Region | Palestinian Territories

Israel destroys Palestinian home as punishment

Home destroyed to pressure fasting prisoner to end strike

  • By Nasouh Nazzal, Correspondent
  • Published: 16:35 January 1, 2013
  • Gulf News

Ramallah: Israeli bulldozers have demolished the house of Ra’afat Al Eisawi, brother of the fasting Palestinian prisoner Samer Al Eisawi, who has refused to end his hunger strike launched 159 days ago.

Al Eisawi family accused the Israeli military forces of targeting the fasting Samer with the demolition, claiming it was aimed at putting pressure on Samer to stop his fast.

In an interview with Gulf News, Sherine Al Eisawi, Samer’s sister, said that Israeli forces arrived at Ra’afat’s house and started the demolition immediately. The family was not given the chance to clear their furniture and belongings.

“Ra’afat had never received a note, or a warning letter from the Israeli occupation Municipality in Jerusalem,” she said. “The Israeli official records do not show a single note or warning letter handed to Ra’afat at all,” she added.

The Israeli forces arrived when all the official departments in Jerusalem are closed giving the family no chance to appeal urgently to the court to suspend or postpone the demolition.

Israeli forces claimed that Ra’afat had built his house without obtaining the official building licenve. “Not a single house in Al Eisawiyah neighbourhood is officially licensed. The Israelis do not give o building licences for Palestinians of occupied East Jerusalem,” said Sheirne.

Ra’afat has been living with his wife and three kids in his 150 square meter house. He owns the land, and had repeatedly applied for a building licence but the Israeli authorities rejected his requests.

Sherine said that it was the first time Israeli forces raided the area in such big numbers, claiming she counted more than 300 Israeli soldiers on the scene. “The Israelis expected serious confrontations with the Palestinians in the neighbourhood as the residents were clearly aware of the Israeli intentions,” she said.

Sherine said that the Israeli military surrounded their house almost daily and have demolished five times in the past month the solidarity tent built in front of Al Eisawi family in support of Samer .

“While the Israeli bulldozers were demolishing Ra’afat’s house, Al Eisawiyah residents rebuilt the solidarity tent for the sixth time sending the Israeli forces a message that they will continue their unlimited support for Samer in his Israeli confinement,” she said.

Samer has been on a hunger strike for the past 159 days protesting against his administrative detention orders. Israeli forces rearrested Samer a short time after he was released from Israeli prison in the Shalit prisoner swap deal. Samer remains in Israeli prison on a secret charges list submitted by Israeli security service.

Samer Al Eisawi has been tried in two different courts at the same time. He is scheduled to appear at Ofer Military Court today) and to also be at the Jerusalem Magistrates Court tomorrow.

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