Second Family home to be demolished


December 4, 1996


Jerusalem: The Israeli police came to the Rajbie home in Beit Hanina today in order to inform the family that their home, built on their own privately owned land, is to be destroyed within four days!! This is the second time that the Rajbie's home is to be destroyed. The demolition order was issued by Eli Suissa, then head of the district committee for planning, and now Minister of the Interior!

The father is in Amman for surgery while the mother is at home with her six children: their ages are 18, 16, 15, 12, 10 and 7. The older children are at critical ages with regard to their maturation. Children in their early and late teens can lose their psychological balance pursuant on the loss of security that follows the destruction of their home. It is also quite apparent that the mother is in a bad psychological state and might easily become clinically depressed. We have seen this happen in other cases of home demolitions.

The Rajbie's built their house without a licence because the Israeli government has decided that Arab-owned land is not to be used for Arab dwellings, particularly in Jerusalem and generally in Palestine. Most of the neighbourhood of Beit Hanina, as all other neighbourhoods, is designated "open landscape area." One wonders who can enjoy the landscape in these conditions!

I also contend that this act is what imparts to young Palestinian children a virulent hatred of Israeli Jews and sows the seeds for acts of violence in the future. It is also quite possible, given that landowners can be provided easily with licences, that this is one of the reasons for the demolition of homes - to keep the hostility alive between Arab and Jew and thus justifying retaliation by the Israeli authorities in the future through either killings or expulsions.

The family have just come to the offices of the Society who represented them in the courts. We lost the case in the Israeli courts, and there is no legal recourse left to the family.

As the lawyer who represented them in their case, I would just like to share with you the feelings I have of watching a family in a state of dire stress and anxiety, pleading with me to save them. I cannot save them and I am left completely helpless and impotent in the face of this impending disaster for the family.

Please lodge your complaints against these Israeli practices with your own governments and with your nearest Israeli embassy or the following government official:

Mr. B. Netanyahu
Prime Minister's Office
Fax: 972-2-566-48348

Society of St. Yves
Catholic Human Rights Center for Legal Resources and Development
********* I am my brother's keeper ********

where Jews, Christians & Muslims, Palestinians & Israelis,
are working together for Justice, Peace and Love in the Holy Land

POB 20531 Jerusalem 91204 Email-
Tel.972-2-6286-729; 6279119 Fax: 972-2-6286-339