Jerusalem, July 16, 2007] ICAHD, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions is a non-violent do something group opposed to the occupation of Palestine which resists the Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes in the Occupied Territories. This summer ICAHD has committed to rebuild 300 of the -so far 18,000 homes the Israeli government has destroyed which has resulted in creating 18,000 homeless families who legally own their land.
According to international law, the Fourth Geneva Convention forbids home demolitions in occupied territories and demands that the occupiers maintain the status quo and not pilfer the resources of the indigenous population.
Indigenous Palestinians are denied building permits in the Orwellian democracy of Israel while USA fundamentalist Christian churches financially support and pray for the illegal settlements/colonies which have been erected on legally owned Palestinian land.
In contrast to the misdeeds of empire, twenty five internationals, dozens of Israelis and scores of Palestinians have created a community upon the rocky barren land of the Hamdan family of nine with intent to hand the keys of the house over to Hassan Yussef Hamdan and his family fourteen days from now.
The land has legally been owned by the Hamdan clan with the deeds filled-out in Hassan Yussef's great-grandfather’s name, during the Ottoman Empire. The oldest son, Mohammed’s grandmother, Um Mohammad addressed the media in Arabic which was translated in English by Nadia another ICAHD volunteer, while the foundation of the house was being laid, “We own twenty-five pieces of land, twenty-five meters is one piece. After building our home here, we received papers demanding we demolish our own home. We got a lawyer in Tel Aviv, and after paying $10,000.00 she did nothing. The soldiers came under our window and we hired another lawyer and had to pay 70,000 shekels within two hours to hold off the soldiers. The soldiers came back two more times, after more negotiations the soldiers came back a third time and destroyed our home.”
ICAHD spokesmen, Meir Margalit admitted, “We are here because we are embarrassed and ashamed of our government. A decent person cannot handle what this government puts innocent people through. We are doing this for both sides; for the innocent families and to keep the moral values of Judaism alive.”
American Israeli, Aviva Joseph wrapped it up when she informed the crowd, “We are here building on the 9th day of Av, the day the Jewish Temple was destroyed…I was born in Chile into an Orthodox Zionist home. Both my parents are Holocaust survivors. When I was ten I use to go to Bethlehem, but after the first intifada, things began closing down; physical walls and psychological walls. I lived in Gilo, some call it a settlement, some a neighborhood and I lived in a small box with my own myth. Now I live in California and things you see from there you can’t see here and other things you must come here to see what cannot be seen anywhere else. I love Israel but until I began listening to the voices of the marginalized did I see I was living my own myth. The work is not just in the head, but in the heart; opening both sides to a new paradigm with compassion. It must be like hydrogen and oxygen the sides coming together; who could have thought that would make water?”
Jeff Halper, American Israeli, founder and coordinator of ICAHD and a twenty-first century prophet was unable to be at the site due to a family emergency, but on March 17, 2006, the 7th day of my third journey to Israel Palestine, Jeff greeted my group of nearly one hundred Internationals attending a Sabeel/Arabic for THE WAY, reality tour through the West Bank, in the East Jerusalem YMCA conference room with, “I don’t want to depress you too much but the issue of the occupation is a global issue that transcends boundaries and Israel Palestine impacts all global realities...We have a country created by the UN and supported by the USA that has a brutal occupation while International Law defines occupation as a temporary situation.