Action Alert: International presence requested in Al Aqaba Village (10/12-10/19)

Dear Friends in Palestine and Israel,

From October 12th to the 19th, we’re asking visitors to come up to Al Aqaba and stay in the Guest House.

Why? On October 14th, the Israeli High Court will hear the Israeli Civil Administration’s case on why the Jaber family’s home and barn should be demolished. Depending on the decision that is made by the High Court, these structures could be demolished in the same day, or week, or anytime afterward.

A family of twelve lives in this house, and over 100 goats, the family’s livelihood, are kept in their barn.

If you can stay in the Guest House for one night, or two, or all seven, your presence there would be invaluable!

The Al Aqaba Guest House is located in the central village compound, above the mayor’s house, which is off-limits to soldiers and not under threat of demolition. It can accommodate ten people comfortably and has internet access.

Please contact Morgan at mobach18@gmail.com if you’re interested in coming up to Al Aqaba, and which day(s) you can come.

(In addition to corresponding with us through e-mail/Skype, taking photos/videos would be extremely helpful!

 

Rebuilding Alliance Action Alert:

In less than 2 weeks, the High Court of Israel will review the Israeli Army’s arguments to demolish the Jaber Family home and barns in Al Aqaba village ***for lack of an unattainable building permit***. The land has been in the family for generations, with clear and undisputed title. Mr. Jaber’s grandfather built the house himself. If the High Court issues a decision, bulldozers may come later that night.

We may be able to prevent this demolition: Al Aqaba’s legal team at the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center is following the case with care. Rebuilding Alliance and Al Aqaba are asking volunteers to stay at the Al Aqaba Guesthouse for the next few weeks, just in case, to alert the diplomatic corps, the press, the world.

Now we need your help, this is the time for political pressure. Please call your Congressional Representative’s office about the Jaber Family and Al Aqaba Village — in all my experience, this really does help. I have been involved with the Jaber family’s case since our 2004 petition to protect the kindergarten. A 2008 Israeli High Court ruling stated, “for the time being, the center of the village may remain,” but the Jaber home is outside the arbitrary red line that circles the “center.” Their home is immediately across the street.

If Al Aqaba’s Town Plan had been accepted (our 3rd try) the home would be safe. Instead, the Israeli Army’s High Planning Committee contended that their Town Plan was an attempt to “kosher illegal construction.” On June 23rd, the Israeli Army denied Al Aqaba’s town plan and the right to plan. The next day, the Jaber family was notified that their home and barn would be demolished in 3 days time — but then the Israeli High Court stepped in, postponing a decision until autumn. The Army’s arguments are due October 14th.

Please CALL your senators’ and representative’s Washington offices TODAY, MONDAY or TUESDAY.

Find their contact info on GovTrack.us

Ask to speak to their senior staffer for foreign policy then request he/she call both the US State Department and the Israeli Embassy on your behalf to express your concern to stop the demolition of the Jaber family’s home and their barn in Al Aqaba Village in Tubas Governorate in the Jordan Valley.

Download our pdf for a step by step guide: http://rebuildingalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/How-to-Call-Congress-for-the-Jaber-Family-HomeRev2.pdf

Here is what our teacher in the village, Kali Rubaii, wrote about the Jabers in June:

“ Remember that this poor family was traumatized because they were issued demolition notices the same day that the Israeli Army was conducting live-fire training in the hills all around us. The baby was rushed to the hospital the following day (I think from extreme anxiety, but medically it was dehydration), and when we succeeded in delaying the order, the mother of the family was soooo grateful and thrilled that they would have a roof over their heads for Ramadan.

It was a terrifying and profound moment when we learned of the High Court’s delay, Mayor Haj Sami was crying, probably as much from relief as from having not slept at all for three days worrying. Some of the children are married, but some are still small. The father showed me his tabou land title, and told us how his grandfather built the home… They have the most adorable goats….”

Please make your calls on Monday or Tuesday — and if possible, let me know what they say. Also, call me as questions or suggestions arise. My phone is 650 325-4663.

With warm regards,

Donna Baranski-Walker
Founder and Executive Director

P. S. If you live on the West Coast, Michigan, or East Coast, please email Morgan, Morgan@RebuildingAlliance.org to set-up a speaking event. We’re soon launching O Say Can You ‘C’ speaking tour with Al Aqaba teacher/blogger Morgan Bach, Rev. Khader Khalilia, and me. Rev. Khader as a child lived through destruction of his own home in Area C near Bethlehem — he speaks now so that all children can live securely and safely in their homes.

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