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Gideon Levy: The war for the house

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    Why was it necessary to destroy the lives of 11 families The war for the house By Gideon Levy Haaretz Israel http://whtt.org/index.php?news=2&id=1795 Theirs is
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 7, 2008
      Why was it necessary to destroy the lives of 11 families

      The war for the house
      By Gideon Levy
      Haaretz Israel

      Theirs is an apartment building no one has ever heard of. No
      architectural International Style, no style at all, just an apartment
      building. Five floors, 11 families, new tiles in one of the bathrooms.
      Situated on a hillside, the house hovers above the city below. Hovers?

      Many other buildings surround this one. Densely constructed, the
      houses almost touch one another. A narrow alley, the width of a
      person, separates the buildings. All of the residents of the apartment
      building are family members - parents, siblings and cousins. They
      built one floor on top of another, residing in cramped proximity.
      Residing? Resided.

      Last Thursday, the bulldozer arrived. How did the bulldozer get to a
      home at the end of the narrow alleyway? Along the way, as they say,
      the bulldozer paved a route of destruction for itself, damaging all
      the homes in its path. Here it demolished a stone fence, there it
      cracked a wall. What difference does it make already? Some of the
      homes have now become hazardous for human residence, their cracked
      walls threatening to collapse. The bulldozer finally reached its
      destination and began razing the building

      The five stories collapsed like a house of cards, stirring up a huge
      cloud of dust, burying everything in the apartment building: kitchen
      utensils, furniture, toys, electronic appliances and memories. Nothing
      remained; everything was buried. Last week, I saw two children trying
      to save something: the new bicycles purchased for the school year.
      Demolished walls with iron rods protruding from them covered the red
      bikes the children struggled to extract. Finally, they uncovered them:
      bent, smashed. Pain surfaced on the faces of the children, a girl and
      a boy, nine or 10 years old. Nothing remained of their home. Just a
      row of children's clothing fluttered in the wind, hung on a wire
      descending from the remains of the roof. The staircase remains
      suspended in the air on iron rods, leading nowhere, threatening to
      crash down at any moment on our heads and upon the heads of the
      rummaging children.

      Here lives the Mabruk family, not happily. The father, Ali, his sons
      and daughters. About three weeks ago, the Israel Defense Forces killed
      his son, Nasser; another son, Majid, is still wanted by Israel. A
      fighting family, active in the Popular Front for the Liberation of
      Palestine. A giant red flag of the Popular Front is now planted among
      the ruins of the house, protesting the world that has shown no
      interest in them. Not far from there, at the end of a row of houses,
      the soldier Ben Zion Henman was killed in a gun battle that erupted
      here about 10 days ago. Within the camp, Mohammed Khaled, 17, and Adib
      Salim, 38, were killed. Adib was a disabled tirmis [lupin bean]
      salesman, paralyzed on the right side of his body. He fell, bleeding,
      under a sign memorializing his brother, Jamal, a Hamas activist who
      was liquidated here by a missile in 2001. The IDF claims that the
      paralyzed Adib was armed. In its response, the IDF emphasizes as
      supporting evidence the fact that his brother was a terrorist.

      It was a successful operation: The IDF prevented a horrible suicide
      attack. Some of the planners of this attack were here, among the
      alleyways of the Ein Beit Ilma camp, located on the western edge of
      Nablus. No one can dispute the need to carry out an operation like
      this, which prevented killing. The fact that only two Palestinians
      were killed during the three days of the nameless operation - this
      time the IDF did not follow its habit of assigning the operation one
      of the childish names it favors - attests to the caution the soldiers

      In this light, there is even more reason to ask: Why the apartment
      building? Why was it necessary to destroy the lives of 11 families?
      How will it contribute to the security of Israel, even if the IDF
      calls the building a "combat post?" When will we finally wean
      ourselves of this unnecessary and criminal means of destroying the
      homes of innocent people? Does the fact that the commander of the
      Popular Front in the camp lives in the house justify demolishing the
      entire five-story building? When will the IDF learn that the next
      terrorists will sprout from among these very ruins? Was not the urge
      for revenge aroused in the heart of the child who searched for the
      bicycle among the ruins of his home, who saw his world destroyed?
      Anyone wishing to become acquainted with the real "infrastructure of
      terror" is invited to travel to Nablus, to see the ruins of the home
      at the edge of the Ein Beit Ilma camp.



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