국제앰네스티는 수 천명의 팔레스타인 사람들이 매일 강제 퇴거의 위협을 안고 살도록 만들고 있는 팔레스타인 거주지 강제 철거를 중단할 것을 이스라엘 당국에 요청했다.새로 발간된 논평 ‘집만큼 안전한가? 이스라엘의 팔레스타인 거주지 철거(As safe as houses? Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes)’ 는 이스라엘 군이 팔레스타인 점령지 내 거주지와 기타 건물들의 불법성을 내세우며 철거를 진행하는 것에 대한 내용을 담고 있다.
유엔에 의하면 2009년 팔레스타인 주민 600명 이상이 이스라엘 당국의 명령에 따른 강제 철거에 의해 집을 잃었다. 이 중 절반 이상은 아동이었다.
국제앰네스티 필립 루터(Philip Luther) 중동 및 북아프리카국 부국장은 “점령지의 팔레스타인 주민들은 건축과 관련해 이스라엘의 엄격한 통제를 받고 있어 적합한 거주지에서 살 권리를 침해받고 있다”며 “이스라엘 당국은 팔레스타인 주민들을 매우 힘든 상황으로 몰아가고 있다. 강제 퇴거에 있어서는 이들에게 선택의 여지가 없다”고 말했다.
이어서 루터 국장은 “주민 대부분이 매우 긴 시간과 상당한 돈을 사무적이고 법적인 과정에 투입했음에도 불구하고 당국으로부터 건축 허가를 받지 못하고 있어 무허가로 건축에 착수하기 일쑤다”며 “하지만 집이 완성되면 이스라엘 불도저가 다시 밀어버릴 것을 이들은 알고 있다”고 말했다.
철거는 일반적으로 사전 통보 없이 감행되고 있어 팔레스타인 주민들이 재산을 챙기고 이주할 지역을 찾을 수 있는 여유가 없다. 유엔은 약 4,800개의 철거 명령이 대기 중이라고 전했다.
Israeli authorities must stop demolitions of Palestinian homes
16 June 2010
Amnesty International has called on the Israeli authorities to end house demolitions which leave thousands of Palestinians living in daily fear of eviction from their homes.
A new briefing, As safe as houses? Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes, reveals the extent to which Israeli forces are destroying homes and other structures in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, claiming they have been built illegally.
According to the UN, in 2009 more than 600 Palestinians – over half of them children – lost their homes after they were demolished on order from the Israeli authorities.
“Palestinians living under Israeli occupation face such tight restrictions on what they can build and where that their right to adequate housing is being violated,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“The Israeli authorities are putting Palestinians in an impossible situation. Whatever choice they make, they face homelessness.
“The majority of people are denied building permits by Israel, even after lengthy and expensive bureaucratic and legal processes, so they have little choice but to go ahead without official permission. But as they do so, they know that these buildings may soon be flattened by Israeli bulldozers.”
Demolitions are generally carried out with no warning of the date, giving no opportunity for Palestinians to salvage their possessions or find elsewhere to shelter. The UN has estimated that some 4,800 demolition orders are pending.
Under Israeli law, evicted families are not entitled to alternative housing or compensation, meaning many would face homelessness and destitution were it not for relatives, friends and charities.
While homes are often targeted, Israeli authorities have also issued demolition orders against Palestinian schools, clinics, roads, water cisterns, electricity pylons, sheds and animal shelters.
Palestinians living in the tiny village of Khirbet Tana in the Jordan valley have had to rebuild their homes twice in five years.
In 2005, Israeli authorities demolished the village school as well as a number of homes, animal sheds and water cisterns.
The villagers rebuilt their homes but on 10 January 2010, Israeli forces returned. They demolished the homes of 100 Palestinians, leaving 34 children homeless, as well as the village school for a second time. They also destroyed 12 sheep and goat pens, the main source of income for the village.
Raeda Nasasreh, a 24-year-old mother of two, told Amnesty International: “The army jeeps came at six in the morning; people saw them in the valley and started taking their belongings out of the houses.
“We didn’t have time to finish milking the ewes. They demolished everything here; by 9:30 they were finished.”
In October 2009, Israeli forces destroyed the home of Rida Nimr and her husband Nimr Ali Nimr in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Jabal al-Mukabbir. Three generations of the family, including five children, were left homeless.
“Some 30 police and special forces, accompanied by three bulldozers driven by civilian contractors, arrived while the children were still sleeping. The police rapidly surrounded and closed off the area,” said Rida.
“The demolition force only took a few pieces of furniture out of the house before its demolition and did not allow us to take out anything except, after pleading, a laptop belonging to our daughter Amal which she needs for her university studies.”
Amnesty International has called on the Israeli authorities to immediately end all demolitions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), including East Jerusalem.
The organization said the authorities should also transfer responsibility for planning and building policies and regulations to the local Palestinian communities.
In addition, the Israeli authorities must stop the construction or expansion of Israeli settlements in the OPT as a first step towards removing Israeli civilians living in such settlements.
“Demolition and eviction orders do not just destroy people’s homes. They also take away their possessions and their hopes for a secure future,” said Philip Luther.