Society of St. Yves

" I am my brother's keeper"

Catholic Human Rights Center for Legal Resources and Development

PRESS RELEASE

ISRAEL USES CLOSURE FOR HOUSE DEMOLITIONS IN WEST BANK

Jerusalem, 6th August 1997

Yesterday IDF forces informed Ismail Shawamre, from the village of Anata in the Ramallah area, that his family home will be demolished in a few days. The Israeli soldiers told him to move out of his home in order to save the family's movable possessions and to make the demolition easier. Of course, no alternative housing was offered Mr. Shawamre who is a client of Society of St Yves.

The rational behind the decision to demolish the Shawamre family home is that the house was built without a permit. The Planning and Inspection Department of the Civil Administration refuses to grant Mr. Shawamre a permit for two reasons: they claim that Mr. Shawamre has not presented land ownership documents, and the regional master plan has designated the area for agricultural use.

In actual fact, Mr. Shawamre has presented a number of land ownership documents to the civil administration; none of these documents were refuted. Moreover, the regional master plan, RJ - 5, prepared at the time of the British mandate, does allow for residential building.

The illegal Jewish settler colonies in the West Bank are built according to new plans, rendering the RJ-5 invalid. According to Advocate Lynda Brayer, the Israelis have never prepared detailed town plans for the village, according to the criteria used for the Jewish settler colonies. The absence of town planning by the Israelis is deliberate - it is part of the transfer plan of all Israeli governments to reduce the number of Palestinians in Palestine.

The intention to demolish the Shawamre family home is just another example of Israel's misuse of the latest closure to commit human rights violations with impunity. Since no Israelis, including Israeli lawyers, are allowed in the West Bank on closure days, Palestinians are denied any legal protection against repressive measures taken by the Israeli army.

For further information call tel: 972-2-6286729, fax: 972- 2-6286339, email: styves@netvision.net.il

35, Khaled Ibn-Walid Street, P.O. Box 20531 Jerusalem via Israel 91204