The importance of rebuilding
Rebuilding homes is the one tangible way you can resist and stand with the indigenous communities. Rebuilding a home sends a clear message to the Israeli government and those who want the Palestinians driven off their land: We will resist. For Palestinians, it is important that internationals step into this space of real solidarity work, invest in the movement, and go back home to advocate to change the laws that allow this violence to continue. Join work of ICAHD and GSC this fall as we support some of the most vulnerable communities in the West Bank.
Home Rebuilding Update 3/25/2021
Good Shepherd Collective (GSC) and the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) have joined together this year to support Palestinian families resisting the Israeli policy of home demolitions. Over the last year, GSC has worked with local communities to select a family in need of financial assistance for construction, while ICAHD collected the funds to cover the cost of materials and assistance in the construction. Earlier this year, GSC was finally able to deliver the funds to the father of a young family located in Masafer Yatta, allowing him to construct a kitchen for his wife and child. The victims of several rounds of demolition, this family currently lives in a one room home with no private space to cook or store food.
The steady flow of demolitions over the years of Israeli military occupation in the West Bank has clearly illustrated the frequency and regularity of the practice; while no one knows on a given day exactly who will receive the bulldozers and crowds of soldiers, it is clear that demolitions are in no way slowing down. Rather, according to UN OCHA statistics, 2020 marked a four-year high in the demolition of Palestinian structures — despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and promises by Israeli authorities to halt most demolitions of Palestinian structures for the duration of the pandemic.
Israeli military authorities claim to demolish these structures across Area C — homes, schools, animal shelters, stores, even wedding tents — because they lack proper building permits. But perhaps the most telling aspect of the Israeli military’s building regime is the percentage of building permit applications that are approved by the Israeli regime: between 2000 and 2020, only 3% of had been approved.
Palestinians are left with a life-altering choice: leave their lands for the ever-shrinking Palestinian enclaves in Area A, or anywhere else they can go, or stay, build without permits, and face the consequences: endless demolition orders, legal petitions, and the inevitable rumble of the bulldozers. For those Palestinians who choose to stay, it is no small decision and requires courage and steadfastness to counter the near-constant attempts by settlers, soldiers, and an entire settler-colonial system to displace them. For that reason, it is vital that we support them in their resistance against the structure built on their oppression, by helping to fund these constructions even when—in times such as these—we cannot safely help to build them in person.
With the kitchen almost completed, we are grateful to our partners at ICAHD for their support and solidarity with those here on the ground. Click here to learn more about how you can support ICAHD’s work.
Study Tour & Home Rebuilding 2020
Join us this fall in joint resistance to Israel’s military occupation and program of settler-colonialism.
Study Tour Nov 2. – 12 & Home Rebuilding Nov. 13 – 18.
No amount of reading, attending lectures or watching films can convey a genuine understanding of the facts on the ground compared to being there.
ICAHD and the international chapters in the UK, USA, Finland and Germany recommend these study tours that are grounded in ICAHD analysis.They offer unique time with Dr Jeff Halper, ICAHD’s Founder, who sets the scene by describing the current reality in Palestine/Israel within its historical and political context.
Participants will visit Palestinians dealing with all the constraints and the suffering brought about from living under Israel’s Occupation and Apartheid policies:
- the demolition of their homes and loss of lands
- deliberate impoverishment,
- the inability to move freely
- issues of water discrimination
- child imprisonment
- the psychological impact of generations existing under violent military occupation
- as well as issues of women’s rights, traumatised families and refugees.
As Jeff Halper explains, “The tour is not merely a litany of suffering; it is inspiring. You will meet people who refuse to give in, Palestinians who are sumud -steadfast- and who resist their oppression in a myriad of ways. You will also meet their Israeli partners working to end the Occupation, both politically and “on the ground.” And you will explore ways to resolve the conflict that are just, workable and creative, enabling you to return home as a strong advocate for peace in your own community.”
These itineraries are individual, developed over nearly twenty years and come with hundreds of recommendations from people world-wide. The tours provide engagement with inspiring Palestinians and Israelis and meeting them will change your life. Travel south into the Negev, through different areas in the West Bank, north into the Galilee and along the Mediterranean coastline.
Accommodation is in Bethlehem and Nazareth. Travel is by our own private comfortable coach with an expert local driver from a licensed bus company. The group is kept to a maximum of 18 participants.
Tour cost: £1230. The cost of the tour includes the full tour programme staying at good three-star hotels at half-board (bed, breakfast and evening meal), sharing a twin-bedded room with ensuite facilities, guidance from the tour leader, other day-guides and tips. Flights, lunches and travel insurance are not included. An additional supplement is available for single room accommodation by request. An application form must be completed, and a reference is sought. When participation is confirmed, a £300 non-refundable deposit is required. A comprehensive information packet for the tour is provided which includes the full itinerary and details about all aspects of the tour. Personal guidance is provided for each study tour participant. (£290 for those requiring the single supplement)
Additional Home Rebuilding Program
Campers will stay in a guest house with bunk beds within the village. Amenities will be basic, but participants will be treated to locally made traditional Bedouin food and what we know will be truly memorable hospitality. The first two days will focus on constructing the walls of the home. While the cement sets, participants will learn about other aspects of life and how the Good Shepherd Collective (GSC) addresses structural oppression that leads to violence and organises grassroots campaigns to bring change. Its other activities focus on keeping cultural heritage and traditions alive. During the final part of the camp, the windows and doors will be installed, walls painted, and floor tiles put down.
The aim of the camp is to allow internationals to participate in this powerful act of non-violent resistance. The cost of the rebuilding is happening through ICAHD and its support chapters in the UK, Finland, Germany and the USA. As participants of the ICAHD study tour, there will be no fee for your participation in the rebuilding but donations towards food and water will be appreciated.
Since its founding in 1997, ICAHD has constructed 189 homes, therefore it comes with extensive experience.
Home Rebuilding Options
Additional days 2
Arrive in the village 12 Nov, construction work the 13th and 14th, and departing from the community on Sunday the 15th.
Additional Fee: £50.
Additional days 5
Arrive in the village 12 Nov, construction work the 13th through the 17th, and departing from the community on Wednesday the 18th.
Additional Fee: £125.
Study Tour & Home Rebuilding Registration
[This is for registration purposes only. We will be in contact in regards to payment after submission and review.]
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