Israel Demolishes Palestinian Refugee Camp in Lod

Wednesday, 02 March 2011 13:26 Tania Kepler for the Alternative Information Center (AIC)

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Israeli Special Forces entered the Abu Eid camp in Lod, at 8:30 Wednesday (2/3) morning, and demolished the trailer infrastructures and make shift tents housing the 74 person extended family.


Previous demolition of Abu Eid family home


The Israeli forces also used aggressive violence against the family. Three people, two elderly and one minor, required hospitalization for their injuries. Israeli police arrested 6 people, including two minors.

Following the demolition, 40 people, family members and Palestinian and Israeli activists, entered the city hall in Lod, demanding that the government speak to the Abu Eid family and provide some sort of explanation.

The first demolition of the Abu Eid family’s property occurred on 13 December 2010.

The Israel Land Authority (ILA) arrived in Lod, armed with bulldozers and hundreds of police officers, entered the Abu Eid family property and demolished the 6 homes and one office building. 74 people, including 54 children, remain homeless.

“I was at work when I got a call that they were destroying the houses,” Zaki Abu Eid, age 45, said. “I rushed over but the police had set up a roadblock and the yassamnikim (anti-riot police) wouldn’t let me in. By the time I got in, the house was gone.”

The ILA is the branch of the Israel government responsible for managing 93% of the land in Israel, which the country considers public domain, though much of the land is actually unrecognized Arab villages and land.

The ILA claims that many of the Palestinian homes in Lod and the surrounding area, were built without permits, and are therefore illegal structures that should be demolished. However, housing options for Palestinians in cities now considered Jewish or Israeli are limited, and permits for building are almost impossible to obtain.

According to the ILA, the demolitions of the Abu Eid family’s property “were carried out on illegal construction totaling seven buildings on land that is zoned for agricultural use.” It added that the families whose homes were demolished “will not be compensated because they invaded public lands managed by the ILA.”

Around 42,000 Palestinian homes built without required permits are threatened with demolition, according to Ittijah, a Palestinian civil society organization. Of these threatened homes, 13,000 could be carried out at any time and 30,000 are at some stage in local courts.

At present, more than two-thirds of the residents of Lod and nearby Ramle are living in what the government considers illegally built houses, though many, like the Abu Eid homes, were built more than 50 years ago. Only one kilometer away from the Abu Eid Camp, the wreckage of the homes of nine other families whose homes were destroyed in 2008 remains visible.

Israel Demolishes Palestinian Refugee Camp in Lod.

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