Idhna: A family without windows

by Peige | 12 March 2012 | International Solidarity Movement, West Bank

After three years of marriage Amani and Hussein Batran wanted a house of their own, somewhere to raise their two children, 4 year old Khalil and 3 year old Layali. They took out two loans from the bank and construction began. Now, three years later, the house is still unfinished and no new work has been done for over a year. One year ago, shortly after the Batran family moved into their nearly finished house, they received an order from the Israeli military forbidding further construction, followed seven months later by a demolition order. The reason given is that their house blocks the view of a camera mounted on the illegal segregation wall Israel has constructed inside of the West Bank.

The sight of glass-less windows and wires protruding from half-sanded walls speaks of dreams put on hold, a family living in limbo. The Batrani family has endured the bitter cold of this Palestinian winter with only plastic sheets covering their windows. The Israeli government considers installing glass a violation of the order to halt construction. Violating the order means risking imminent demolition of their home, so the family must make do with the inadequate plastic sheets.

They know their fate will likely be the same as Ahmed Jeyowi and his family, whether or not they obey the order to halt construction. Jeyowi’s home was demolished last month when around 50 Israeli soldiers stormed the house at 6 AM whilst Ahmed was drinking tea and preparing to work his land. The soldiers forced Ahmed’s wife and six children from their beds and gave the family no time to salvage their possessions before they demolished their home.

Ahmed has since been forced to send his wife and children to live with other family members whilst he lives on the ruined site which once was his home, now replaced by a tent provided by the Red Cross. Ahmed is left with no heating or lighting, no gas, no toilet, and insufficient bedding.

Idna has suffered considerably since the Israeli occupation, particularly due to the construction of the segregation wall and the theft of some 3,000 dunums of land since the second Intifada. Idhna is surrounded by the Israeli settlements of Adora and Telem to the northeast, a bypass road that runs through the northern parts of the town, and the segregation wall that borders Idna to the north and the west. There are currently 40 homes in Idna with demolition orders.

Paige is a volunteer with International Solidarity Movement (name has been changed).

Watch Caught on Camera: Ethnic Cleansing

Latest Reports of the United Nations

  • New UN Report Shows Sharp Rise In Palestinians Uprooted By Israeli Demolitions – IMEMC – Jan 27, 2012
  • Report OCHA – Demolitions & Forced Displacement – Year 2011 – Report | PDF

Israel’s Jerusalem municipality plans to build more than 50,000 (updated Dec 3, 2011: 85.000) new homes in the city’s occupied eastern sector over two decades:

  • 23,628 homes have already been approved, 20,263 in East Jerusalem and 3,365 in the west.
  • 13,824 are pending review, 12,819 in East Jerusalem and 1,005 in the west.
  • 23,266 housing units are still in planning stages, 19,281 in the east and 3,985 in the west.

Of these, the municipality plans:

  • 10,366 homes in northern East Jerusalem, including illegal Israeli settlement Pisgat Zeev and Palestinian town Beit Hanina.
  • 5,239 homes in southern East Jerusalem, including Gilo settlement and Palestinian district Beit Safafa.
  • 4,886 new units in central eastern Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan and Jerusalem’s Old City.

Read More

Besides this, Israel approved plans to ethnic cleanse 57.000 bedouin from Palestine

Save yourself time. It is only about this : Ethnic Cleansing

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