Rabbid sphincters deliver demolition notice
against mosque, declare village closed
against mosque, declare village closed
TOBAS: Israeli occupation forces (IOF) served demolition notices against a mosque and four houses in Yerza village, Tobas district, on Friday, the municipal council chairman Mokhles Masa’eed said.
He told Safa news agency that the notices included the demolition of four houses in addition to the newly built mosque in the village, noting that it was built over an area of 100 square meters.
Masa’eed pointed out that the IOF soldiers also handed him another notification that a villager would stand trial for building in the village’s vicinity.
He underlined that his village inhabitants are constantly targeted by IOF search campaigns, recalling that the soldiers previously halted the work of a bulldozer that was paving a new road linking the village to Tobas city.
He said that the village inhabitants walk on foot or in tractors along rugged land for nine kilometers in order to reach the nearest service center in Tobas city.
Meanwhile, the IOF command announced on Saturday the closure of the Irak Burin village, Nablus district, blocking activists and medical teams from entering it.
Eyewitnesses said that the soldiers stationed at the entrance to the village were blocking anyone from outside the village to enter it so that none would take part in its weekly protest march.
The village is the target of a ferocious campaign on the part of IOF troops and Jewish settlers who plan to confiscate a large chunk of its land.
Jerusalem – Ma’an – Nine Palestinian families spent their first night in the open air on Thursday, after being forced out of their homes by Israeli settlers before sunrise the same morning.
Sami Qeresh head of a household of six dependents, said women and children "spent a night in the open air waiting for Israeli forces to carry out their decision" over documents allegedly showing Jewish ownership of the eleven-apartment building near the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem's Old City.
On Thursday, police officials said officers were examining the documents presented by two Jewish families who evicted the Qeresh families from their home. A police spokesman said Friday that he had "no idea whatsoever" as to how long it would take police to verify the papers.
If police decide the documents are authentic, the matter will be transferred to court, officials explained shortly after the eviction.
Ala’ Qeresh told Ma'an that the family filed a petition with the Israeli court demanding the immediate evacuation of the settlers from the home and expected the hearing to be held on Sunday.
UN bodies call for return of family to home
The UN Relief and Works Agency condemned the takeover of the home, which made nine families homeless.
UNRWA, whose mandate is to protect and assist Palestinian refugees, noted that two of the families made homeless are registered refugees. In a statement issued Friday, the UN office stressed the importance of protecting these families “to maintain the relative stability in this volatile area of the West Bank.”
Fatah official Demitri Delani said at the time of the eviction that many of the women and children refused to be evicted and remained in their homes with barricaded doors.
By noon, there were no Palestinians left in the home, Israeli National Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said.
The UN special envoy to the Middle East peace process, Robert Serry, has also condemned the incident, which he said was an act of provocation “at a critical time in the international community’s efforts to move the peace process forward.”
|[ 30/07/2010 - 04:24 PM ]|
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- A human rights organisation revealed that extremist Jewish settlers have so far taken over 75 Palestinian buildings overlooking the Aqsa Mosque, the last of which was the home of Qersh family a few meters from the mosque.
The Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights (JCSE) said that Jewish settlers lead by Atirat Kohanim, a settler society active in arrogating Palestinian property in Jerusalem's old city.
By taking the Qersh family house in the Sadeya neighbourhood, the settler society has succeeded in extending its control over the fourth property in the direction of the red minaret in the neighbourhood.
The JCSE said that the house which was taken over on Thursday lies about 200 meters north of the Aqsa Mosque. The two-storey building is built over an area of a 1000 square meters and comprises 14 apartments inhabited by nine families of Qersh extended family.
Khaled Qersh, one of the residents of the house, said that his family has lived in the house since 1936, on a lease signed by his grandfather with the owner of the house, Sulaiman Daud Handal from Bethlehem.
He added that in 1987 Atirat Kohanim claimed that they bought the house from the heirs of Handal who live in the USA and the Qersh family entered into a legal battle with the settler society at Jerusalem's magistrate and central courts and the settlers could not prove their claims.
The settlers used the brief absence of the family from the house as they went to attend a wedding and occupied it, leaving 48 Palestinian people without a home.
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)-- It was revealed that the Israeli occupation municipality of Jerusalem intends to demolish 25 buildings in the Eisaweyya neighbourhood to the north of the holy city at the pretext of lack of planning permit.
Ahmad Laban, a researcher at Ir Amim (City of Nations) said in a statement on Thursday that the homes that the Israeli occupation municipality intends to demolish comprise 60 apartments which will result in leaving dozens of Palestinian families homeless.
The researcher said that the municipality was planning to start the demolitions at the start of August, but residents of the threatened homes appealed to court to postpone the demolition orders for one year to allow them time to get planning permits for their homes.
The Israeli occupation municipality of Jerusalem demolished about 17 Palestinian buildings since the January.
By Stephen Lendman
Daily, Israeli oppression continues - demolishing homes, dispossessing occupants, and revoking residency rights, three of its many crimes under international law, Israel spurning it with impunity.
On July 22, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) reported mass Jordan Valley Al Farisyie village demolitions, displacing 107 people, including 52 children. Targeted were 26 residential tents, 22 animal shelters, seven taboun clay ovens, eight kitchens, 10 bathrooms, four water tanks, and an agricultural equipment shed - in all, 74 structures illegally bulldozed, family homes and belongings destroyed along with large quantities of food and animal fodder.
Many families weren't warned or present, so lost everything under rubble, Israel displacing Palestinians to make way for Judaization, area residents on their own, abandoned and unaided.
In July, three other communities were affected:
-- Fasayile al Fuga where a family home of nine, including seven children and a 10-month old infant, was destroyed;
-- Bardala where evacuation and demolition orders were issued; and
-- Ras Ar Ahmar where 13 homes and dozens of animal shelters were bulldozed after declaring the area a Closed Military Zone.
The Jordan Valley comprises about 30% of the West Bank, Israel continuing demolitions, dispossessions, land theft, and appropriation of water resources, annexing areas for Jews, collectively punishing its residents by declaring large areas Closed Military Zones, ordering entire villages evacuated in defiance of international law, hundreds of residents affected, half of them children.
On July 7, Haaretz writer Mijal Grinberg headlined "More than 800 protest Bedouin house demolitions in front of the Knesset," saying they erected a tent city after arriving in 17 buses to petition the government to "stop destroying homes."
Arab MKs and Hadash Party member Dov Hanin joined them, demanding this stop and accommodation with Bedouins reached, Israeli citizens denied their rights.
They rightfully claim ownership to 800,000 dunams of land, about 200,000 acres - around 6% of southern Israel's Negev desert. Israel, however, doesn't recognize them, saying about 75,000 Bedouins live in unrecognized villages, their public funding and services denied. More on that below.
Still, in recent years, 11 unrecognized villages were legalized. But another 36 are in limbo, their homes subject to demolition and land confiscated. In 2007, the government destroyed 110 homes. A-Sira is slated for demolition, its residents petitioning Israel's High Court to prevent it. Some lost their homes earlier. Others hope to save theirs. All Palestinians fear they're next - dispossession for Judaization, ongoing throughout East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Bedouin areas.
On July 27, Ma'an News reported that all Al-Araqib homes, fruit orchards and olive trees were destroyed, another unrecognized Bedouin village in southern Israel. At 4:30AM, 1,500 police arrived, including special riot forces, mounted officers, helicopters and bulldozers, awakening residents to evict them after an 11-year trial and court battle, residents winning to no avail. Israel dispossessed them anyway.
About 300 people were affected, police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld saying all "were told ahead of time they had to leave," a planned forest to replace them, their homes from before Israel's creation lost, their rights denied, Hamas spokesman Abdul Latif Al-Qanoua saying:
"The occupation has continued the destruction of Palestinian villages in the Negev for more than 40 years," a policy similar to East Jerusalem and the West Bank, "clear(ing) out Palestinian villages and towns" to Judaize them.
Many Gazans have Negev and other area roots, lost when Israel was declared a state. Al-Araqib village peace activists called the demolitions an "act of war, such as is undertaken against an enemy," saying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Bedouins a threat, "giv(ing) legitimacy to the(ir) expulsion....to Judaize it."
Around 150,000 are affected, living mainly in the Negev in the south and Galilee in the north, nonpersons, according to Israel. Considered internal refugees, they're unrecognized because they fled during Israel's "War of Independence," then couldn't return when it ended.
Today, their villages are denied essential services, including clean drinking water, electricity, roads, transport, sanitation, education, healthcare, postal and telephone service, refuse removal and more because under Israel's Planning and Construction Law they're illegal.
As a result:
-- only residents with wells have clean drinking water;
-- the few health services available are inadequate;
-- many homes have no bathrooms, their residents prohibited from building them;
-- only villages with generators have enough electricity for lighting, nothing else;
-- villages aren't connected to the main road network;
-- some are fenced in, denying residents access to their traditional lands;
-- in the north, one school only accommodates children able to attend; and
-- when demolitions are ordered, residents at times must do it or be fined and face a year in prison; some others must pay when Israeli bulldozers are used.
With no constitution, Israel is governed by its Basic Laws, the Human Dignity and Freedom one authorizing the Knesset to overturn laws contrary to the right to dignity, life, freedom, privacy, property, and freedom to leave and enter the country. It states:
"There shall be no violation of the life, body or dignity of any person. All persons are entitled to protection (of these rights, and) There shall be no deprivation or restriction of the liberty of a person by imprisonment, arrest, extradition or otherwise."
Yet no Basic Law guarantees equality, afforded only Jews, not Arabs, including Israeli citizens.
East Jerusalemites' Residency Status Revoked
In late April, the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights (JCSER) reported that in 2008, Israel's Interior Ministry revoked the residency status of 4,672 Jerusalemites, another 229 losing theirs in 2009, and since the early 1990s, about 30,000 legal residents were affected, expelled from their homes, banished from their city.
Further, another 165,000 Jerusalemites are at risk since they live east of the Separation Wall, separating them from the West Bank. JCSER also said municipality authorities "admitted for the first time that Israel got rid of 55,000 Jerusalemites in the last years due to the separation wall and that they lost their right to reside in the city."
The statistics "only include those living in the East of Jerusalem's Sho'fat refugee camp, Ras Khmis, Ras Shihadeh and al-Salam neighborhoods." However, another 70,000 in al-Bareed, Kafr Aqab and Samiramees face the same threat, Israel ethnically cleansing the city to Judaize it, remove the Arab presence, destroy their historic landmarks, and claim the entire city as Israel's capital, denying Palestinians that right for a future state.
In late July, JCSER reported that from January 2009 - June 6, 2010, Israel's Interior Ministry revoked the residency rights of 721 Palestinians, including 108 from January - June 6, 2010. It also said from June 1967 - mid-June 2010, 86,226 (14,371 families) were affected, many more expected under a ruthlessly oppressive policy.
In addition, thousands of family reunification requests are rejected out of hand as well as thousands more applications to register newborns in the city, Israeli-provided numbers as follows:
-- from January 2009 - July 6, 2010, reinstated residency rights of only 95 Palestinians were approved; and
-- from January 2009 - July 15, 2010, only 280 family reunification requests were allowed, many others pending, few at most to be permitted.
According to JCSER head, Ziad Al Hammoury, the reality on the ground is much worse than Israel reports - hundreds of East Jerusalemites losing their residency rights, hundreds more families prohibited from reunifying, their children not recognized as Jerusalemites, and hundreds of others studying or working abroad lost their ID cards at border crossings.
Israel's policy especially escalated after Palestinian Jerusalem legislators lost their status, all others in the city now at risk, despite being designated "permanent residents" in 1967.
However, in 1974, the law changed to let the Interior Minister strip residency rights from Palestinians with foreign citizenship or believed to be "a threat to national security," a provision potentially affecting anyone for any reason or none at all. Then in 1988, another amendment let the Interior Minister deny residency to Palestinians who lived in Gaza or the West Bank for seven years, and since 2003, the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law prohibits family unifications without Interior Ministry permission, very seldom granted.
Combined, these policies ruthlessly deny Palestinians their legal rights in their own land, incrementally being stolen to Judaize it.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.