ICAHD-USA, a coalition member of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, is the U.S. affiliate of the Jerusalem-based Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.
This publication provides a political analysis of the root causes and consequences of Israel’s house demolition policy, focusing on the demolition of Palestinian homes and other structures in the Occupied West Bank.
House demolitions and forced evictions are among Israel’s most heinous practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). In 2011, a record year of displacement, a total of 622 Palestinian structures were demolished by Israeli authorities, of which 36% (or 222) were family homes; the remainder were livelihood-related (including water storage and agricultural structures), resulting in 1,094 people displaced, almost double the number for 2010. The Jordan Valley sustained the largest number of demolitions (32% of total structures demolished, 40% of residential structures demolished, 37% of people displaced), with 199 structures demolished and 401 people displaced.
Israel now controls 40% of the West Bank through 149 settlements and 102 outposts, housing more than 500,000 Jewish Israelis, as well as through closed military zones and declared nature reserves. In addition, house demolitions, forced evictions, and land expropriation, exacerbated by settler violence and the economic effects of movement restrictions, have left Palestinian communities struggling to make a living. Palestinians live in constant fear of displacement and dispersion, while Israel secures its domination and control.
The demolition of Palestinian homes is politically motivated and strategically informed. The goal is to confine the 4 million residents of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza to small enclaves, thus effectively foreclosing any viable Palestinian state and ensuring Israeli control, and to allow for the expropriation of land, the ethnic displacement of Palestinians, and the Judaization of the Occupied West Bank.
Alternative Tours of Israel and Palestine
Having provided thousands of people from around the world with top-quality critical tours for over 15 years, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) is widely known for its knowledgeable tour guides and its grounded approach to the politics of Occupation and the difficulties of Palestinian life. On our tours you will see how Israel’s settlement project has created irreversibl e “facts on the ground.” You will better appreciate what a truly just and lasting peace would entail. If you wish, you can meet Palestinian families suffering under Israeli policies of separation and home demolitions. ICAHD believes that first-hand learning is the only way to grasp the social, cultural, political, and historical issues that underlie the Isr aeli-Palestinian conflict.
We look forward to seeing you on one of our East Jerusalem, "Greater Jerusalem", and Jordan Valley tours.
Every year hundreds of Palestinians are forced from their homes, homes built on land they own. Since 1967 Israel has demolished more than 26,000 Palestinian homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In 2011 Israel demolished more than 500 structures, displacing hundreds of Palestinians. ICAHD rebuilds homes as acts of political resistance, creating alternative facts on the ground.
Every summer ICAHD organizes a rebuilding camp in the West Bank town of Anata in which dozens of volunteers from around the world join with Palestinians and Israeli activists to rebuild demolished homes. Within two weeks we rebuild an entire home from foundation to roof, and in the process send a message of solidarity to the besieged Palestinian people. We also send a message to the world: We refuse to be enemies; together we resist the Occupation. At the end of the camp international participants return home prepared to act as advocates for a just peace, carrying ICAHD’s vision of what a just and sustainable resolution might look like.
ICAHD invites you and all who support our efforts to participate in a very special rebuilding camp which aims to attract professionals – architects and others involved with housing and planning, lawyers with interest in international law, clinicians who focus on psycho-social issues and educators, activists, and university student leaders. It is expected that rebuilding will take place in East Jerusalem and in the Bedouin Jerusalem periphery. In addition to rebuilding Palestinian homes, the 2012 programme includes a number of field trips that allow participants to witness the reality on the ground in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and within Israel. The educational aspect of our programme includes films, meetings with Palestinian and Israeli activists and expert political analysis on house demolitions, displacement and Israel’s Apartheid policies over both the Palestinians of the OPT, and within Israel.
Incorporated as an independent non-profit in 2004, ICAHD-USA was founded by a diverse group of U.S. activists working to bring about a just and sustainable peace in Israel/Palestine while advocating for an end to the Israeli Occupation of Palestine. We draw from and supplement the educational work of ICAHD (Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions). ICAHD is an independent non-violent, activist organization originally established to oppose the Israeli demolition of Palestinian houses in the Occupied Territories. We also work cooperatively with ICAHD-UK and other peace and human rights groups working for a just peace in the Middle East.