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Israeli military arrests two young women after demolishing houses and mosque in the village of Um Fagarah
email release 26.11.11
On November 24, at 9 am, the Israeli army, with more than five Israeli army jeeps and two bulldozers, drove into the small village of Um Fagarah and demolished two houses and the village mosque. During the demolition, one woman, age 21, and one girl, age 17. They left one hour later.
One home belonged to a widow and her family; the other housed a family of 20, between the parents, children, and grandchildren. The soldiers did not have demolition orders or give any explanation, instead calling the village women `whores` and entering at a time of day when most of the men were away at work.
The second family`s 21-year-old daughter confronted the Israeli soldiers when they marched into their home and began throwing the bedding outside. When she asked what they were doing, one soldier said, “Get out of my sight.” The daughter refused; in response, the soldier threatened, “If you don`t move, we will do even more,” and sprayed her in the face with tear gas. The other solders began kicking her as she fell to the ground. Her mother and her neighbours then tried to pull her out of the way, but another soldier pushed the girl`s mother away and she fell, breaking her leg.
The 21-year-old`s cousin, who is 17, tried to bring her water to soothe her eyes. The soldiers arrested them both, and as of November 26th, they are still in prison.
While the families are afraid for the safety of their daughters, the village has already organized a direct action to begin rebuilding the mosque this Saturday, the first day of the Islamic New Year. This is despite the fact that Israeli soldiers can return at any point to bulldoze it again. People from many surrounding villages came to support this action, including two people from the International Solidarity Movement and members of CPT.
Home demolitions and discriminatory laws continue to threaten Palestinian families and their right to the land. According to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, Israel has already demolished over 170 homes in 2011, displacing roughly 880 people.
Khalil Team firstname.lastname@example.org
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