Celebration of house demolition, by Israeli border police and IDF officer, July 22, 2019. Screenshot from video.
Israel is at it again. It remains consistent in engaging in one of its favorite activities: stealing Palestinian land and tormenting Palestinians.
On Monday, Israeli bulldozers, escorted by hundreds of Israeli soldiers, demolished no less than 16 residential buildings containing around 100 apartments in the village of Sur Baher, which is on the outskirts of East Jerusalem.
Israel’s reasoning for demolishing these homes is that they are too close to its “separation wall” (or more accurately, the Israeli apartheid wall), and it claims that the homes pose a security risk. This is not surprising, because Israel’s “security” is commonly cited as an excuse to steal Palestinian land and resources, and to impose full control over every aspect of the lives of Palestinians.
Correspondents reporting from the demolition area described seeing homeowners watch with horror as their homes turned into dust.
Let that sink in. Imagine your own home being destroyed in front of your eyes while you are powerless to do anything to stop its demolition by armed soldiers. Living under military occupation, there is no insurance to reimburse you or to rebuild your house on the land that rightfully belongs to you.
Even the American concept of “eminent domain,” where your property could be taken by the government for public use, although with “just” compensation, does not apply. In the US, no one would ever accept such a despicable injustice and outright theft.
But this is the reality that the Palestinians of East Jerusalem (and throughout Palestine) face. One man who has four children said that when their house is demolished, they will become homeless and forced to live in the streets.
To see how Israeli demolition of homes and theft of Palestinian land is done out of spite, cruelty, and cold-heartedness, rather than “security,” one only has to watch this video.
You won't see this on western media!
Israeli soldiers celebrate and cheer as they blow up a Palestinian house in Jerusalem today. pic.twitter.com/CkgWzkgnNp
— Muhammad Smiry 🇵🇸 (@MuhammadSmiry) July 22, 2019
In the video, Israeli forces in charge of imploding a Palestinian building are seen counting down to the detonation of explosives. A masked soldier initiates the demolition and the explosive charges go off, reducing the building to a large pile of rubble and dust within a matter of seconds.
The Israelis laugh, cheer, and whistle in the aftermath of their barbarism. One of the soldiers hugs the man who set off the explosives, shakes his hand, and poses with him for the camera with a huge grin on his face. There is absolutely no doubt that they enjoyed the destruction of the homes and property of innocent Palestinians. People who are genuinely concerned about their security would not celebrate another human being’s devastation in such a sickening way.