The policy of home demolitions undermines any prospect for a lasting peace.
By Yumna Patel | Mondoweiss | Jul 22, 2019
‘They destroyed the homes in front of the people, in front of their kids eyes. If you were there you could feel that everyone, the old, the young, everyone was in despair over their homes. It was a devastating, agonizing experience.’
— Hamada Hamada, local activist
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, the people’s worst fears came true with the sounds of military jeeps, bulldozers, and heavy machinery rolled into their neighborhood of Wadi al-Hummus, on the outskirts of Sur Bahir, right next to Israel’s separation barrier.
Locals told Mondoweiss that 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 buildings in question, containing some 70 apartments, were slated for demolition last month when the Israeli Supreme Court gave the final ruling — after a seven year legal battle between residents and the state — that the buildings were to be destroyed due to their proximity to Israel’s separation barrier, citing “security concerns.”