Zakiy Obeid, a Palestinian Jerusalemite, age 22, died yesterday in Hadassah Hospital after suffering two bullet wounds in the head and one in the neck by Israeli soldiers. He leaves behind a wife and a daughter of 1 year and 3 months. Zakiy was one of 5 men hospitalized during the neighborhood protest of an Israeli house demolition in the Palestinian village of Issawiye on Tuesday, 26 January. A 17 year old Palestinian Jerusalemite was also shot five times in the abdomen with rubber coated metal bullets. The targeted house was owned by Daoud Azziz and was one of two houses slated for demolition by the Israeli authorities. The second was temporarily spared by a last minute court order.
The Israeli bulldozer, flanked by over a 100 soldiers and police, approached the home of Daoud at 9am. In an impressive use of force the demolition contractor sent its men into the home to remove the family’s belongings, forcing all its occupants into the street. Several of the women, some over the age of 60, were beaten when they attempted to retrieve some of their belongings. As the bulldozer approached the home, the gathered crowd began to shout “Allah Akbar” or God is Great. The Israeli soldiers responded with both live and rubber coated munitions.
Israel continues its policy of house demolition despite the signing of the Wye Plantation agreement. By refusing to issue building permits to Palestinian Jerusalemites and enforcing municipal “city planning” through house demolition, the Israeli government continues to secure its hold on occupied Jerusalem. Last year alone Israel destroyed 45 Palestinian homes in Jerusalem and a total of 158 including West Bank. About 2,000 additional houses are targeted for demolition.
Since its occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967, Israel has refined a broad range of complex bureaucratic policies to limit and control the Palestinian population. From ID card confiscation, to intentionally neglecting city planning in Palestinian areas, to constructing Jewish settlements, Israel attempts to both limit the movement and control the growth of Palestinians.
Israel has even turned its policies of cleansing Jerusalem of its Palestinian population into a lucrative business. Private contractors are now paid roughly $1500 for each house they demolish. Through these methods, Israel successfully privatizes the business of suffering.