Related topics

Ten Palestinians Homeless After House Destroyed By Army With AM-Israel-Analysis, Bjt

December 6, 1989

RAMALLAH, Occupied West Bank (AP) _ Insherah Shukri sat on the dirt floor of a U.N.-supplied tent Wednesday, talking to relatives and neighbors about her home of 25 years that was destroyed by the Israeli army overnight.

In Mrs. Shukri’s case - as for many of the 244 families whose homes have been demolished by Israel in the two-year Palestinian uprising - the sins of a son were behind her troubles.

Her youngest son, 26-year-old Ahmed, is accused of trying to force a crowded Israeli bus over a cliff in September. Police say Shukri also confessed to murdering an Israeli co-worker at a Tel Aviv construction site and led police to the body.

Israeli military officials maintain demolishing or sealing houses is necessary to deter violence. International human rights groups call it collective punishment that violates conventions on the treatment of refugees.

Mrs. Shukri, a 55-year-old widow, says it is unfair and ineffective as a deterrent.

″I told them he doesn’t own anything in the house. It’s my house. But they didn’t care,″ she said.

″We lost everything. We lost our house. What else do we have to lose?″ she asked.

The Shukri family pitched the tent next to the ruins of the six-room, two- story house they built in 1964. Living in the house with Mrs. Shukri were her three daughters, two older sons and their pregnant wives, and two granddaughters.

Ahmed Shukri also lived there until his arrest in the bus attack, which was thwarted by passengers after Shukri had stabbed the driver.

His eldest brother, Mahmoud, says his only regret is that Ahmed did not succeed in plunging the bus off the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway.

″I think he did the right thing,″ said the 31-year-old blacksmith. ″If he had succeeded in what he planned to do and died a martyr, it would have been better.″

Mahmoud said he hates the Israelis, who have occupied this West Bank town of 25,000 since the 1967 Middle East War. He valued his family’s lost home at $120,000.

The family says they will spend their days in the U.N.-donated tent, furnished with a battered sofa from their house. During the winter, they plan to sleep in neighbors’ homes where some of their other furniture is stored.

Mrs. Shukri said she doesn’t have the money to rent a house or rebuild, but she added she accepted the loss.

″If we need a state, this is the price, even if we have to give all our houses for Palestine,″ she said.

The army demolished two other homes of suspected Palestinian attackers Wednesday, both in the Gaza Strip’s Jebaliya refugee camp. One home in Gaza was sealed, raising the numbers of sealed houses to 117 since the start of the uprising against Israeli rule on Dec. 8, 1987.

Update hourly