PRAY FOR THEM : Demolitions of Palestinian homes

Israel has been carrying out systematic home demolitions of Palestinians, with the approval of the Israeli Supreme Court, during the last week. The demolitions have been effected by the Israeli army under the rapacious gaze of illegal Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem. Why is Israel demolishing the homes of the Palestinians in East Jerusalem? Is it because the Palestinians have built without any permit? The answer is simple. Israel has only one objective and that objective is to get rid in the long term of all Palestinians (whether Muslims or Christians) from Jerusalem.

The Zionist apartheid state of Israel has a larger plan, which is slowly unfolding… Increasing the territory of Israel by annexing all the occupied territories while at the same time dividing all the countries around Israel. The countries around Israel must become puppets of Israel (even though they may, for the sake of managing internal public opinions, use rhetorics which are highly inflammatory) or must not in anyway act against the basic interests of Israel.

Israel treats Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem with contempt, which will even shy the Nazis. Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have neither the Israeli citizenship (to be clear, Palestinians are second class citizens and are not Israeli citizens) nor are they the residents of the illegally occupied territory of West Banks but are only given resident permits to work. And live in the Eastern part of Jerusalem. The Israelis have improved the ‘bantustan’ system of the apartheid era, as “practiced” by the South Africans.

Israel can revoke the resident permit of any Palestinian on several grounds which in fact are blankets for Israel to use any lame excuse. Israel has revoked thousands of ID or resident permits in the last two years to accelerate the drive to expel Palestinians from their own birth lands. But it is vital to know that Jewish settlers (and Jewish settlers only) are not in any way concerned with such laws. The Jewish settlers can enter and leave and re-enter Jerusalem whenever they wish to do so, even though they are travelling with foreign passports. And Palestinians who live in the West Bank have to go through eight crossings or eight Israeli security checks.

The Palestinians residents of East Jerusalem face various forms of discrimination:


  1. The Palestinians are not “given” building licences and have to got through a maze of bureaucratic hurdles in order to be allowed to build the Eastern part of Jerusalem.
  2. The Palestinians are not allowed to build homes to cater for the increase in the Palestinian population. The Israelis are systematically harassing the Palestinians to coerce them to leave East Jerusalem if they don’t have a proper house. So the Israelis steal the land of the Palestinians, pass laws to regulate the citizenships, control the different housing licences then conclude that Palestinians can’t legally stay in East Jerusalem as the Palestinians don’t have the resident permits nor do they have a home.
  3. Even if a permit is given to build a home to a Palestinian, he or she will not be allowed to build a home with more than two floors while Jewish settlers will be allowed (in fact encouraged) to build homes of eight floors… on smaller plots of land. Palestinians are not given access to water or electricity. On the other hand, needless to say that the Jewish settlers are given free access to water, electricity and internet facilities.
  4. The Israeli government has systematically destroyed Palestinian homes /houses even if they have all licences or have respected all Israeli building codes when there is mere suspicion that one or the “Legal residents” is a supporter of any Palestinian organisation (of any Palestinian organisation… even the South African racists during the apartheid era were not behaving or acting like that)…
  5. The systematic destruction of homes have led in the last years to the displacement of thousands of Palestinians including very young children with domino effects on health & education. Lifetime scars. In that context it is apposite to note what was said by Zahalka, a Knesset member “Educational provision for Palestinian children in East Jerusalem is worse than anywhere in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Gaza, or in refugee camps in Lebenon, Jordan and Syria”. [ See in that context, Why Israel? By Suraya Dadoo and Firoz Osman, 192].
  6. Under International law, Israel must cater for the education of the children living in the occupied territories and yet Israel is failing to do so. Only paying lip service.
  7. The effect of home demolitions on jobs is causing limited employment facilities due to all sorts of embargo by Israel (and also partly Egypt).

All international human rights organisations have condemned the demolition of the homes of the Palestinians. But have you seen the images on television of the so-called democratic countries? Have you asked yourself why? Today the Zionist apartheid state of Israel has succeeded in labelling all those who criticise the apartheid policies of Israel as “anti Semitism”.

Labels must not deter any one of us to fight the racist policies of Israel…