Two weeks after the latest house demolitions in al-Walaje, one of the families are still living in a Red Cross tent just next to where their house used to stand.
The people of al-Walaje are still struggling desperately to cope with their horrendous situation. The residents have hired lawyers in groups to try and defend their homes. A group of 25 homes were asked by the Israeli Authorities to submit a Zoning Plan. They were told to hire an Architect, something which is extremely expensive, and then submit their plan. In good faith, the residents, desperate to save their homes, hired an architect and submitted their Zoning Plan to the Israeli Courts.
Last Friday, the 10th of February, the Israeli Courts replied to the Zoning Plan for the village which had been submitted. They said that they could not consider it, because the villagers in al-Walaje, who submitted the plan, hold West Bank ID cards, not Jerusalem ID cards. Israel annexed a part of the village in 1967, but didn’t inform the villagers until 1985 that they were not living in ‘Israel’. They now refuse to give the villagers Jerusalem ID cards, despite the fact that the villagers, who are refugees from 1948, have owned their land and lived on it since well before 1967, when it was illegally annexed. (See post of February 1st).
Now that the submission of a Zoning Plan has been rejected, and there is no possibility for the residents to submit another one, they expect the 25 homes to be demolished very soon.
All of this is, as usual with Israel, contrary to international law and treaties. The rule of law, either domestically or internationally, does not and will not ever work unless there are sanctions or punishments for those who break the rules. Where are the punishments for Israel? Who is willing to stand up and take a stand? Obviously not world leaders, so who will help the people of al-Walaje?