Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Home Demolitions Imminent in Al Khader
posted by: Jacob Pace, Interfaith Peace-Builders at 2:03 AM

The PLO Negotiations Support Unit (NSU) has just issued a Press Advisory concerning imminent home demolitions in the village of Al Khader, near Bethlehem (see map). 6 Palestinian homes, a well and 2 chicken coops, in the neighborhood of Um Rukba South could be demolished at any time, leaving 58 Palestinian civilians homeless.

The demolitions will clear the area for the expansion of the illegal Israeli settlement of Efrat and its nearby settlement outposts (Giv’at HaDagan and Giv’at HaTamar). Israel’s Wall is also scheduled to slice through the area. According to the “finalized” Wall plan published by Israel on February 20, most of Um Rukba South will be inside the Bethlehem ghetto. These demolitions, however, suggest that Israel is intending to isolate the neighborhood, demolish the homes and appropriate the lands. The NSU Advisory explains:

According to this route, the Wall in Bethlehem would have dipped at least 5 km into the occupied West Bank, but most of Um Rukba South would have remained on the “Palestinian” side of the Wall. . . These targeted demolitions and nearby settlement expansion, however, suggest a different intention. Now it appears that Israel might re-route the Wall to incorporate the settler access-road, which links Efrat directly to Jerusalem (via Highway 60).

Israeli Peace Group Gush Shalom has called on people around the world to contact authorities in an attempt to stop the demolitions. Gush Shalom released these contacts:

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
Phone: +972-2-6753333 Fax: +972 2 6521599

Israeli Minister of Justice Tzippi Livni
Phone: +972-2-6708511 Fax: +972 2 6285438/6288618

Israeli Minister of Defence Shaul Mofaz
Phone: +972-3-5692010 Fax: +972-3-69-62757/16940/17915 or

Israeli Foreign Minister Silwan Shalom
ph: +972-2-5303111 fx: +972-2-5303367

American Consulate, Jerusalem
Fax: +972-(0)2- 627-7230

European Union, Jerusalem
Fax: + 972- (0)2-532 6249

UN Special Coordinator, Gaza
Fax: +972-(0)8- 282-0966

US White House Comment Line

US State Department Bureau of Public Affairs Comment Line

Israeli Embassy email addresses

This is just one example of Israel’s recent colonization activities in occupied Palestine. All along the route of the Wall, Israel is forcing small changes in the plan released on February 20, taking more land for settlement expansion. As usual, it is Palestinians who are paying the price. Maybe this one can be stopped – it never hurt to try.

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10:40 PM  

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