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Home  » Learn More  » Caterpillar's Responsibility   »  Quotes and testimonies

Quotes and testimonies

[The bulldozer] smashed through the wall of the sitting room. We were in another room at the time. We made a white flag and left immediately through the door. … We were standing in the alley and watched two bulldozers destroy the house. It took just a few minutes. There was no warning, no announcement. When I yelled at the bulldozers [to stop], the tanks pointed their cannons towards me. … I lived there for over forty years. All of our furniture was inside: the tables, the TV, the chairs, the furniture, the clothes.

-- Testimony of Nadia Sha’er, who saw a Caterpillar D9 armored bulldozers destroy her house in Qishta, Rafah, on May 14, 2004, while she, her mother-in-law, and daughter were inside.
(Razing Rafah: Mass Home Demolitions in the Gaza Strip. Human Rights Watch, October, 2004
http://www.hrw.org/reports/2004/rafah1004/)



We were stunned; all we had time for was to get the children to safety; by the time we had done that, within a few minutes the bulldozers began destroying the house and there was no time to salvage anything.

-- Testimony of Yusuf Muhammad Abu Houli, who was at home with his wife and nine children when he realized his house was surrounded by tanks and bulldozers.
(Israel and the Occupied Territories. Under the rubble: House demolition and destruction of land and property. Amnesty International, May 18, 2004. AI Index: MDE 15/033/2004.
http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/ENGMDE150332004)


"I begged him [the bulldozer driver] to stop, to let us get out of the house. He blocked the entrance. Sitting behind glass, the driver never heard us ... We were just a second away from being killed - 50 persons, children, the elderly, women, all of us with our backs to the wall, with the bulldozer plowing toward us. The driver never heard us. The destruction happened quickly, faster than anything that could be said to stop it."


--
Wa'il Mansur, Rafah, Gaza
(Haaretz, May 21, 2004
http://www.catdestroyshomes.org/article.php?id=196)



It's a powerful corporation, and in this country we see the equipment building roads and planting fields. But in the West Bank and Gaza . . . what we saw was the rubble that remained after Caterpillar was used to destroy. Caterpillar equipment is used to demolish homes, wreck orchards and vegetable gardens. All kinds of things that provide people with the ability to sustain themselves.

-- Cindy Corrie, mother of Rachel Corrie
(Corries push U.S. government to investigate their daughter's death, October 15, 2004)



Forced evictions and house demolitions are usually carried out without warning, often at night, and the occupants are given little or no time to leave their homes. Sometimes they are allowed a few minutes or half an hour, too little to salvage their belongings. Often the only warning is the rumbling of the Israeli army’s bulldozers and tanks and the inhabitants barely have time to flee as the bulldozers begin to tear down the walls of their homes. Thousands of families have had their homes and possessions destroyed under the blades of the Israeli army’s US-made Caterpillar bulldozers. In the wake of the demolitions men, women and children return to the ruins of their homes searching for whatever can be salvaged from under the rubble: passports or other documents, children’s schoolbooks, clothes, kitchenware or furniture which were not destroyed.

-- (Israel and the Occupied Territories. Under the rubble: House demolition and destgruction of land and property. Amnesty International, May 18, 2004. AI Index: MDE 15/033/2004.
http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/ENGMDE150332004)


In areas of Brazil further from the border, where incursions were not expected, most of the residents were inside their homes as armored Caterpillar D9 bulldozers crashed through the walls. Bulldozers allowed residents to flee but proceeded with the destruction before they could remove their belongings.

-- Describing an Israeli army rampage in Rafah, May 2004
(Razing Rafah: Mass Home Demolitions in the Gaza Strip. Human Rights Watch, October, 2004
http://www.hrw.org/reports/2004/rafah1004/)



In both Tel al-Sultan and Brazil, the IDF used Caterpillar D9s to indiscriminately tear up roads, destroying water and sewage networks, and creating a significant public health risk in an already vulnerable community. In some areas, water shortages forced residents to leave their homes in search of water, putting them at risk of being shot by IDF snipers for breaking curfew. In total, the IDF destroyed fifty-one percent of Rafah’s roads, usually by dragging a blade known as the “ripper” from the back of the D9 down the middle of the road.

-- Describing an Israeli army rampage in Rafah, May 2004
(Razing Rafah: Mass Home Demolitions in the Gaza Strip. Human Rights Watch, October, 2004
http://www.hrw.org/reports/2004/rafah1004/)



Many people where inside houses we st[arted] to demolish. They would come out of the houses we where working on. I didn't see, with my own eyes, people dying under the blade of the D-9. and I didn't see house falling down on live people. But if there were any, I wouldn't care at all. I am sure people died inside these houses, but it was difficult to see, there was lots of dust everywhere, and we worked a lot at night. I found joy with every house that came down, because I knew they didn't mind dying, but they cared for their homes. If you knocked down a house, you buried 40 or 50 people for generations. If I am sorry for anything, it is for not tearing the whole camp down.

[…]

As far as I am concerned, I left them with a football stadium, so they can play.

-- Testimony of Israeli soldier to Yediot Ahronot about his three-day rampage atop a Caterpillar bulldozer in Jenin Refugee Camp in April, 2002.
(Tsadok Yehezkeli, “‘I Made Them a Stadium in the Middle of the Camp,’” Yediot Ahronoth, May 31, 2002 (Hebrew), translation available at: http://www.gush-shalom.org/archives/kurdi_eng.html)



Can we, the Israelis, even begin to imagine what it feels like to have bulldozers suddenly appear in the middle of the night and plow under everything a family has, as they and their children watch? Did the decision makers take into account the hatred they are sowing in the hearts of the children who witnessed the destruction of their homes?

-- (Gideon Levy, Haaretz, January 13, 2002
http://www.catdestroyshomes.org/article.php?id=195)




Each morning we awaken to the flies, and to screeching, piercing sounds of Israel’s Caterpillars. There are extensive earthworks happening in front of Beit Arabiya: the beginning foundation for the Separation Wall, in addition to the construction of a bypass road to the settlement of Adam.


-- (Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions, August 15, 2004
http://www.icahd.org/eng/news.asp?menu=5&submenu=1&item=182)





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