geneva Convention of 1949 to convene 
>urge the Israeli government to apply the Convention to the Palestinian
>  LAW – The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the
>Environment is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to preserving 
>rights through legal advocacy.
>LAW is affiliate to the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ),
>Fédération Internationale des Ligues de Droits de l’Homme (FIDH), World
>Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and Member of the Euro- Mediterranean
>Human Rights Network

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