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Israel Demolished 4500 Homes During 2nd Intifada


Dear Friends

During the Second Intifada alone, Israel has demolished more than 4,500 Palestinian homes in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Most of these homes were not demolished during combat but rather as part of Israel's pro-active policy of asserting its control over the Territories.

Rafah in Gaza has received special attention due to Israel's unilateral decision to disconnect it from the border with Egypt. For this reason Israel has already demolished about 1,500 homes in this tiny but densely populated area -- an area whose inhabitants have been made refugees and left homeless by Israel time and time again-- this time leaving 15,000 persons displaced and without a home. Israel's policy of house demolitions is an act of war against non-combatant Palestinian civilians, a fundamental violation of international law and the ethics of war.

All of you reading this take coming home as a commonplace and routine act. For most Palestinians this is not the case. More than 40,000 Palestinians have lost their homes in the past four years. Some 11,000 Palestinian homes have been demolished in the Occupied Territories since 1967. Thousands of innocent families live under the constant threat of the destruction of their homes and lives. We ask you to help us in our struggle to stop the continuing policy of house demolitions and to compensate those who have already lost their homes. We ask you to contact Israeli government officials, your ministry of foreign affairs and your parliamentary or congressional representatives, asking for the immediate halt of this illegal policy and compensation for the victims.

Following is a sample letter addressed to Israeli officials (addresses supplied). You can adapt it to your own political representatives.

To the Minister of ....

Subject: Demolition of homes in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Over and over again I hear of the tragedy of the demolition of Palestinian homes in the Occupied Territories. I understand that in the Second Intifada alone already 4,500 homes have been demolished, leaving over 40,000 Palestinian civilians homeless and displaced. These figures are horrific and shocking. Have these innocent people received alternative housing or have they just been thrown out of their homes? After you already demolished around 1500 houses in Rafah, I am also concerned over reports of the imminent demolition of dozens of additional Palestinian homes in the Rafah area. Rather than giving security to Israeli public, this policy is sowing seeds of hatred and revenge.

This is a war against a civilian population and is a clear violation both of military war ethics and international law.

I ask you to immediately implement the Fourth Geneva Convention protecting civilians in occupied territories. I demand the immediate cessation of house demolitions and compensation to the victims.

Addresses: PM Ariel Sharon, rohm@pmo.gov.il ; pm@pmo.gov.il

, Fax: +972-2-5664838 Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sylvan Shalom: sar@mofa.gov.il

; Fax: +972-2-5303506

Defense Minister, Shaul Mofaz: sar@mod.gov.il; Fax: 972-3-697-6990 Minister of Justice, Yosef Lapid: sar@justice.gov.il , Fax: 972-2-6285438

Israeli Committee against House Demolitions 7 Ben-Yehuda St., PO Box 2030, Jerusalem 91020, Israel

Web: http://www.icahd.org

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions is a non-violent protest and resistance organization working to end the Occupation and promote peace and justice in our region.

----------------------------------------------- Daily updates prisoners' hunger strike at: http://www.mandela-palestine.org/en_strike2004/daily.htm


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