Israel has demolished a record number of homes in occupied East Jerusalem in 2019, the most in the past 15 years, Israeli rights group B’Tselem reported on Thursday. More than 140 Palestinian homes were demolished, resulting in the displacement of 238 Palestinians.
Filmmaker Yuval Abraham was an eyewitness to the Israeli home demolitions in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Baher: “I can’t take it anymore. I’m suffocating from all this violence and the lives being destroyed. And everyone [in Israel] is oblivious, blathering about a Jewish state, don’t know Arabic and utterly blind to those other people. Everyone who keeps silent is complicit with this filth. They destroyed Ismail’s life tonight.”
Destruction and theft of Palestinian property by Israel is an indisputable violation of international law, and it’s why the BDS movement exists. Democrats and Republicans dispute many issues but are amazingly united against BDS. If only they could work in such a bipartisan fashion to solve many of the problems in our own country, rather than to protect a foreign state oppressing millions of indigenous people.
The Jerusalem Center of Socio and Economic Rights warned of the escalation of Israeli demolitions in occupied Jerusalem, noting it bears the nature of a collective form of punishment. The targeted neighborhoods are Qalandia, Sur Baher, Silwan and al-Bustan, and dozens of houses near Israel’s separation wall.
Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem in the first four months of 2019 have already exceeded the number in 2018, the UN reports, and 193 Palestinians have been displaced. On April 29th alone, 31 structures were demolished. The next day another four. On Friday, UN officials called on Israel to ‘immediately halt’ the policy.