Monday, September 07, 2015

Israel to Demolish 13,000 Palestinian Structures

Israel to Demolish 13,000 Palestinian Structures

by Stephen Lendman

Longstanding Israeli policy calls for Judaizing Palestine, ethnically cleansing non-Jews, continuing slow-motion genocide against Muslims, and prohibiting Palestinian self-determination.

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) says nothing demonstrates Israel’s racist policy “more graphically than…house demolitions” - over 46,000 Palestinian owned homes and other structures destroyed since June 1967, to facilitate exclusive Jewish development on stolen land.

A new UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) report is titled “Under Threat: Demolition Orders in Area C of the West Bank” - comprising over 60% of its land,  including its valued water resources and most agricultural areas.

Israel considers it sovereign territory. Hardliners want it officially annexed, displacing its Arab population entirely.

OCHA cited Israeli data indicating plans to demolish an estimated 13,000 Palestinian owned structures - “heighten(ing) the vulnerability of thousands of poor Palestinian households, some of whom are at imminent risk of forcible displacement.”

Racist Israeli policy makes it “nearly impossible for Palestinians” to build on their own land. Over 300,000 reside in Area C - in 532 residential areas. 

Structures built without permit permission risk demolition. Orders once issued are permanent, executed at Israel’s discretion, often on short notice or none at all, residents often losing possessions they had no time to remove before Israeli bulldozers destroyed their property.

Displacement, loss of livelihoods, destitution, deprivation and increased dependency on aid follows. “The entire West Bank population is affected by what happens in Area C,” said OCHA.

Israel demolishes Palestinian homes punitively, for lacking building permits, for military reasons or undefined ones - a racist policy flagrantly breaching international law.

The Al Haq human rights group calls it collective punishment amounting to “a war crime and a crime against humanity.”

Earlier, Rabbis for Human Rights said “(A) politically motivated land policy must not come at the expense of the rights of a population subjected to occupation, which is excluded from the decision-making processes of those shaping its destiny.” 

“The procedures empower the ability to use the mechanism Israel set up for declaring 'state lands' for the purpose of dispossessing Palestinian communities and individuals of their rights and lands.”

ICAHD calls Israel’s demolition policy a peace-destroying initiative - reflecting institutionalized racism constituting state terror.

According to OCHA, Palestinian construction is prohibited in 70% of Area C - heavily restricted in another 29%, permitted in only 1% of Palestinian owned land.

“The rapid increase in demolitions shows that we must move beyond words towards concerted action to stop these violations of international law,” Medical Aid for Palestinians head Tony Laurance explained.

OCHA discussed a “dual system.” The “planned area per Israeli settler is more than 13 times larger than the planned area per Palestinian" - about 790 square meters per settler, versus 60 square meters per Palestinian.

Demolished houses and other structures leave thousands of Palestinians homeless and destitute. Fourth Geneva’s Article 49 prohibits forcible displacement of protected persons or transferring parts of an Occupying Power’s own civilian population to territory it controls.

Israel wants Palestinians forcibly displaced for land it wants exclusively for Jews. During decades of occupation harshness, it systematically destroyed privately owned Palestinian homes, other structures, businesses, agricultural land, livestock facilities and other property.

ICAHD calls home demolitions and forced evictions “among Israel’s most heinous practices” - violating the letter and spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 25) stating:

“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”

Fourth Geneva and other fundamental humanitarian and human rights laws are violated. Apartheid is racism’s worst form. Militarized Israeli occupation the worst type - systematically displacing Palestinians for exclusive Jewish development in flagrant violation of international law.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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