A Housing Policy we can be proud of?
By Stanley Walinets
April 30, 2011
Israel's Government expects Diaspora support, calls us 'delegitimisers' if we disagree with its policies. But I have to say I don't feel happy that this sort of thing is being done in my name. How do others feel? Read this,
just received from http://www.neontommy.com/news/2011/04/arab-israel-two-stories-lod, a University of Southern California website. Check the site for photographs....
"A Home, Demolished, in Israel"
LOD, ISRAEL -- When a Palestinian house is demolished, the bill is sent to the family whose home was turned to rubble. The only problem is, there's no longer any address to which that letter can be sent.
Hani Khawaja, 54, a lifelong resident of the Arab neighborhood in Lod — just outside of Tel Aviv — received such a bill after his house was recently bulldozed.
His story was told via the help of translator and guide Khalil Aby Shehadi, who lives in the same Arab neighborhood in Lod that is known as the "Railway Station Neighborhood" because the train tracks run adjacent to the corrugated iron homes.
"To demolish a house, it costs a lot of money. It's about half a million shekels, that's about $150,000. When they come, they bring the police with them. They close the two entrances to the neighborhood," said Shehadi. "We can't go to school, we can't go to the hospital, we can't go anywhere. At 4:30 in the morning, they closed the neighborhood. They put police everywhere, on horses, on cars, on foot. And helicopters. There were 250 policemen."
The helicopter cost 1,000 shekels per half hour. Cleaning the rubble costs another 70,000 shekels.
"They – he and his small children, tried to take everything out of their house. They took them out by force," continued Shehadi. "They destroyed the house with everything in it. Schoolbags, books, everything! Refrigerator, everything! Everything, yes."
Khawaja's blacksmith salary of $1200 a month leaves him unable to pay for the razing of his house. And so he doesn't pay. He won't pay. Somewhere in the Israeli administrative system, Khawaja is slowly racking up fees and travel restrictions.
He is not alone. There are 1400 other demolition orders in his neighborhood."
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