demolition

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This latest criminal act has me stupified! What could be the reason behind it?

It makes sense that Netanyahu would upscale the development of settlements in order to ensure the failure of the so-called ‘peace talks’ but why alienate the Christian community at this stage?

Is Netanyahu really thumbing his nose at John Kerry or is there some more subtle rationale at work? Either way, this can only serve to further isolate Israel!

Father Dave

source: www.indcatholicnews.com…

Patriarch Fouad Twal

Patriarch Fouad Twal

Holy Land: Israel demolishes house belonging to Latin Patriarch

In the same week that US Secretary of State John Kerry has been visiting the Holy Land in an effort to broker peace talks beween Israel and Palestine,  bulldozers of the Jerusalem Municipality, accompanied by Israeli Security forces, demolished a house belonging to the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Mgr Fouad Twal. The residential property on the Jerusalem-Hebron road, near the northern checkpoint number 300 was home to a family of 14 people.

The Patriarch inspected the demolished home yesterday,  in the company of Bishop William Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar of Jerusalem, and Bishop Giacinto Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar for Israel, Fr Humam Khzouz, General Director of the Patriarchate, Fr George Ayoub, Chancellor; a number of other priests, the director of the Patriarchate Endowment, lawyers, engineers; consuls of foreign countries, including Italy and Belgium; representatives of churches and institutions; and a crowd of journalists from local and foreign news agencies.

In a press conference held at the site of the demolished home, the Patriarch said: “looking upon a painful and upsetting scene raises discontent and anger. There is no justification for the demolition, but when the municipality and the Israeli government enact demolitions and displace people from their homes, these practices increase hatred and endanger the future of peace. This land has belonged to the Latin Patriarchate long before 1967. The Patriarchate possesses the official deed, and all legal paperwork proving ownership. Even worse, the legal tenants of the property, Mr Salameh Abu Tarbush and his family, were taken by surprise by the demolition.”

The Patriarch added “We are the rightful/lawful owners, and you will hear our voice before all governments worldwide, and we will take legal action in appropriate courts to rectify this injustice, to bring back justice and rebuild this home. We have willpower and a spirit of belonging to this land of our ancestors, this sacred land which is home of our past, present and future.”

The home’s residents spoke about the displacement, which was carried out in the early hours of the morning, rendering them suddenly homeless. Their living situation is now tragic, in the open without shelter. The Red Cross is providing them with tents and assistance.

The lawyer of the Latin Patriarchate, Mr. Mazen Copti, confirmed the illegality of the demolition of this home and land declaring: “We will take all legal measures against the municipality of Jerusalem and the Israeli Ministry of the Interior to rebuild the house as it was.”

 

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Father Roy writes: Projects funded by foreign aid organizations or the EU have been destroyed in the past.  The best known example is the Gaza airport which was financed with $38 million from the EU only to be destroyed by Israeli bombs a short time after its construction.   Peace, Roy

Published on Thursday, February 16, 2012 by Common Dreams

A sustainable energy program in ‘Area C’ of rural West Bank is being threatened by Israeli authorities. The program, which recently installed solar panels and wind turbines in 16 communities, is providing 1,500  Palestinians with electricity — who were formerly without reliable energy.

(Photo: AFP/Menahem Kahana)

The foreign aid program, thus far successful, has become a new target for Israel as it threatens to demolish the structures that supposedly lie within Israeli ‘administration’.

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Der Spiegel reports:

The best part is when the lights in the tents go on, one by one, says Elad Orian. Electricity here, in the hills south of Hebron, was long unreliable. Either it was not available or it was too expensive, produced for just a few hours each day by a noisy, diesel-guzzling generator. That changed when Elad Orian and Noam Dotan, two Israeli physicians who had tired of conflict, came along three years ago and installed solar panels and erected wind turbines. Since then, such facilities have been installed in 16 communities, providing 1,500 Palestinians with electricity. […]

The success, though, could soon be a thing of the past. Israel has threatened to tear them down with five municipalities in recent weeks having received "stop work" orders — the first step on the road to demolition. The problem is that the facilities are in the so-called Area C, which covers 60 percent of the West Bank and is administered by Israel. Permission from the Israelis is a requirement before construction projects can move ahead — and permits are almost never given to Palestinians. […]

European diplomats in Ramallah and Tel Aviv suspect that the demolition orders are a reaction to a recently drafted, unusually critical EU report on the situation in Area C. It states: "The window for a two-state solution is closing rapidly with the continued expansion of Israeli settlements." The conclusion: The EU needs to target investment in economic development and improved living conditions of Palestinians in Area C. […]

"What can you do if there are impediments to development, such as an undefined de-development policy?" says Tsafrir Cohen, Middle East coordinator of Medico International, which supported two of the systems.

A few months ago, a similar project co-financed by the Spanish government was scheduled for demolition, something which has been prevented thus far through massive diplomatic pressure.

Projects funded by foreign aid organizations or the EU have often been destroyed in the past, the best known example being the Gaza airport, financed with $38 million from the EU only to be destroyed by Israeli bombs a short time after its construction. Generally, though, the demolitions have been the result of security concerns. The fact that harmless solar cells — installations which are funded by allied countries to provide basic humanitarian needs — are at risk of demolition is a new development. […]

Hundreds of people live in the village, and they are the poorest of the poor. A community of shepherds, they moved freely through the area until Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967. Since then, they have settled, collecting rain water during the winter and buying expensive drinking water brought in by a truck along a gravel track in the summer. A well-maintained road to the settlement doesn’t exist, despite the fact that Shaab al-Buttum lies between two Israeli outposts. The settlements are illegal, but miraculously they have all the basics their Palestinian neighbors are missing: electricity, water and roads.

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Ma’an News reports:

In recent months, the army issued demolition warnings against six solar and wind power systems in the South Hebron Hills, which were funded by European governments and development groups.

"What can you do if there are impediments to development, such as an undefined de-development policy?" says Tsafrir Cohen, Middle East coordinator of Medico International, which supported two of the systems.

Known locally as Masafer Yatta, the communities lie almost entirely in Area C, the 62 percent of the West Bank under full Israel civil and security control since the 1993 Oslo Accords. […]

Cohen says if Medico International abandons development work in Area C, moving to Palestinian Authority-controlled areas where permits are not a problem, they would do little more than "painting the walls of Bantustans."

"We cannot just facilitate a nice jail cell, and a system where people don’t have rights." […]

Threats to demolish vital village resources are intended to "silently move us from the land," village council head Ali Muhammad Ali Heirezat says. "We have been here since 1948, and we don’t have another place to go."

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Several West Bank villages had been without electricity for years. Not long ago, however, international funding and an Israeli foundation made it possible to erect solar panels and wind turbines. In total, 16 communities with 1,500 residents have benefited. Here, a woman in the West Bank village of Susya.

Israel To Demolish Palestinian Solar Energy Program | Common Dreams

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The following press-release was issued by Israeli peace group, Gush-Shalom (Hebrew for ‘Peace Block’).

Urgent appeal – please write to Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak, by fax and email, and either use the sample letter in the end or make your own. Why it is needed, you find in the following press release.

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Press Release January 30, 2012

 
Occupation rule’s cynical game with the small village of Aqaba. Brigadier General Almaz makes a personal visit, promising to "look into the complaints"

Then, his representative issues 25 demolition orders – in a village consisting of 45 houses in all

In a letter to Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Gush Shalom warns of a cynical game played by the occupation rule in the small village of Aqaba, the east of Jenin, which is over many years the target of repeated raids by the Military Government’s Civil Administration, destroying houses and basic infrastructure. "A month ago they were here last time," Mayor Haj Sami Sadeq told  Gush Shalom. "They destroyed our access road, which we call ‘The Peace Road’ and demolished several houses. When the children who had been thrown out of their homes were crying, the soldiers posed for souvenir photos on the bulldozer, smiling and laughing".

In recent years, there was some interest in the village of Aqaba on the international scene, when an American human rights group called "The  Rebuilding Alliance" raised the issue in meetings with Representatives and  Senators and invited the village’s mayor to a lecture tour in the United States. Following this international interest in the issue, the Civil Administration head  Brigadier General Motti Almaz, made an unprecedented personal visit to the village.

"He sat with me at the local council offices. I told him: ‘You’re destroying our homes and we build them again. What else can we do? This is our village, we have nowhere else to go. I told him that in our village there had never been clashes with the army, neither in the First Intifada nor in the Second one. For years the army carried out training with live ammunition among the village houses, villagers were killed and wounded. I personally, the mayor, was hit at a young age and remain in a wheelchair for life, and yet I feel no bitterness or hatred. I support peace. I just ask that they live us alone. I asked Almaz to approve a zoning plan for our village so that we can build legally. I asked him to allow us to rebuild the access road to the village – with our own money and labor, just that they don’t destroy it. I asked him to let us build a school on 42 dunums of state land which are in the middle of the village and which we can’t use. To allow us to be linked to the water pipe, so that we will no longer need  to fetch water by tankers, at twenty Shekels per cubic meter. I told him that ten years ago, the electricity pylons at the entrance to the village were pulled down, and in 1999 Knesset Members wrote to Defence Minster Ehud Barak and he gave instructions not to touch our electricity – but still, two months ago they came and again pulled down twenty pylons. I put all problems and issues to Brigadier General Almaz, and for everything I said he answered ‘We will look into it’, ‘We will take care of it’. And he went off.

What happened next? A few days later there arrived in our village the local representative of the Civil Administration, a man named Yigal (he does not tell his family name) and started handing out demolition orders. Demolition orders for houses, for cattle sheds, even for the tabun bread ovens. Seventeen demolition orders in total. And he told us, this whole village is illegal, everything must be destroyed. Is this the ‘looking into it’ which the Civil Administration Head promised us? Then the Head of the Jenin Area Civil Administration, located at the Salem Chekpoint, came to our village. I asked him ‘Why did you send us Yigal with the demolition orders?’ And he said: ‘No, I did not sent him, this did not come from me’. And then. after another few days Yigal came back with another eight demolition orders. Demolition orders also for our kindergarten and clinic. A total of 25 demolition orders for a village which consists of 45 houses in all. So what am I to do now? What can I tell villagers who ask me ‘You are talking about peace. Where is your peace?’ "

Adam Keller, Gush Shalom spokesperson, wrote to Defense Minister Barak: "There are two ways of interpreting this, one of them bad and the other even worse. Either the Civil Administration plays a cynical game of ‘Good Cop, Bad Cop’, or in truth the Civil Administration Head does not control the people who are supposed to be under his command, and they run their own independent policy. In both cases, this abomination must be stopped. The residents of Aqaba should have the right to live safely and in dignity at their homes and in their village."

Contact:
Adam Keller, Gush Shalom Spokesperson +972-54-2340749
Haj Sami Sadeq, Akaba Mayor +972-9-2572201  

Meir Margalit, Israeli Committee against House Demolitions +972-54-4345503

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Sample letter:

To Mr. Ehud Barak, Minister of Defense, Hakirya, Tel Aviv, Israel
Fax +972-3-6977285 +972-3-6916940
Mail: minister@mod.gov…dover@mod.gov…pniot@mod.gov…

Mr. Defense Minister, I urgently call upon you to rescind the demolition orders, 25 in number, issued by the Military Government’s Civil Administration at the village of Akaba to the east of Tubas – a small village which consists of 45 houses in all. For many years already, inhabitants of this village, about three hundred in number, face severe repression by the Israeli military government,  repeated destruction of houses and infrastructure. Despite promises to the village by the Civil Administration Head, Brigadier General Almaz,  harassment continues and the threat of mass destruction of houses hovers over the village. The residents of Akaba have the right to live peacefully in their homes!