JUST HOURS BEFORE CATERPILLAR SHAREHOLDERS MEET IN CHICAGO CATERPILLAR EXCAVATION DRILLS DESTROY PALESTINIAN HOMES IN EAST JERUSALEM
TWO HOMES DEMOLISHED BY CATERPILLAR EXCAVATION DRILLS IN ANATA; DEMOLITIONS UNDERWAY IN KFAR AKAB
13 April 2005 — At approximately 8:00 am, less than 12 hours before Caterpillar shareholders were scheduled to meet in Chicago to discuss a resolution concerning sales of bulldozers to Israel, 60 Israeli soldiers accompanied two Caterpillar excavation drills to the Yamani home in Anata on the outskirts of East Jerusalem.
The family of 12 was given 30 minutes to remove their belongings from the 80 meter home. It took approximately 30 minutes for the Caterpillar excavation drills to destroy the home along with the animal stable alongside the house.
The home was built three years ago on land owned by the Yamani family with the help of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. It was located in Area C of the West Bank in an area where it is virtually impossible to receive a building permit from the Israeli authorities. This was the reason given for the demolition: that the home was built without a permit.
At around 9:30 am, once the demolition of the Yamani home was complete, the Caterpillar excavation drills moved on to the Dahalia home half a kilometer away. The house has served as the residence for the 22 members of the Dahalia family, 15 of them children, for the past two decades.
After an hour, the home was reduced to a pile of rubble. The reason given for this demolition was the same as the first: it was built without a permit (in an area where it is almost impossible to receive permits). Both of these actions violate international law.
As this is being written, more homes are being demolished with Caterpillar machinery in Kfar Akab, between Jerusalem and Ramallah.
To find out what you can do to force Caterpillar to stop selling home crushing machinery to Israel, visit www.catdestroyshomes.org
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICHAD) is a nonviolent, direct-action group originally established to oppose and resist Israeli demolition of Palestinian houses in the Occupied Territories. As our activists gained direct knowledge of the brutalities of the Occupation, we expanded our resistance activities to other areas - land expropriation, settlement expansion, by-pass road construction, policies of “closure” and “separation,” the wholesale uprooting of fruit and olive trees and more. The fierce repression of Palestinian efforts to “shake off” the Occupation following the latest Intifada has only added urgency to our efforts. As a direct-action group, ICAHD is comprised of members of many Israeli peace and human rights organizations. All of our work in the Occupied Territories is closely coordinated with local Palestinian organizations.