House Demolitions are nothing new in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Palestinian villages are routinely subjected to Israeli demolition orders for the purposes of contructing settlements, by-pass roads, the segregation barrier as well as building military installations required to protect Isreali infrastructure and police the local arab population.
Al Walaja village in Bethlehem Governorate is one such example where people's homes have been destroyed not for any "security" purpose other than to ensure Settlement expansion and construction of the Wall may continue unchallanged.
The policy of Israeli house demolitions however, goes further in explaining the psychology of Zionism which seeks to deny or deligitimise any concept of Arab existence and ownership of land prior to the State of Israel. Such a concept directly challages its narrow ideology which considers the Jewish people to be the sole and legitimate owners of the land know as Israel/Palestine.
The following report comes from the Negev.
Israeli police level 17 Arab homes in the Negev
Officials from the Interior Ministry and Israel Land Authority demolished 17 homes in the unrecognized Negev village of Twayyil, local sources in the village reported.
This is the fourth demolition in this village since the beginning of the year.
According to the source, on Monday, the Interior Minister warned that 42,000 homes in the unrecognized villages will be demolished. The Israeli Land Authority says these houses were built without proper licenses.
Forty years ago the State of Israel moved the families of this village from their original land (8000 dunums) to the current location (400 meters squared per family) after the 1965 Planning and Construction law, yet the State of Israel never recognized the village, and to this day has not supplied it with the proper services even though the residents are Israeli citizens and pay taxes to the Israeli government.
Moreover, the families found out that the land they were forced to move to is not government land- it is private property.
“The minister forgot to mention that most of these villages predated the State and that all of them predated the 1965 Planning and Construction Law they use as a pretext for demolishing Arabs homes in the unrecognized villages, evacuating them and taking over their ancestral lands,” said Faisal Sawalha of the Regional Council for the Arab Unrecognized Villages in the Negev (RCUV).The RCUV described this new wave of demolition as a “grave violation of citizen and human rights” and “an attempt to demolish and evacuate whole villages.” This is the first time that the authorities demolish such a large number of homes in one village at the same time, Sawalha said.
To protest the demolition, the RCUV erected a tent at the village, where supporters from other villages and international volunteers gather in solidarity with the villagers.