|Imagine if your home was demolished...|
For thousands of Palestinians this is a reality
Salim and Arabiya own land in Anata near Jerusalem and a home they cannot live in. Their home has been demolished four times by the Israeli authorities and has been rebuilt each time with the help of human rights group Israeli Committee against House Demolitions (ICAHD)
In 2003 they named their home Beit Arabiya and dedicated it as a peace centre which is used for community projects, international meetings and events. A fifth demolition order was placed on Beit Arabiya in June 2009.
‘You are basically sitting in your home with your family, not really living because you're always in fear of the Israeli soldiers surrounding your house and giving you 15 minutes to carry whatever possible of your belongings out to the street before they begin to bulldoze your home.’ Salim Shawamreh
Since 1967, Israel has demolished more than 24,000 Palestinian homes in the Occupied Territories and Gaza. Every year hundreds of Palestinians are forced from their homes, built on land they own. The Israeli government claims these houses are illegal because they have been constructed without building permits. However, the Israeli authorities refuse to grant building permits to Palestinians.
While the world in recent weeks has been focused on the Israeli attacks on the flotilla trying to break the blockade of Gaza to deliver humanitarian aid, in the West Bank and E.Jerusalem illegal settlement building and demolitions of Palestinian homes have continued unabated. We are very pleased and honoured that 2 repeated victims of these demolitions, Salim & Arabiya Shawamreh are coming to Ealing to tell their story as part of a nation-wide speaking tour organized by Israeli human rights group ICAHD (Israeli Committee against House Demolitions).
June 14, 2010