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Cleansing Palestinians

Palestinians are being forced from their homes throughout the Occupied Territories and in Israel itself.

Some 13 Palestinian families were ordered to abandon their homes in the village of Khirbet Ibzik, in the fertile Jordan Valley, on four occasions in one month. The Israeli army displaced the 70 residents (including 38 children) for 24 hours at a time, on 16, 23 and 26 December and then again on 13 January.

The reason? The army said it was carrying out manoeuvres in the area.

On 20 December, Israeli government agents and police came to the Bedouin village of Al-Araqib in the Negev desert in southern Israel and demolished it yet again.

Sheikh Sayeh Abu-Madi’am, an inhabitant of Al-Araqib, was imprisoned for 10 months on Christmas Day, for the crime of trespassing on his own land 19 times.

Ateret Cohanim (‘crown of the priests’), a settler association, is buying houses in occupied East Jerusalem one-by-one or seizing them in large numbers through legal manoeuvres.

On 21 November, the Israeli high court rejected an attempt to challenge this process, an appeal by 104 residents of the Silwan area of East Jerusalem.

The 104 were trying to overturn a 2002 decision by the so-called ‘custodian of absentee property’ (referring to land abandoned in 1948 and since resettled). The custodian decided to ‘free’ the land on which the 104 have lived for decades.

After the high court ruling, Ateret Cohanim started eviction proceedings against the 104.