HEBRON URGENT ACTION: Stop Wave of Hebron Demolitions

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CPTnet

December 23, 2002

HEBRON URGENT ACTION: Stop Wave of Hebron Demolitions

Yesterday and today the Israeli military destroyed

several Palestinian homes in Hebron. The demolitions

took place in the Baqa’a valley: One of the homes

demolished yesterday belonged to Atta Jabber’s brother

Jowdi. The Jabber family has been involved in CPT’s

Campaign for Secure Dwellings since its inception.

Jowdi had built on to the north side of Abdel Jawad’s

porch/patio, turning his parent’s home into a duplex

for them and his own family. Jowdi’s addition was

demolished, along with some fruit trees. Abdel

Jawad’s half was left standing. (Photos of this home

under construction can be viewed at www.clubphoto.com

under the “guest.49296@MennoLink.org” account.)

In response to the demolition, Jowdi told CPTers, “I’m

not a bad man. I just want three rooms: a kitchen, a

bedroom, a room to sit. I pray five times a day, I

fast during Ramadan. I’m not a bad man. I just want

three rooms . . .” Abdel Jawad came out of his house

with his walker, sat on the porch, and cried. While

the CPTers visited with them, one of Jowdi’s young

daughters came home from school, saw her home in

rubble, and started wailing.

On Wednesday, December 18 the Israeli High Court

extended (for two weeks) the restraining order

preventing the Israeli military from continuing to

demolish Palestinian homes to make room for expanded

“territorial contiguity” settlements between Kiryat

Arba and the center of Hebron. On Thursday, December

19 the Israeli government removed the new Israeli

settlement near the site of the November 15 gun

battle.

Usually when the government acts against the will of

the settlers, within a few days the government tries

to mollify them by providing them with something that

is in their interest. This process stops the settler

protests and keeps them from becoming persistent

opponents of the government. This pattern is

predictable enough that when the settlement was

removed on Thursday, I asked the CPT team in Hebron

what they thought the “other shoe” would be this time.

It would appear that the “other shoe” is Abdel Jawad’s

home, highly visible to settlers, right across from

the Harsina settlement gas station–and the homes of

others.

Today the Israeli authorities demolished the home of a

Rajabi family south of Kiryat Arba. Palestinians are

again in the middle of a wave of demolitions. The

Israeli military is circumventing the Israeli High

Court restraining order by demolishing not the homes

specifically included in the case before the court,

but other Palestinian homes in the same area.

PLEASE FAX THE U.S. OR CANADIAN EMBASSY in Tel Aviv,

the Israeli embassy in Washington or Ottawa, AND

Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, the new chair of the

Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Senator Lugar must

know of nationwide and international concern about

these demolitions. (Make copies of your letters or

print this Urgent Action Appeal to give to family

members at holiday gatherings.)

U.S. Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer has recently spoken out

strongly against settlement expansion. In letters to

Ambassador Kurtzer, go beyond the sample letter below

to thank him for the stand he has taken and encourage

him to raise his voice again.

The limit on how strongly your ambassadors can protest

home demolitions is set by the tone of

parliament/congress back home. For this reason, it is

important that you also send copies of your letters to

your own legislators. Fax numbers and a sample letter

are below.

Thank you,

Rich Meyer

Christian Peacemaker Teams

Hebron Team Support

Phone/fax 574-642-3920

Cell 574-202-3920

FAX NUMBERS:

Ambassador Michael Bell, Canadian Embassy, fax

011-972-3-636-3384

Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer, U.S. Embassy, fax

011-972-3-517-3227

Ambassador Daniel Ayalon, Embassy of Israel to the

U.S., fax 202-364-5607, phone 202-364-5500

Ambassador Haim Divon, Embassy of Israel to Canada,

fax 613-237-8865, phone 613-567-6450

Senator Richard Lugar, fax 202-228-0360, phone

202-224-4814

SAMPLE LETTER:

Ambassador ________ (or Senator Lugar):

Please speak out immediately to stop the current wave

of home demolitions around Hebron. There is absolutely

no security basis for these demolitions. It appears

the Israeli military is trying to show that Israeli

High Court injunctions against demolitions will only

steer their bulldozers toward other homes. These

demolitions may be preparation for settlement

expansion; they have nothing to do with deterring

terrorism.

On December 22, the home of a Jabber family was

demolished east of Harsina settlement. On December 23,

it was a Rajabi family home south of Kiryat Arba

settlement. Please let me know what you have been able

to do to prevent the demolition of more Hebron-area

homes. Your prompt action could keep more families

from being made homeless.

Signed,

[Your name and address]

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