House Demolitions in Wadi al-Hummus: Dreams turned into Rubbles
A Statement by the YWCA of Palestine
On Monday July 22, Wadi al-Hummus area, in the Sur Baher neighborhood of East Jerusalem, suffered a wave of house demolitions carried out by the Israeli military forces. At around two in the morning, Israeli forces invaded the neighborhood and started the demolition of 16 Palestinian residential buildings, including inhabited homes, after forcing families out. Some of the residents are refugees who had to relive the brutality of forced displacement for the second time.
While Israel claims that the buildings were too close to the Separation Wall, this wave is rooted in a systematic ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people and in Israel’s continued efforts to erase the Palestinian identity, expropriate more land and extend its sovereignty over all historic Palestine by expanding its illegal settlements.
A statement by UN officials regarding the demolitions stressed that “Israel’s policy of destroying Palestinian property is not compatible with its obligations under international humanitarian law” . Not only is this a breach of international law, but a violation of the Oslo Accords. Wadi al-Hummus is located in area A under the Palestinian Authority’s administration and the residents received permits from the PA to build there. These properties were the “dream” homes for several people who reported having invested their life savings into them; however, their dreams turned into rubbles in a matter of minutes – a typical Palestinian story.
The YWCA of Palestine is deeply concerned about the women’s and children’s safety. We know that women and children suffer most when displaced. UNSCR 1325 calls for the right of protection of women in war and conflict, and their right to hold perpetrators of violence accountable. We thus call on YWCAs around the world and the international community to hold Israel accountable for its constant violations of international law and the rights of the Palestinian people. These actions are crimes against humanity that the world, especially us as women, can no longer be silent about. Unity and solidarity go hand in hand with achieving a just peace for all. We ask you to demand that your government takes action now towards ending the occupation of Palestine: there can be no justice with occupation. The UN has passed several UN resolutions on Palestine, it is high time to see these resolutions come to life.