Palestine: "What Are You Doing?!"

 

On 24 November 2011, at 9:00 am, the Israeli army, with more than five Israeli army jeeps and two bulldozers, drove into the small village of Um Fagarah and demolished two houses and the village mosque.  During the demolition, they arrested two young women, one 21 and one 17.

One of the demolished homes belonged to a widow and her family; the other housed an extended family of 20.  The soldiers did not have demolition orders or give any explanation for the demolitions, but called the village women “whores” and entered at a time of day when most of the men were away at work. 

When Israeli soldiers marched into the second home and began throwing the bedding outside, the family’s 21-year-old daughter confronted them and asked what they were doing.  One soldier responded, “Get out of my sight!”  The daughter refused.  The soldier then threatened, “If you don’t move, we will do even more,” and sprayed her in the face with tear gas.  Other soldiers began kicking her as she fell to the ground.  When her mother and neighbors tried to pull her out of the way, a soldier pushed the mother who fell and broke her leg.  

The 17-year-old tried to bring water to her cousin to soothe her eyes inflamed by the tear gas.  The soldiers arrested them both and took them to prison in Jerusalem.

The villagers began reconstruction of the mosque the following Saturday, the first day of the Islamic New Year.  People from surrounding villages came to support the rebuilding, including CPTers and other internationals.

According to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, Israel has demolished over 170 homes in 2011, displacing roughly 880 people.