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Palestinian home rebuilt by UK volunteers served 72 hour demolition notice

February 20, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Yesterday evening a demolition order was served on a home in the village of Al Walajah just outside Bethlehem on the West Bank. If this action goes ahead, this Sunday morning (15 May) the home will be bulldozed by the Israeli army. The home that is set to be destroyed has just been rebuilt by a group of volunteers from UK human rights charity the Amos Trust, together with local Palestinian people.  The home belongs to the Aburizeq family and the land has been owned by the village for centuries.


House demolitions such as this are illegal under international law and have been condemned by human rights groups and the UK and other international governments. Al Walajah is a small village of 2,500 people, 5 miles south of Jerusalem.  Half of the village has been annexed to Jerusalem and the whole village is to be completely encircled by the Israeli Separation Wall. The village will be completely cut off as there will be one entrance to the village through an Israeli checkpoint.

Israel has since 1967 demolished over 25 homes in the village. This home was originally demolished seven years ago and three generations of the Aburizeq family have had to live together in an old damp concrete cabin in a nearby refugee camp.

As the home was rebuilt in April, the mother of the family wept as she saw her home rising again after seven years. She said, “I was dead and you have given me back my life.”

These policies are not about security, they are about demolishing families and are deliberate reminders of the power of the occupying Israeli military.  In the words of Dr Mazin Qumsiyeh, a Palestinian peace activist and former Yale professor ‘Nearly half the land of Al Walaja has been annexed to the Jerusalem municipality, but not the people of Al Walaja. They want the land but they don’t want the people that come with it’

The demolition is not inevitable; it requires urgent action to prevent it.  Amos Trust urges people to contact their MP or the Foreign Secretary Rt Hon William Hague at the Foreign office today asking them to put pressure on the Israeli government to abide by international law.


A draft letter is available at