Heartbreak in Sur Baher

Dear Andrew, 

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I’ve been sitting with my heart in my stomach for the past few days. This week, hundreds of Israeli troops with bulldozers and explosives tore down about 70 apartments in the Palestinian neighborhood of Sur Baher, which straddles East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Many of those homes were still under construction. But nearly 20 residents became homeless in a flash while others lost their dreams of moving into homes they had built stone by stone and had poured years of their lives and resources into building. 

This round of demolitions is one among many, and more are sure to follow. But I’ve rarely seen something at this scale: the Israeli government is stating clearly that they will be increasing the speed and audacity of their plans to demolish homes and displace Palestinian families across East Jerusalem and the West Bank. We are all scared of what might happen next. 

Let’s be clear — this is illegal according to international law and immoral on every level. We need to stay steadfast, educate our communities and make sure the world is paying attention.

The demolitions in Sur Baher are part of a broad and long-standing plan to displace Palestinian families, from Silwan to Sheikh Jarrah to Hizme and beyond. Our 2012 documentary, My Neighbourhood, provides a lens into the human impact of these dangerous policies. At a time when conversations about real lives are buried under the 24-hour news cycle, we hope that you find this resource helpful in speaking with your friends, family and loved ones. We remain resilient despite overwhelming odds, and as I keep my eyes on the horizon, I want to thank you for being in this struggle with us.  

 

Onward,

Rula Salameh

Producer, Naila and the Uprising

Education and Outreach Manager in Palestine, Just Vision

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Just Vision, 1250 H Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20005

Follow Just Vision on social media to stay updated on our work.

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