"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Eve demolitions of Palestinian homes by Israel

Father and child amongst their belongings following the demolition of their home.

Property Rights Ignored
  • There is plenty of finger pointing and blame to go around in the Middle East.  But one thing is for sure, when Israel bulldozes Arab homes and turns Arab land over to Jewish settlers they are not making friends with their neighbors.

The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees has condemned Israel's demolition of Palestinian Bedouin dwellings in the West Bank, calling for an immediate halt.

"UNRWA condemns the latest demolitions in the West Bank, which displaced 68 people, the most recent of which occurred on Christmas Eve," spokesman Chris Gunness said  in a statement.

“The demolitions took place in Ein Ayoub near Ramallah and Fasayil al-Wusta near Jericho in the Jordan valley with 61 persons displaced in Ein Ayoub, and seven persons, all refugees, displaced in Fasayil al-Wusta," Gunness said. He added that 32 of those displaced were children, "including a five year old girl who is paralyzed from the waist down," reports RT News.

Gunness stated that at least 663 Palestinian buildings – including 259 homes – have been demolished, and 1,103 Palestinians have been displaced in the West Bank and East Jerusalem this year.

The spokesman urged Israel to obey international laws and halt demolitions.

Israel maintains that it only dismantles buildings that were put up without permission. But Palestinians say they are almost never granted permits.

A Bedouin refugee child standing on the site of his demolished home.
Image from UNRWA

 Palestinian Christian Daoud Nassar
"The Israelis want this whole area. Their plan is to force as many of us as possible to leave," said Palestinian Christian Daoud Nassar, who is fighting to hold on to his family's farm in Nahalin.
There cannot be peace in the Middle East, or anywhere else in the world, unless the right of individuals to own private property is respected by governments and protected by the courts.
See our article:  "Do Arabs have Property Rights?"

In 1991, the Israeli military committee had ordered three-fourths of the Nassar farm taken by the state, claiming it was neither privately owned nor actively cultivated. The family went to court to challenge the order with land ownership papers dated and stamped 1924. But the military judge rejected the challenge, ruling the hand-drawn map inadmissible as evidence.

The ownership papers had been honored by Turkish, British and Jordanian rulers who came and went. And until the 1991 order, there had been no hint of trouble with the new Jewish government.

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