CPT: Palestinians Rebuild Demolished Homes In Qawawis

28 March 2008

From Christian Peacemaker Teams
Palestinians from the South Hebron Hills gathered today in the village of Qawawis to begin rebuilding homes destroyed by the Israeli military on March 19.
Villagers from At-Tuwani, international human rights workers and the families of Qawawis worked throughout the morning to clear rubble, which blocked the entrance to a cave home in the village. Israeli soldiers initially refused to allow the work to continue but a District Commander arrived later in the morning and confirmed that the family did have the right to remove rubble from the home.
Israeli soldiers using a bulldozer destroyed three homes and an animal enclosure in the village on March 19. Since the demolition the family, including a baby and several small children, have been sleeping under a makeshift tarp next to the destroyed home. Israeli forces also destroyed eight structures in the villages of Imneizil, AdDeirat and Umm Lasafa on the same day.
The Israeli military has repeatedly demolished homes and other structures in the South Hebron Hills in recent years. In Qawawis Palestinian homes were destroyed by the Israeli military in 2005. The homes were rebuilt, and then demolished again in February and in April of 2007. Palestinians living in the South Hebron Hills area are routinely denied permits to build, and are subsequently threatened with demolitions.
According to Amnesty International Israel has demolished at least 7000 Palestinian homes since 1967. Not only does international law forbid such actions, but the Fourth Geneva Convention requires Israel as an occupying power to protect the civilian population under its rule and provide for its welfare. Collective punishment is explicitly forbidden in Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the demolition of houses constitutes a grave violation of Article 53.

Contact: Christian Peacemaker Teams, At-Tuwani, 054-253-1323.

Additional photos available at www.cpt.org