OVER 100 SHOPS AND 5 HOMES DEMOLISHED IN NAZLAT ‘ISA FOR THE BUILDING OF THE WALL
(21 August 2003, Nazlat ‘Isa, Occupied West Bank. PENGON/Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign) — Marking the single largest demolition of buildings in years, the entire commercial area of Nazlat ‘Isa was today raised to the ground as some 15 bulldozers, accompanied by large numbers of military and border police, entered the community at 5:00 AM and destroyed over 100 shops and 5 homes. The market, which was previously targeted in January of this year with the destruction of 82 or close to one half of its shops, has been the commercial center for the entire region.
The bulldozers began the demolitions early in the morning and continued unabated until the late hours of the night.
The commercial area, just east of the Green Line in the Occupied West Bank, has been leveled for the building of an “isolation barrier”—an extension or offshoot of the Wall—that will entrap the community and the surrounding areas between it and the Wall to ensure complete isolation. Commercial areas along the Green Line have been consistently targeted with the building of the Wall in what assures that communities trapped between the Wall and the Green Line (the Wall in this case is located 2 km inside the West Bank) will have no infrastructure for survival.
Today, Nazlat ‘Isa saw countless tragic images of people clearing their shops and hurriedly removing goods and produce to safeguard their investments and livelihoods. Everyone interviewed in the area was unaware of today’s arrival of the military and demolitions. The aluminum factory demolished, which was the largest distributor of aluminum for the area and for clientele inside Israel, managed to have the immediate presence of an attorney to postpone the demolition for a few hours in order to remove its raw material prior to the total destruction.
In late January of this year, the demolition of 82 shops of the same commercial area received worldwide media attention—and condemnation—and was called by the foreign press “the biggest West Bank demolition in years.” Today’s lack of media presence was profoundly noticeable, as most media was dispersed in other areas of the West Bank covering an extra-judicial assassination and aerial and land attacks by the Israeli military in major West Bank cities.
Tens of villages in the area acknowledge that this is a major step by Israel in sealing their fate and making survival on their lands and in their homes impossible.
The Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign emphatically reiterates that this act is a crime and calls for the worldwide declaration to Stop the Wall!
For more information or for high resolution images of the demolitions and destruction, contact:
PENGON/Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign