On 15 February 2017, Israeli authorities hand a demolition order to the family of 58 year old woman from Hizma in East Jerusalem and force them to demolish their house themselves.
Hind is a58 year old mother from the village of Hizma in East Jerusalem.
“On 15 February 2017, at around 8:00a.m., my husband and I were home when we heard loud banging at the front door. When my husband answered he found soldiers standing by the door. My house was surrounded by about 10 military jeeps and more than 20 soldiers in full military gear.”
“The soldiers handed my husband a house demolition order; the order was written in Hebrew but only the headline was hand written in Arabic and it only said “house demolition. The soldiers notified us that we had to demolish the house on that same day because we didn’t have a building permit. 15 minutes later the soldiers left the house. I was shocked to receive a demolition order, especially that this was the first time that we receive one; I broke down and felt helpless.”
“We didn’t apply for a permit because we knew at the time our application would be eventually rejected, just as they did to many other Jerusalemites who apply for permits.”
“At around 12:00p.m., the same group of soldiers came back to check if we had demolished the house. When they found it still standing they threated my husband to demolish it over our heads and that we had until 4:00 p.m. to demolish it. The soldiers said this and left.”
“My husband and I surrendered to the fact that no matter what we try to do the house will be demolished; even a lawyer wouldn’t be able to do anything.”
“My husband and I, with the help of some neighbors, moved the furniture outside and started to knock down the brick walls. It was exhausting but we managed to demolish it using manual tools and a Jack hammer.”
“I was terribly sad and had mixed feelings of loss and fear; I lost the house I worked hard to establish and now my family will be homeless.”
“At 4:00 p.m. the soldiers came back. About 10 military jeeps and a bulldozer arrived and knocked down the remaining wall.”
“The soldiers remained for about an hour; during which clashes started between the men of our town and the soldiers, the soldiers fired stun grenade and tear gas at us. I inhaled tear gas and fell to the ground feeling extremely tired. The soldiers left the house around 5:00 p.m. after making sure that my house was turned into pile of rubble.”