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21 Home demolition orders, activists to maintain presence in Izbat at-Tabib

Internationals solidarity activists to start presence in Izbat at-Tabib in response to 21 home demolition order
by the ISM Media Team

24 April 2007

Izbat at-Tabib, Qalqilia—The 226 Palestinian inhabitants of Izbat at-Tabib experience daily incursions by the Israeli Army. Checkpoints are often set up around the village and jeeps have entered in the daytime and evenings, with soldiers demanding to see I.D. cards and arbitrarily questioning and harassing Palestinian residents. Now, these residents are being threatened with home demolition orders.

Izbat at-Tabib has received a total of 21 demolition orders for homes, barns and for the service centre which is still under construction. The inhabitants of Izbat at-Tabib, the refugees from the village of Tabsur, who often live in houses of corrugated iron and cement blocks, have been applying for building permits since 1991. All their applications have been denied. Yet, they have received documentation stating that they will be evicted from Izbat at-Tabib and forced to move into the neighboring village of Azzoun. On March 1, 2007 the village received an official letter indicating a new plan for the construction of a settler road through several houses in the village.

According to Bayan Tabib, resident and mayor of the village, on April 13, the level of harassment and violence of the daily incursions increased. After 8 p.m., the Israeli army entered the village of Izbet At-Tabib, imposed a curfew and established checkpoints around the village, preventing anyone from entering or exiting. Tabib said that 20 houses, nearly half the houses in the village, were raided, and residents forced outside. Twenty-five men and fifteen boys, some reportedly as young as four or five years old, were forced to line up with hands tied behind their backs for one to two hours facing a wall off the main road of the village. The reason the army gave for the incursion, according to Tabib, was a complaint by a settler that stones had been thrown on to the main road. The men were told that the village would be punished for any rock thrown, regardless of who was responsible.

Tabib said that the soldiers left on the evening of April 13 and threatened that “this was only the beginning and the next time would be worse!”

In response to the threat of further violent incursions and home demolition orders, the mayor of Izbat al-Tabib, on behalf of the village council, has invited international solidarity activists to establish an international presence in the village. Starting this Wed., April 25, internationals will begin their presence in Izbat at-Tabib.

Tabib said that he “hopes that with international witnesses it will be difficult for the soldiers to act violently.”

For more info, contact:
IWPS at 09-251-66-44,
ISM at 02-297-18-24, 0599-943-157
Bayan Tabib at 0599-436-832.