Wednesday, February 14, 2007

HEBRON DISTRICT URGENT ACTION: Five families facing loss of homes. Contact embassies in Tel Aviv

The Israeli military has issued stop building orders to five Palestinian families living in the Khirbtkasah area of Hebron district. In the past, such orders have often been followed by demolition orders. Five extended families live in seventeen dwellings in Khirbtkasah, near the village of Idhna. The families, consisting of 235 people, already face severe hardship because their homes and land lie in a 'closed area' between Israel's Separation Wall and the Green Line.

Since Israel began construction of the Wall in 2002, observers have feared that the Israeli government would eventually forcibly remove thousands of Palestinians living near the wall from their homes. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that the wall adversely affects 250,000 Palestinians. Of those, 17,000 live in 'closed areas.' They cannot legally travel to Israel, or access any services there. The Israeli army also controls their access to markets, schools and hospitals in the occupied Palestinian West Bank through a gate in the wall. They are thus enclosed by a physical wall on one side and by an administrative one on the other.

The families in Khirbtkasah, who have legal documentation of ownership of the land dating from the time of the Ottoman rule, will appeal the stop building orders in an Israeli military court on 22 February 2007.

Please, e-mail or write to your embassy in Tel Aviv. Copy your Members of Parliament or Representatives and Senators. Urge them to send a clear message to the Israeli government that driving Palestinians from their land is a violation of international law and must stop.

"Please protest Israeli Military harassment Palestinians trapped between the Separation Wall and the Green Line.

Five families living in the Khirbtkasah area of Hebron district, near Idhna, will present an appeal petition in the Military Court on 22 February 2007. The families of Ahmad Shehdeh Hamed Natah, Isat Muhama Abu Sa'adum, Saley Ahmad Natah, Yosef Abdelkader Natah and Aref Muhamad Ahmad Abu-Sa'adin have legal documentation proving ownership of this land. Threats to displace these families are a violation of international law.

At present, the families farm their land, raising goats and sheep and growing wheat. The Israeli army controls the families' access to markets and other services because the area is between the Green Line and the Israeli Separation Wall. These restrictions of movement have already threatened their livelihoods.

I urge you to investigate these cases and send a clear message to the Israeli government that driving Palestinians from their homes is wrong and must stop.

[Your name and full address]


USA: Embassy in Tel Aviv -- US Embassy, 71 Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv 63903,
Israel. Email: Mary Glantz, Human Rights,
Or Michelle Schohn,

President George W Bush, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC20500

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, 2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520

To contact your Senator go to

To contact your Representative go to

For more information on land issues
in the Hebron district contact Abdul Hadi Hantash of the Palestinian Land
Defense Committee, phone 972 599 838 180; or Christian Peacemaker Teams in
Hebron, phone 97-22-222-8485

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