22 Nov

Petition to End House Demolitions Now!

To President Obama, Secretary Clinton, Special Envoy Mitchell:

We urge you to use the power of your offices to end the demolition of Palestinian homes in the Israeli Occupied Territories.

Until recently your administration had expressed strong opposition to Israeli settlement expansion. Your statements had given supporters of a peaceful and just solution some hope. The importance of ending Israel’s destructive policy is reflected in the Road Map initiative, led by the US, which calls for the cessation of house demolitions in Phase One. Instead of backing down in the face of Israeli intransigence, we believe you need to do more.

Since 1967, the Israeli government has demolished over 24,000 Palestinian homes — which families have built on their own land inside the Occupied Territories — in order to:

Make room for Israeli settlements, businesses or governmental offices;

Create Israeli-only “by-pass” roads that allow Israeli settlers to drive to and from their new homes in the Territories while “by-passing” Palestinian towns and villages; and

Build the Separation Wall deep into the West Bank, effectively annexing large settlement blocs situated on Palestinian land into the State of Israel.

Israel justifies these demolitions on the grounds that Palestinians often build on their own land without Israeli-approved “permits.” However, as the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports, Israel denies 94% of all Palestinian applications for building permits from Palestinian families in the Occupied Territories, and then demolishes Palestinian homes for the failure to have a permit that they cannot obtain. B’tselem, the Israeli Information Center in the Occupied Territories, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, and other Israeli Human Rights groups note that Palestinians in East Jerusalem face the same reality. The Israeli Ministry of Defense acknowledged in 2005 that these home demolitions serve no security purpose and ended its policy of punitive demolitions at that time.

Israel’s house demolition policy is intimately linked to the expansion of Israeli settlements in Occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank. This policy is illegal under international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention and the Hague Convention of 1907.

Finally, Israel’s home demolition policy undermines any hope for a just resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as it creates immense suffering for Palestinian families and communities, rendering several generations of a family homeless. To add insult to injury, Palestinian families are often charged with the cost of demolition. This policy also fails to serve either Israeli or US interests. We call upon you, President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and Special Envoy Mitchell, to condemn this policy and forcefully call for the immediate cessation of the Israeli government’s demolition of Palestinian homes.

Endorsing Organizations

American Jews for a Just Peace (AJJP)

Christian Peacemakers Team – Palestine (CPT)

Council for the National Interest (CNI)

Free Gaza Movement

Friends of Sabeel – North America (FOSNA)

If Americans Knew

Interfaith Peace Builders (IFPB)

International Solidarity Movement (ISM)

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)


Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA)

Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP)

US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights

Holy Land Peace Foundation

Los Angeles Jews for Peace

National Lawyers Guild International Committee

National Lawyers Guild, North Texas Chapter

The Middle East Study Group of the Diocese of Pennsylvania

Palestine-Israel Action Committee

Monterey Arab/Jewish Dialogue Group



Alwan for the Arts

Al-Nakba Awareness Project

Coalition for Peace with Justice

The Rebuilding Alliance

Green Olive Tours

Citizens for Justice in the Middle East-Kansas City

Bathurst United Church

Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine

Justice First Foundation

Sabeel Iowa

Sabeel South Carolina

Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine

Collectif Urgence Palestine-Geneva

Episcopal Peace Fellowship, Seattle

Episcopal Peace Fellowship – Southwest Washington

International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

Palestine Solidarity Committee – Seattle

Baltimore Tikkun

We Are Wide Awake

Jews for a Just Peace – North Carolina

Corvallis-Albany Friends of Middle East Peace, Oregon

Creative Music Productions

Edmonton Small Press Association

Educators for Peace and Justice

Jews Say No!

Christians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East

Independent Jewish Voices

Cincinnati Palestinian Rights Meetup

Swedish Fellowship of Reconciliation

Coalition To Stop Billion To Israel

Dominican Sisters of Houston

Palestinian Rights Committee

Americans for a Palestinian State

In His Steps

Pax Christi Brownsville

Coalition for Peace in the Middle East, Youngstown

U.S. Dominicans Palestine Coordinating Committee

Westchester Women in Black

Utahns for a Just Peace in the Holy Land

Wasatch Coalition for Peace and Justice

Middle East Crisis Response

American Libyan Freedom Alliance

Women in Black Union Square, NYC

Episcopal Peace Fellowship of Asheville, NC

Interfaith Community for Palestinian Rights

Ecumenical Centre for Service and Popular Education, Brazil

No More Victims

Cincinnati Palestinian Rights Meetup

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space

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