HEBRON URGENT ACTION: Stop Wave of Hebron Demolitions

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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