Sunday, 29 April 2012

The Judaization of Palestine: ICAHD

At last week's Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) UK AGM, Jeff Halper gave a moving presentation on the inexorable Judaization of Palestine. ICAHD also announced the publication of a series of new and informative booklets highlighting recent displacement trends. See below for more information.

The Judaization of Palestine: 2011 Displacement Trends

This article provides a political analysis of the root causes and consequences of Israel’s house demolition policy, focusing on the demolition of Palestinian homes and other structures in the Occupied West Bank. All recorded incidents have been verified and documented by partners in the Displacement Working Group (an inter-agency group under the auspices of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Protection Cluster, and chaired by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. the DWG includes over one hundred members, such as UN agencies, international and local Israeli and Palestinian NGOs, and donors. ICAHD has been an active member of the group ever since it was established in 2008).

“Palestinians are utterly frustrated by the impact of Israeli policies on their lives. They can’t move freely around their territory. They can’t plan their communities. They are evicted from their homes. Their homes are regularly demolished. I don’t believe that most people in Israel have any idea of the way planning policies are used to divide and harass communities and families. They would not themselves like to be subjected to such behavior.” United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Baroness Valerie Amos, May 2011.

Download the document here...

Here is one recent example of this displacement.

East Jerusalem Family Forcibly Evicted, Settlers Move In
April 18th, 2012

A Palestinian refugee family (An Natsha) residing in Beit Hanina (East Jerusalem) was forcibly evicted by Israeli authorities this morning, 18 April 2012. The home was taken over by an Israeli settler association, which plans to build around 60 housing units for settlers in the area. Since 2001, the An Natsha family has suffered repeated settler violence and harassment at the hands of settler groups insisting that they leave their homes. These attacks have intensified in recent months and ultimately brought about today's displacement of 14 family members.

The eviction of the An Natsha family follows the eviction of several other Palestinian families in East Jerusalem. In 2009, nine Palestinian families were evicted from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood to make way for further settlement expansion, which remains unlawful under international law. This eviction indicates that Beit Hanina may similarly become a target for the take-over of land and the establishment of new settlements.

To read more on the planned Judaization of Beit Hanina, here…

For a legal analysis of Israeli practices of demolition and forced eviction in East Jerusalem, here… 

UN Expert Concludes: Israel Implements a Strategy of Judaization in the OPT

Prof. Raquel Rolnik, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, has concluded this morning (Sunday, February 12th 2012) of a two week visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Speaking in Jerusalem this afternoon Prof. Rolink said: "From the Galilee and the Negev to East Jerusalem and the West Bank, the Israeli authorities promote a territorial development model that excludes, discriminates against and displaces minorities, particularly affecting Palestinian communities." The Rapporteur also added that "Throughout my visit I received repeated complaints regarding lack of housing, threats of demolitions and evictions, overcrowding, the disproportional number of demolitions affecting Palestinian communities side by side with the accelerated development of predominantly Jewish settlements. Read more here...

Demolishing Homes, Demolishing Peace: Political and Normative Analysis of Israel’s Displacement Policy in the OPT

The new ICAHD publication 'Demolishing Homes, Demolishing Peace: Political and Normative Analysis of Israel's Displacement Policy in the OPT' provides a political and normative analysis of the root causes and consequences of Israel's displacement and demolition policy, focusing on the demolition of Palestinian homes and other structures in the occupied West Bank.

Read more here… 

UN Special Rapporteur Condemns Israel of De-Facto Annexation of the West Bank

Concluding a ten day visit to the region yesterday (Monday, February 20th), United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Prof. Richard Falk stated that "the information I received paints a picture of increasing efforts by Israel to deny Palestinians their right of self-determination. Ever-increasing and expanding Israeli settlements; ever-increasing confiscation of Palestinian land; ever-increasing settler violence; and ever-increasing demolition of Palestinian homes and other measures to displace Palestinians, have the manifest effect of making self-determination a decreasingly realizable prospect for Palestinians."

The Special Rapporteur met during his visit ICAHD staff members Jeff Halper, Salim Shawamreh and Itay Epshtain. In a briefing held in Amman Jordan, Halper and Epshtain highlighted to the recent trends of demolition and displacement in East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank, as well as the political program of Judaization of those areas, forestalling a just solution to the conflict (ICAHD's analysis of last year's displacement trends can be found here… ICAHD Field-Coordinator Shawamreh informed Prof. Falk of recent occurrences in Anata, bringing about the demolition of his home "Beit Arabiya", and the homes of others ICAHD has supported throughout the years. Read more here...