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5 homes have been completely destroyed during the last 18 hours in Bethlehem. 150 Palestinian civilians lost their homes this week alone. Over 15 houses demolished in the past 7 days


November 24, 2002 - The International Solidarity Movement

The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) has begun actively and rapidly demolishing the homes of families of martyr bombers throughout the Occupied Territories and the Gaza Strip. 5 homes have been completely destroyed during the last 18 hours in Bethlehem, where the IOF officially announced its intention to stay until all the homes of suicide bombers are destroyed. The situation is not much better in other cities: eight homes were demolished this week in Nablus, Gaza, and Jenin.

The IOF can not justify this barbaric destruction of civilian's homes by saying that it is about "security", as the bomber, the "threat" is already dead, or non-existent. No, this policy is without doubt about an eye for an eye, `teaching them a lesson' as one Israeli commander said, and collective punishment. It is a question of directly targeting a family who probably had little to no idea about the attack until afterwards, and brutally destroying the very little that they may have left, frequently when they are still in mourning.

Why does the world so easily accept the propaganda and media `spin' of suicide bombers without asking the more important, relevant, and revealing questions? For most people it is unquestionably not tolerable to target and kill innocent civilians, and this is why they object or react so negatively to suicide bombers. This same logic
should lead to an uproar about the over 15 houses demolished in the past 7 days, as it also a case of targeting, psychologically destroying civilians, and physically demolishing all that they own.

And that is without even mentioning all the other civilians in each of this cities who have been subjected to outrageous human rights violations daily under the Israeli Occupation; violations that Internationals have documented and can attest to, along with many highly reputable human rights organizations, including Amnesty International.

Why does the world fail to ask more probing questions, work harder to uphold its values, and tolerate less hypocrisy? Why does no one ask what could have possibly happened to a young person to make him or her decide to throw his/her life away? Why does no one ask or come to see what is really going on in this land that could push such a great number of young people to end their lives?

Occupation is about daily humiliation, power, control, and crushing oppression. It is about the destruction of a people, their lands, their traditions, and their hopes. It is about creating a life that is so truly unbearable that a 15 year-old boy, with his whole life ahead of him, could venture off to end everything in an attack because death actually seems like a better alternative. As the IOF continues to commit grave human rights violations daily and systematically oppresses the civilian population, the world remains silent, piping up only for the occasional condemnation of a suicide bomber on the premise that innocent civilians are not legitimate targets in war.

150 Palestinian civilians lost their homes this week alone. These great dichotomies and overall inconsistency lead one to conclude that even the highest ideals, the most essential international laws, and the most inherent, basic human rights, have exceptions, and that the world is anything but just, moral, or decent



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