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Four new demolition orders in Aqaba bring total to 39 out of 45 houses

Nov. 26, 2008 5:11 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 26, 2008 5:11 P.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli military forces issued four new demolition orders on Wednesday, increasing the potential demolition count to 39 out of a total 45 homes in the West Bank village of Aqaba.

Aqaba is a tiny village in the Jenin area with a population of 300 inhabitants living in houses made of large families with ten or more children.

The Israeli peace movement has petitioned the military leadership to stop the demolitions.

"The time is over when the state of Israel and its armed forces could perpetrate dastardly deeds in backwoods villages and expect to avoid the world's notice," wrote the Gush Shalom movement in a letter sent to Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni calling for the cancellation of all demolition orders.

"Nowadays, the world is carefully watching events in the occupied territories and everything happening in the out-of-the way West Bank villages will become known within hours in Europe, America and the rest of the world," the group said.

During deliberations on the villager's Supreme Court appeal, the Israeli state offered the villagers permission to build on 3% of their land. The villagers rejected this idea for being "completely inadequate" and now, two of the four new demolition orders are directed against houses in that proposed 3% area.

Recently, a large delegation from the European Parliament toured the village of Aqaba and heard of the dire threat hanging over its inhabitants futures. Aqaba's mayor, Haj Sami Sadek, also met with Members of Congress in Washington, DC and is in regular contact with the US Consulate in Jerusalem.

"Behaving as a despicable, brutal occupier is not only immoral, but it will entail a prohibitively heavy international and political price" the Gush Shalom movement warned.
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