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Palestinians in Village Near Jerusalem Block Home Demolition


Residents of al-Walaja say demolition orders on the rise, accuse Israel police of collective punishment in East Jerusalem

Residents of a Palestinian village near Jerusalem on Thursday prevented the demolition by Israeli authorities of an illegally built home. The residents, who gathered around the house and blocked the heavy machinery, say the village has seen a rise in demolition orders against it.
Al-Walaja, located southwest of Jerusalem, partly lies within Jerusalem’s borders and partly in the West Bank, under Palestinian jurisdiction.
In the past year, a Jerusalem district planning panel issued demolition orders to 30 buildings in the village. Seven of them had been demolished, 14 are pending demolition after a district court had rejected petitions to prevent the demolitions, and the remaining orders are still at different stages of legal proceedings.
Aviv Tatarsky, a researcher with Ir Amim, a nonprofit that advocates for “a more equitable and sustainable” Jerusalem, estimates that the homes of half of the 100 families living in the part of the village under Jerusalem’s jurisdiction are under threat of being demolished. In addition, Israel recently completed the construction of the security barrier, which surrounds the village on three sides, and separates it from many of its lands.
Palestinian residents of Jerusalem protest an increase in enforcement in the eastern part of the city, saying it was discriminatory and accuse authorities of collective punishment.
Meanwhile, on Friday an evacuation order against a Palestinian family in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah will come into effect. A demonstration is slated to take place there Friday afternoon. Diplomats and senior Palestinian officials visited the family this week.
In Silwan, some roads were closed off for vehicles after firebombs were thrown in the area. In the area of the Old City, the municipality has started giving parking tickets in areas where it previously hadn’t. On Wednesday, two buildings were demolished in Jabal Mukkaber, and another in Beit Hanina.
“This pressure will only cause an explosion,” Daoud Siam, an East Jerusalem resident, says. “People are under enormous pressure, there’s no carrot, just stick.”
Police said in response that “an attempt to label law enforcement activities that are intended to maintain public order, the rule of law and the security of the citizens of Israel as ‘collective punishment’ is baseless and detached from reality.
“Recently, and especially since the terror incident on the Temple Mount, which killed two border policemen, police have faced dozens of riots and violent disturbances in East Jerusalem villages. During this period, there were 65 incidents in which firebombs were thrown at police and civilians and 273 incidents of stone-throwing in almost 100 sites.”
Police said it was taking measures to “restore order,” including carrying out “arrests of key rioters under arrest warrants issued by the court.”

Nir Hasson

Haaretz Correspondent

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Palestinians in Village Near Jerusalem Block Home Demolition

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Video of the Week: Recent Israel History Miko Peled

Transcription made from The Miko's Speeches

This is a beautiful church so once again thank you to the pastor for allowing us to use this is really beautiful and thank you all for being here tonight and and for caring enough to take the time and listen and participate and be active I always begin my remarks with a disclaimer and that disclaimer is this if anybody here came hoping to hear a balanced presentation then they're going to be sorely disappointed I say this because a lot of things that you're about to hear tonight are difficult to hear and also because I don't believe that a balanced presentation on this topic is possible anybody that cares enough to speak about this probably has a very strong opinion one way or the other almost everybody has feelings and strong emotions on this issue one way or the other for me it's deeply personal and the issue itself is not a balanced issue there is no balance in this issue so therefore I say this because there cannot be a balanced presentation on this and I think if anybody claims that their presentation is balanced they're either misleading themselves or the misleading of their audience this whole issue of Israel and Palestine is covered in so much myth and there's so much there's so much double standard when people talk about this issue and I'll give you two examples

Don't know if you heard Bibi Netanyahu speech at the United Nations I heard it not live but after he actually delivered it and he began and he began it with probably the two most striking examples of myth and double standard and he began by talking about the right of return of the Jews to their ancient homeland and of course the Jews that returned so-called returned to their homeland were not exactly the the same Jews who were expelled from their homeland right because these were expelled a couple of thousand years before that these were not their descendants either because they this is business has been a very long time so these are people the people that actually came back so to speak are people that claim some kind of a heritage some kind of a connection a relationship to the ancient Hebrews and they claimed that they had the right to return to their homeland and this was this is what Zionism was about and this is expected this was you know accepted by the world as the right they had the right to return now if we talk about the right of return of one nation you'd expect that there would be if we accept it as a principle than

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