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Action Alert: 16 Palestinians Made Homeless

Action alert: 16 Palestinians made homeless - demolition of Jerusalem home

GUSH SHALOM - pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033 - http://www.gush-shalom.org/

It will not figure on the agenda of the cease-fire talks which CIA chief George Tenet is conducting. Officially, it was not an act of war but just "law enforcement".

It happened this morning at Wadi Kadum, a Palestinian neigborhood of East Jerusalem. A governmental demolition crew accompanied by hundreds of armed police descended upon the home of 16 people - of the brothers Farikh and Samikh Kharbawi, who six years ago built a shared home for their two families.

There was a pitched battle; family members, aided by neighbors, tried their best to defend their home. But the tear gas canisters, thrown in profusion, did their job; resistance was broken, the house was razed to the ground and sixteen new homeless persons created, courtesy of the Government of Israel.

In addition to the known formula that "the house was built without a permit", another "justification" was that the Kharbawi family's house was in the way of the planned "Jerusalem Ring Road". We have heard that also before.

If you draw a line between the homes that have been demolished in this area "on behalf of the ring road" you will have a road that zig-zags quite strangely. Some city planners have proposed in vain alternate routes for the road which will not require demolitions.

Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert was not involved in the destruction of this particular "illegal house", at least not officially. The protest campaign following the wave of demolitions which Olmert perpetrated two weeks ago may have made some impression. But Tzvi Schneider, a senior Interior Ministry official, had announced some days ago he would "show the municipality how it is done" and he was as good as his word. And he does not seem the kind of person to rest content with one house only.

It seems necessary to again resort to sending protest messages to the authorities - governmental this time. Even more than the directly implicated Interior Minister Eli Yishai, the supposed "moderate" of the Shas Party, it is necessary to target Foreign Minister Peres, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate. You can send him a message directly to the ministry or via the Israeli embassy in your country (or even better, both).

Following is a sample message which you can use.

(Please send copies to info@gush-shalom.org and to info@rhr.israel.net(Rabbis for Human Rights).

* Foreign Minister Shimon Peres fax +972 2 5303506 or +972 2 5303896

copies to:

* Interior Minister Eli Yishai fax +972 2 5666376

* Secretary of State Colin Powell Bureau of Near East Affairs, fax: +1 202 261 8577

* Political Advisers to Mr Miguel Moratinos - Special EU Envoy to the M-E. Mr/M. Bernardino Ms Karin Roxman Mr/M. Christian Jouret Fax: + 32 2 285 87 52

* To the letter to the editor department of your daily paper.

Dear Mr Shimon Peres

Maybe you knew it in advance, or you also got the news through the media. But one thing is sure: if you can't stop even the demolition of Palestinian houses, what are you then still doing in this government?

The sudden and brutal demolition by police of the Kharbawi family home at Wadi Kadum Neighborhood, East Jerusalem, on June 11, left sixteen people - young and old, men and women and children - homeless. Sixteen people whose only crime was being Palestinian, living under Israeli rule, and seeking to have a roof over their heads. This is not "law enforcement". It is an act of war, a war waged against a helpless occupied population, and making any claims towards international mediators - that Israel is observing a cease-fire and desiring a calming down of the situation - sound hollow. Or is the real agenda of your government to provoke escalation towards total war?

(Your name and address)

For information about Gush Shalom visit the website:

http://www.gush-shalom.org/
(including the Boycott List of Products of Settlements)
email: info@gush-shalom.org;
Also on the website:
Sign the "Our Jerusalem, Capital of Two States" petition
full text in Hebrew, Arabic and English


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