Palestinian Families Destroy Their Homes to Avoid Seeing Israelis Move In

Palestinian Jihad Shawamrah stands on the ruins of his house that he demolished to not face the prospect of Israelis move in after he lost a land ownership case in Israeli courts, in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Beit Hanina, July 19, 2018. (Ammar Awad/Reuters)

Two Palestinian families on Thursday destroyed their homes rather than see Israelis move in, they said, following a long legal battle over the land the houses were built on.

Jihad Shawamreh, 50, said he spent 30,000 shekels ($8,200) to destroy the home he, his ex-wife, and his six children and other relatives lived in for almost 20 years, according to Reuters.

“I built (my house) with my own hands. It is where I brought up my children. This is where they grew up,” Shawamreh said. “We took down the houses for fear of seeing settlers move in, and having to see them inside the house.”

Shawamreh, a taxi driver, lived with his family in Beit Hanina, which lies on the outskirts of Jerusalem in territory hotly contested by Israelis and Palestinians.

Israel’s Supreme Court decided in January that the land the houses were built on has been rightfully belonged to Israelis since 1974.

Shawamreh said Israeli settlers offered him money not to destroy his home, but he turned them down. The Israel Land Fund told Reuters that the land has been sold from Israelis to other Israelis.

Israel claims the entirety of Jerusalem as its capital while Palestinians hope to have East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.

Most Popular


Road Trip

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Especially future contributors to my GoFundMe page), I am currently in the passenger seat of our family fun mobile, passing mile marker ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Answering my Critics

My post on Elizabeth Warren’s cynical/bonkers proposal to effectively nationalize every American firm with revenue of $1 billion or more has met with predictable criticism. I will address two points here. One, some have complained about the use of the word “expropriation,” or more broadly about ... Read More

Winslow Homer’s Art, through the Camera Lens

The Bowdoin College Museum of Art's show Winslow Homer and the Camera takes a perceptive, original look at one of America's great art visionaries. It's special for many reasons. It takes a much-considered artist — Homer (1836–1910) is among the gods atop the heap of American artists — and finally makes ... Read More