“People first, enough with the home demolitions” and “Let’s end the occupation,” the demonstrators yelled.

Meretz MK Raz: 'The occupation will eventually end'
People demonstrate outside the Prime Minister’s Residenceagainst the decision to destroy illegal Palestinian homes in Wadi Hummus, July 25, 2019 . (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)


“Shame! Shame!,” several dozen demonstrators chanted on Thursday in Jerusalem’s Paris Square near Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in protest against the IDF’s demolition on Monday of 12 Palestinian apartment buildings in Wadi Hummus just south of Jerusalem.

“People first, enough with the home demolitions” and “Let’s end the occupation,” the demonstrators yelled.

One driver passing by heckled the demonstrators, shouting that they were crazy.

MK Moshe “Mossi” Raz (Meretz) told the demonstration that he disputed that the IDF demolitions were a security necessity, notwithstanding a 2011 IDF edict banning the construction of structures within 400 meters of the security barrier.

“If securing the barrier is a problem, then we shouldn’t have built it there,” Raz said speaking into a megaphone.

The IDF knew that the structures were built on land in Areas A and B of the West Bank said Raz. “We signed agreements,” said Raz, alluding to the 1993 Oslo Accord, which placed Areas A and B under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority.

This government must know that the “occupation will eventually end,” Raz added.

Demonstrator Tel Nahari said that IDF actions in Wadi Hummus, “crossed a big line” particularly because the home owners had received building permits from the PA. She noted that the IDF should have acted against the homes when construction began rather than when the multi-family apartment blocks were nearing completion.

“Not to mention the horrible situation in Jerusalem where no one [Palestinian Jerusalem residents can get permits to build. This creates more hate and more problems for all of Jerusalem,” Nahari said.

The difficulty in getting a building permit underscores the deep division between the western and the eastern parts of the city, she added.

Mia Caplan, from Neve Ilan, said the demolitions were “a great injustice.” A member of the Jewish Arab group Standing Together, she said she came to the rally because “I don’t want to be quiet all the time.”

Caplan was not discouraged by the relatively small number of demonstrators, noting it was a good turnout for a left-wing rally in Jerusalem. Last time she attended a protest, there were only 10 people present, she said.

Looking out at the demonstrators holding signs and shouting slogans, she said, “This is really very heartwarming.”

As reported by The Jerusalem Post