Today presented another illustration of daily life for Palestinians in the West Bank. About 15 Palestinians were evicted from their homes by the Israeli state, only to watch those homes be demolished before their eyes “under the pretext that it was not licensed by the municipal authorities.” The eight-member family of Haroun Burqan was forced out of their home in East Jerusalem when bulldozers escorted by Israeli police and border security showed up. The Burqan family was not even allowed to retrieve their belongings. Their furniture, all their possessions were destroyed, along with their home which Haroun’s grandfather built before 1967. The bulldozers later moved to the Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, where they demolished the RV motor home of Majdi Salaymah.”Salaymah owns the land and has repeatedly applied for a building licence which the occupied West Jerusalem Municipality has rejected.”
Last April, a report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council included some details of life in Gaza:
There are serious concerns regarding the increasing number of civilians, including children, shot and injured in the so-called Gaza buffer zone imposed by Israel, which covers the area up to 300 metres from the Gaza fence. The exact boundaries of the zone are unclear, given that it is not physically delimited, but is known to be an area where there are clashes between militants and the Israeli security forces. In May 2009, the Israeli Army made a statement indicating that any individual entering the zone would be endangering his or her life. However, Palestinians continue to collect gravel and scrap metal in abandoned settlements and industrial zones near the fence, which they later sell to support their families. In 2010, 40 boys and 4 girls were allegedly injured by Israeli fire in or near the buffer zone. Of those, 26 boys, some as young as 13, were shot while collecting gravel within 800 metres of the fence. In cases where sworn affidavits were taken, 19 children were shot in the leg, 2 in the arm and 1 child was shot in the head.
About one month ago, the United Nations General Assembly heard from the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices. Here’s an excerpt of the press release for that hearing:
During the morning’s debate, the observer for Palestine said that while Israeli officials had made statements in the media and at the United Nations about their commitment to realizing peace, according to the Special Committee’s report, during the reporting period more than 91 persons had been killed at the hands of Israeli occupying forces and more than 750 Palestinians in the West Bank had been displaced after their homes were demolished.
In the past month alone, amid serious diplomatic efforts by all concerned parties, Israel had announced the construction of nearly 6,000 more settlement units in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, where its settlement expansion remained the most prevalent, she said. At the same time, Israel’s expansionist wall continued unabated.
“The occupying Power”, she said, had chosen to make a mockery of the international legal system by continuing to deliberately engage in the violation of international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights law, by committing systematic human rights violations against the Palestinian people, including “countless acts constituting war crimes and State terrorism”.
There is an interesting interview with Rashid Khalidi in Haaretz, in which Khalidi talks about the reality of a one-state solution (the interview is interesting throughout, and Khalidi offers some tough love for Palestinians too.)
A “one-state solution already exists,” he added, because “there is only one state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, in which there are two or three levels of citizenship or non-citizenship within the borders of that one state that exerts total control.”