By: Wendy and Cathy
On July 5th at approximately 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 7, an estimated 20 army jeeps, 3 police jeeps, 1 large personnel carrier, 75 soldiers, and 2 bulldozers showed up at the home of 82 year old Ibrahim Ahmed Tabil in the village of As Sawiya, Salfit district of the West Bank. They started to demolish the room in which he was sleeping. When he awoke and started to argue with them, they pushed him and his bed out of the room, forced the family to stay in another part of the house and finished the demolition. They did not allow the family to recover any of the possessions in the room. The operation took approximately 10 minutes; the army was there for approximately one hour. The number of people living in the house is 9.
During the operation the army surrounded the neighboring house and forced the family outside. The neighboring house was also damaged by the demolition.
The family of Ibrahim Ahmed Tabil has been living in As Sawiya since the time of his great grandfather, approximately 100 years. His house was built on land owned by the family in 1963. The addition that was demolished was built in 1996. It was built without a permit because it was just a small addition that abutted to his neighbor’s house and was between the two houses. Approximately one month previous to the demolition, the army came to the home and looked around. They told the family that they were not planning to do any damage. They never gave the family any written documents or warning of the impending demolition.
On Tuesday, July 7, the army informed the family of Adnad Ahmed Abu Kafina that his home will be demolished by the end of the month. There are 11 family members, including 8 children that will become homeless if this happens.
The family of Adnad Ahmed Abu Kafina has been living in Sawiya approximately 150 years. Their house was built in 1953 on land owned by the family. Two front rooms were added in 1996. The army is claiming that the whole house was built in 1996, and therefore is planning to demolish the entire house. The family was told to remove their possessions by the end of the month. They have hired a lawyer who has obtained a temporary injunction against the demolition until the matter can be heard by the Israeli Supreme Court. The lawyer is costing 15,000 NIS and the family is seeking to raise the funds.
IWPS members photographed damaged property at the house of Ibrahim Ahmed Tabil.