Demolitions and Demonstrations

Dear friends and family,
Sorry that I haven’t written in over a week. It’s not that things haven’t been happening; I just haven’t had the words to communicate them. Or maybe the energy. I don’t know. So I thought I’d just give a short update and hope my pictures suffice.

First of all, I figured out the video thing (I hope). So you can see some of the Debke dancing by going to this link.

A lot of my time has been spent on a home demolition documentation project that IWPS is coordinating with the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions. We’ve been visiting with various mayors of villages in the Salfit region. The mayor of Deir Istiya was an especially charming man. We happened to be at his office when an engineer and some other people were meeting with him about a community center project that he is spearheading. He envisions a recreation area and even a swimming pool. He invited us to go with them all to look at the land it would be built on. While we were there and he was pointing out where various things would be built, it was impossible not to notice the encroaching settlements and settler roads. He said, “Yes, our cousins are talking that land.”

The pictures:
The womyn in pink is the engineer. The mayor also in that picture.
Another picture is of the mayor standing in front of the house in which he was born.
Another is of him in front of a sign proudly announcing another project that is restoring the old city of Deir Istiya. (That project is almost complete.) He joked about taking a picture of an old man in front of the old city.

Another village that is facing home demolitions is Yasuf. There are about 10 homes that will probably be demolished soon. Right now the families are fighting the orders in court. Most of the homes are not even finished yet and they are in Area B, which is a designation that came from the Oslo Accords which basically means they don’t need a permit from the Israelis to build there. But that doesn’t seem to matter to the Israelis.

The pictures:
One of the houses that is being threatened with demolition.
The kitchen of one of the houses that is being threatened with demolition.
Two womyn who live in one of the houses that is being threatened with demolition.
Construction workers working near one of the houses that is being threatened with demolition.

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