How long does it take to demolish a house? by Gideon Levy, Haaretz February 20, 2005 Behind every demolished home there is a family whose life was destroyed. It is difficult to understand for those who have never seen a bulldozer pull down a house, nearly always with everything inside, including the memories and the mementos between its walls, in most cases in front of the children who are always innocent and will carry the trauma in their hearts for the rest of their lives. Will nobody pay for the army's "mistake"? Shouldn't the victims be compensated?
A small but welcome step Press Release, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions February 19, 2005 The decision to halt a particular form of house demolition, then, derives from a purely tactical evaluation of effectiveness. It does not represent a gesture of reconciliation towards the Palestinians, or even an implicit recognition of international law. While the decision is to be welcomed, its lack of connection to a wider peace process can only be regretted.
Haaretz Editorial: Demolitions are damaging Haaretz February 18, 2005 Under a future settlement that will include the rebuilding of the territories, there is place for Israel to offer compensation to Palestinian civilians whose homes were destroyed during the course of the army's operations.
Jewish Peace News Commentary: The announced change applies only to punitive demolitions by Mitchell Plitnick, Jewish Peace News Home demolitions are not usually carried out for punitive reasons. In 2004, according to the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem, 184 houses were demolished for punitive reasons, while 1609 were demolished either for permit violations or for "military purposes", which generally means to clear space for settlements, bypass roads or army outposts. The announced change applies only to punitive demolitions.
Departing UN Commissioner: Conditions in Gaza horrendous by Genevieve Cora Fraser, The Palestine Chronicle Weekly Journal January 19, 2005 "“As you approach the southern end of Gaza - where Kann Yunis and Rafah have seen continued destruction, where the numbers of people who have been made homeless by bulldozers exceeds 25,000 - we have managed to re-house 8,000 of them but we are fighting a losing battle. We can not build as fast as the destruction takes place. So, Gaza is in a very, very poor state."
US should help stop land grabs by Priscilla Read, Providence Journal, Rhode Island January 15, 2005 The most recent outrage began late last year, when Israeli bulldozers lumbered into Jayyous and began razing crops, to clear land for expansion of the neighboring Israeli settlement of Zufim. In a single day in December, 117 ancient olive trees were ripped from the ground. The bulldozers reappeared on subsequent days to continue their assault. On Dec. 29, Steven Erlanger reported in The New York Times that 650 trees, many of them 600 years old, had been uprooted. For the farmers whose livelihood depends on olive, this is a catastrophe.
Israeli Minister attacks home demolitions The Guardian May 23, 2004 The Israeli army resumed its assault on Rafah refugee camp yesterday as a member of Ariel Sharon's cabinet caused a storm when his criticism of house demolitions as "inhumane" was interpreted as comparing the Israeli army's actions to Nazi war crimes.
Affidavit of Anonymous Rabbis for Human Rights Anonymous' house was destroyed not once, but twice by the Jerusalem municipality. In his chilling testimony, Anonymous describes his choice to remain anonymous as he was offered a job as an informer by the Israeli Secret Services in exchange for keeping his house standing. This affidavit was presented in the trial of Rabbi Arik Ascherman, who stands accused of standing before the Israeli army bulldozers to protect Palestinian homes from demolition.
Picking up the pieces in Gaza by Peter Hansen, UNRWA June 30, 2003 Very few of the demolitions target the families of suicide bombers or of those wanted by Israel. Instead the victims are simply people living in the wrong place at the wrong time. Those living near the Egyptian border in Rafah in the south of Gaza have the misfortune of being in a place where Israel feels the need to widen its security zone at the border.
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