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Occupied Palestine: Home Demolitions, Dispossessions and Residency Rights Revoked

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Occupied Palestine: Home Demolitions, Dispossessions and Residency Rights Revoked - by Stephen Lendman

Daily, Israeli oppression continues - demolishing homes, dispossessing occupants, and revoking residency rights, three of its many crimes under international law, Israel spurning it with impunity.

On July 22, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) reported mass Jordan Valley Al Farisyie village demolitions, displacing 107 people, including 52 children. Targeted were 26 residential tents, 22 animal shelters, seven taboun clay ovens, eight kitchens, 10 bathrooms, four water tanks, and an agricultural equipment shed - in all, 74 structures illegally bulldozed, family homes and belongings destroyed along with large quantities of food and animal fodder.

Many families weren't warned or present, so lost everything under rubble, Israel displacing Palestinians to make way for Judaization, area residents on their own, abandoned and unaided.

In July, three other communities were affected:

-- Fasayile al Fuga where a family home of nine, including seven children and a 10-month old infant, was destroyed;

-- Bardala where evacuation and demolition orders were issued; and

-- Ras Ar Ahmar where 13 homes and dozens of animal shelters were bulldozed after declaring the area a Closed Military Zone.

The Jordan Valley comprises about 30% of the West Bank, Israel continuing demolitions, dispossessions, land theft, and appropriation of water resources, annexing areas for Jews, collectively punishing its residents by declaring large areas Closed Military Zones, ordering entire villages evacuated in defiance of international law, hundreds of residents affected, half of them children.

On July 7, Haaretz writer Mijal Grinberg headlined "More than 800 protest Bedouin house demolitions in front of the Knesset," saying they erected a tent city after arriving in 17 buses to petition the government to "stop destroying homes."

Arab MKs and Hadash Party member Dov Hanin joined them, demanding this stop and accommodation with Bedouins reached, Israeli citizens denied their rights.

They rightfully claim ownership to 800,000 dunams of land, about 200,000 acres - around 6% of southern Israel's Negev desert. Israel, however, doesn't recognize them, saying about 75,000 Bedouins live in unrecognized villages, their public funding and services denied. More on that below.

Still, in recent years, 11 unrecognized villages were legalized. But another 36 are in limbo, their homes subject to demolition and land confiscated. In 2007, the government destroyed 110 homes. A-Sira is slated for demolition, its residents petitioning Israel's High Court to prevent it. Some lost their homes earlier. Others hope to save theirs. All Palestinians fear they're next - dispossession for Judaization, ongoing throughout East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Bedouin areas.

On July 27, Ma'an News reported that all Al-Araqib homes, fruit orchards and olive trees were destroyed, another unrecognized Bedouin village in southern Israel. At 4:30AM, 1,500 police arrived, including special riot forces, mounted officers, helicopters and bulldozers, awakening residents to evict them after an 11-year trial and court battle, residents winning to no avail. Israel dispossessed them anyway.

About 300 people were affected, police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld saying all "were told ahead of time they had to leave," a planned forest to replace them, their homes from before Israel's creation lost, their rights denied, Hamas spokesman Abdul Latif Al-Qanoua saying:

"The occupation has continued the destruction of Palestinian villages in the Negev for more than 40 years," a policy similar to East Jerusalem and the West Bank, "clear(ing) out Palestinian villages and towns" to Judaize them.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.
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