Palestinian Family in Town of Ramle Under Threat of Immediate Eviction

Thursday, 07 April 2011 18:25 Dolev Rahat, Alternative Information Center (AIC)

The 56 member Elajo family in Ramle is currently under threat of immediate eviction from their home by the public housing company Amidar. The family, determined to fight for their home, are joined tonight by additional victims of Israel’s public housing and political activists, all hoping to prevent the imminent eviction.

elajo_home

An Elajo family home from which a couple and their two children were evicted in February 2011. Graffiti on the home reads “our right to live in dignity”

 

The family, comprised of 56 persons of whom 35 are children, lives in seven homes in a compound belonging to the public housing company Amidar. The family came to the compound in the early 1960s, subsequently building several tin shacks which over the years were expanded as the family grew. The living conditions in the compound are harsh, and the family in essence lives in collapsing buildings and tin shacks, which appear to have been constructed from various bits of recycled metal. The houses are insufficient for the needs of the family, several members of which are forced to sleep outside every night.

Throughout the years the family has made efforts to pay the monthly rent to Amidar, although this is challenging due to their limited means. Amidar submitted an eviction petition against the Elajo family due to the accumulating debt and unauthorized construction. The Israeli court ruled in favour of Amidar. In February a couple and their two children were evicted from the compound, and the home in which they lived was sealed off. Despite requests made to Amidar and Ramle’s welfare authorities, the family has not been offered alternative housing and will be rendered homeless if the eviction order is carried out.

Today (7 April) Amidar is planning to carry out an eviction order against an additional nuclear family in the compound. The family submitted a petition to prevent the eviction, although the Israeli police and Amidar continue to pressure the family and their attorney, Kais Nasser. Earlier today two undercover police officers arrived with an additional person, who identified himself as an advisor to the local police on minority affairs, and who is known to local residents as an agent of the General Security Services (GSS).

The mother of the family is currently barricaded in her own home, determined to fight for her right and that of her family to a roof over their heads. Now in the compound are also additional family members and activists from Solidarity Sheikh Jarrah and the Movement for Life with Dignity, all of whom came to support the family. A delegation of 50 French Parliament members and senior government officials also visited the family today. Amongst those arriving to support the family is a victim of Israel’s public housing, a woman who was evicted from her home in the city of Yavne and a member of the Abu Eid family from Lod, whose home was demolished last December, and who is accompanying the Elajo family in their struggle.

As of this moment, representatives of Amidar and the police have not yet arrived at the Elajo compound.

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