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Home Demolition

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Israeli forces demolished 10 buildings in Sur Bahir on Monday, July 22, 2019 (Photo: All That's Left: Anti-Occupation Collective)

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.

Israel adds a new measure of collective punishment on top of house demolition and deportation – and sues a Palestinian family for its expenses of tombstones and grants to slain soldiers’ families. But when the Abu Khdeir family seeks to punish the families of Jewish terrorists who killed him– nothing doing.

Israel’s renewed policy of punitive home demolitions was challenged in its highest court yesterday. The case comes as the Israeli government has ordered the homes of six Palestinians suspected in a series of Jerusalem attacks to be demolished. In the past judges have heard arguments to overturn demolitions on a case by case basis, but this was the first in Israel’s history to address the legality of the practice as such. And the hearing came with immediate consequences. The homes of five Palestinian families are slated for demolition, and one demolition has already been carried out.

Israeli police ransacked seven apartments and urinated inside one while demolishing the Silwan apartment of Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, 21, the Palestinian motorist from East Jerusalem who killed a three-month old Israeli-American Chaya Zissel and one Ecuadoran tourist in a light rail attack in Jerusalem on October 22, 2014. “They urinated on the mattresses in my brother’s apartment, said Enas al-Shaludi, 43, the mother of the deceased driver. “You can see the urine on the mattresses.” In addition to the demolition, which the family expected after receiving a demolition order last Friday, all of the other apartments in the four-story residential building were raided.