Any day now, the Civil Administration, Israel's military government over the Occupied Territories, could order the home demolished for the fifth time.
Hundreds of volunteers – Palestinians, Israelis and internationals – organized by the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) and the Palestinian Land Defense Committee (LDC), have repeatedly come together to rebuild a home made for peace. The Beit Arabyia Peace Home, has become a meeting place for Israelis, Palestinian and International peace activists situated at the cornerstone and intersecting point of Areas A, B, and C.
Under the Oslo Agreements, Israel divided the Occupied West Bank into three areas:
Area A – This area consists of approximately 17.2% of the Occupied West Bank, divided into 13 separate, non-contiguous areas and The Palestinian Authority is responsible for security.
Area C – This area consists of 59% of the Occupied West Bank. Israel has full security and civil responsibility over these areas. This is the only contiguous area in the Occupied West Bank; it surrounds and divides Areas A and B. This area is primarily situated around the Israeli colonies of the West Bank. The colonies themselves are not subject to the classification of Area A, B or C. http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=8670
"The Fourth Geneva Convention forbids an Occupying Power to extend its law and administration to an occupied territory, rendering the very process of granting or denying permits to Palestinians, not to mention Israel's policy of house demolitions, patently illegal under international humanitarian law…
"…Resigned to the reality that the Israeli courts do not admit international law, the Shawamrehs' lawyers raised the illegality of applying a plan, RJ-5, that had never been revised over the past 65 years despite significant changes in demography and land use, including the construction of some 300 settlements, themselves illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention, which the Israeli government approved on the very same land that had been designated "agricultural" and on which the Shawamrehs and thousands of Palestinian families had been denied their fundamental right to housing…
"…Finally, the illegality of repeatedly demolishing the Shawamreh home under the original "perpetual" demolition order was questioned, especially since such a practice is illegal in Israel itself and is not applied to Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories. http://www.icahd.org/eng/news.asp?menu=5&submenu=1&item=427
On a hill in front of the Arabyia Home/Peace Center is the newly erected Sheen Bet [similar to USA FBI] prison and interrogation center. A new portion of the Ring Road which will connect the illegal settlements-colonies runs between the two and The Apartheid Wall is in full frontal brutal view.
When this reporter visited in October 2006, the closest neighbor's lived in a soon to be dismantled Bedouin camp. The Israeli government's policy of "Quiet Transfer" is moving, [or already has] the indigenous nomadic Bedouins to a garbage dump which will lead to their extinction, for the Bedouins have been denied the freedom to move about and graze their herds.
On both sides of the weapons of destruction are many people. A railroad track reminds the viewer that prior to 1948, Jews and Palestinians once worked together in peaceful solidarity to build a railroad.
The Arabyia Home/Peace Center is also at the cornerstone of the Anata and the Shufat refugee camp, in the very area where the prophet Jeremiah in the 6th century B.C. critiqued the violent conflicts in the Mid East, which were already old news: "I hear violence and destruction in the city, sickness and wounds are all I see." [Jeremiah 6:7]