On October 14, more than 200 police people escorted the bulldozer to demolish the home of Hassan Abu-Sweilem in the unrecognized village of Wadi Naam. Hassan was to be married ten days later. He had worked hard and created a beautiful home for his bride-to-be.
Home demolitions, Police violence, and a judicial system that supports this outrage. The bride is still in police custody two weeks after her home was demolished.On October 14, more than 200 police people escorted the bulldozer to demolish the home of Hassan Abu-Sweilem in the unrecognized village of Wadi Naam. Hassan was to be married ten days later. He had worked hard and created a beautiful home for his bride-to-be.
In the Bedouin villages, where half the population of the Israeli Negev Bedouins resides, there is an ongoing policy of non-recognition, meaning that there are no options of requesting building permits. So Hassan built the home without a building permit. In the Russian Rolette of home demolitions, he lost.
Hassan planted olive trees around his house. He created a wonderful home
An ironic aspect of this home demolition is that this extended family was in the middle of negotiations with the government on the location and conditions of transferring out of their village and to a location that was acceptable by the government. So Hassan would have moved anyhow when the negotiations were completed. Most likely the home demolition was a method of telling the Bedouin that the government means "business", and that the family should not negotiate, but accept the conditions offered to them by the government. A common and oppressive tactic of the government.
During the process of the home demolition, a small group of the village people gathered, mostly women and children. The police, with no provocation from this group, attacked. The police brutally pushed, hit and even shot rubber bullets at the small group. Four women were injured and were taken by ambulance to the hospital. Two are suffering from broken bones in their arms.
Boys came home and found the house demolished. The government left a post saying "government land, keep out"
Five were arrested, among them the bride-to-be. The state requested the courts to remand the five. The judge agreed. The state requested this again. The judge again agreed. These five have been under arrest now for two weeks, and are to remain arrested at least until November 22nd. I try and put myself in this very young woman's shoes, and find it impossible. A young Bedouin woman, who probably has never been away from her family, instead of a wedding, has witnessed her home being demolished and is spending weeks in the Israeli penal system. The charges: throwing stones. Maybe she did and maybe she didn't. Either way - keeping her arrested before trial for such a long time is extremely unjust. It is cruel.
Please do what you can to help Hassan, his bride and his family. Write immediately to your representatives and ask that they inquire as to the need of these long arrests. Ask about the policies of non-recognition, of the ongoing home demolitions of Bedouin citizens' homes, when there are no other options. Ask your representatives to bring these questions to the Israeli government.
Write to the Israeli embassy in your area. Ask these questions.
In a weary world of endless US military interventions, sanctions, trade tariffs and chaos, let’s pause and take stock of the shining house on the hill