Israeli authorities have announced a temporary freeze on home demolitions in occupied East Jerusalem, following legal pressure amidst a rise in the demolition of Palestinian homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Imagine being left to fend for yourself against the coronavirus, as your home is threatened by demolition, and your family is living under military occupation. That is the reality for Palestinians living in the village of al-Walaja. Watch the second episode in a five-part Mondoweiss series on how Palestinians are surviving under both a global pandemic, and the Israeli occupation.
There are more than 2,300 active cases of COVID-19 in East Jerusalem, and the daily rate of infection continues to climb. Despite this, Israeli authorities have continued their policy of home demolitions and arrests in the occupied territory.
Israeli forces raided the northern West Bank village of Kobar before dawn on Monday and destroyed the family home of Palestinian prisoner Qassam al-Barghouti, sparking widespread clashes in the village between armed Israeli soldiers and local youth.
The grotesque celebration by Israeli soldiers as they destroyed a Palestinian building in East Jerusalem is being treated as an aberration. But in fact there is a long history of Israelis celebrating the destruction of Palestine.
Videos surfaced on Monday evening showing Israeli forces celebrating the detonation of a building in Sur Bahir, occupied East Jerusalem. It was one of 10 buildings destroyed in 24 hours. While the soldiers laughed and celebrated, homeowners like 52-year-old Jehad Sous watched his lifelong dream of owning a home for his family crumble to the ground.
Israel’s destruction of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem shocks the world — but the ‘NYTimes’ tries to excuse and whitewash the demolitions. James North calls the Times reporting “a masterpiece of deceit.”
It was the middle of the night, but the residents of the occupied East Jerusalem town of Sur Bahir were not asleep. They were waiting for, dreading, the arrival of Israeli forces to demolish their homes. At around 2:15am on Monday more than 1,000 Israeli soldiers and government workers descended upon the area, with force, and began the process of demolishing 11 buildings in the neighborhood. The demolitions could set a dangerous precedent.
Whether in the occupied West Bank, or illegally annexed East Jerusalem, the message coming from the Israel’s so-called liberal judiciary is the same: do not expect it to stand in the way of the Israeli expansion objectives.