West Bank: Australian activist tear gassed protesting house demolition

November 8, 2012

An Australian activist, Vivienne Porzsolt was gassed with tear gas on November 7 while protesting a house demolition in the village of Hares in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. She was there with other members of the International Women’s Peace Service supporting Palestinians trying to protect their homes.

Of 13 homes facing demolition orders in Hares, two were destroyed that day despite the fact the legal appeal processes had not been exhausted. One house was home for 18 people, five of whom were hospitalised due to the violence of Israeli soldiers.

The other home was to house a family of 14 now living in two rooms. The demolitions were committed just as lawyers were lodging an appeal against the initial court approval of the orders.

The demolition was preceded by a barrage of tear-gas. This was followed by shots with rubber bullets and live ammunition that injured two Palestinians.

Porzsolt said: “It is terrible to see people who just want to live their lives subjected to this terrible violence and injustice. Many have lived there and cultivated the land for generations.

“The Israeli military rides rough-shod over legal and human rights. How are these people’s homes a threat to the security of Israel?”

A member of Jews against the Occupation Sydney, Porzsolt added: “Every home destroyed foments hatred for Jewish Israelis and those who support them. Is this the way to build peace? Is this the way for Palestinians and Israelis to live together?”

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