HEBRON: Fifteen Homes in Hebron Slated for Demolition

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CPTnet

December 5, 2002

HEBRON: Fifteen Homes in Hebron Slated for Demolition

By Greg Rollins

On December 3, 2002 representatives of the Israeli army took a small group

of Palestinian homeowners through part of the old city of Hebron to show

where the army plans to destroy fifteen Palestinian homes in order to widen

the street for Israeli settlers. Settlers from the settlement of Kiryat Arba

use the narrow lane every Sabbath when they walk to Abraham’s tomb. At least

one third of the homes slated for demolition currently house Palestinian

families.

After a Palestinian attack in Hebron on November 16 that killed twelve

Israeli soldiers, police, and armed guards, the Israeli army announced it

would improve security for Israeli settlers on the road between Kiryat Arba

and Abraham’s tomb. The Palestinian homes slated for demolition are not in

the same place as the attack, but just east of the tomb in part of the old

city.

The army claims that most of the fifteen homes scheduled for destruction

have been abandoned, but many Palestinians say that have been waiting for

their homes to be restored so they can move back into them. Over a year ago

the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee attempted to rebuild and restore the

homes and apartments in the area, but five times were given orders to stop

work by the Israeli army. While the army contends that only fifteen houses

will be affected by these demolitions, lawyers defending the homes say that

with the dimensions given for the new road, one hundred and fifty houses and

apartments will be affected.

Prior to the tour given by the army, the homes had been marked out with

demolition orders written in Arabic and Hebrew, and a map of the widened

lane. On the tour, Israeli soldiers and civilians working in the military’s

District Command Office showed local Palestinians the doomed houses and

learned the names of the Palestinian families who owned the houses. The army

told the Palestinians that they would begin to demolish the homes on or

immediately after the feast days at the end of Ramadan.

Since the attack on the 16th, the army has kept the Palestinian citizens of

Hebron under twenty-four-hour house arrest. Palestinians who live in the

area say that settler harassment and attacks have increased. Hebrew graffiti

reading, “Arabs out,” and “A good Arab is a dead Arab” has appeared on walls

and doors of Palestinian homes. Some of the buildings scheduled for

demolition in this part of the city are over seven hundred years old.

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