Justice for the al-Aju family from Ramle, Palestine
The al-Aju family, a Palestinian-Arab working-class family of more than 100 people (including many children), lives in a compound of run-down shacks near the eastern entrance to Ramle, Palestine (within the 1948 "Green Line"). The family came there in 1948 after being deported from their ancestral land in the nearby town of Lydda (Lod today) by the IDF (the Israeli army). During the last year, the family is in risk of eviction from its home in Ramle by the "Amidar" public housing company which claims ownership over their land. "Amidar" plans to sell off this land to the highest bidder for the purpose of for-profit real-estate development - at the expense of the working-class al-Aju family. In April and July 2011, "Amidar" has requested the court system to issue a warrant for the eviction of the al-Aju family, who were branded as "squatters". Following a resolute struggle led by the family, along with Jewish and Palestinian-Arab activists from all across Palestine, both attempts were turned back and the eviction was cancelled for the time being.
The lawyers and bosses of "Amidar", however, did not accept their defeat. In October 2011, "Amidar" has decided to retroactively increase the family's rent, creating a "debt" of 130,000 Shekkels (around $35,000). Due to this "debt", the al-Aju family's banks accounts were seized and frozen, and they were left with no money even for their basic needs such as food. The family asked the Ramle municipal welfare department for help, but the welfare bosses refused to give them any assistance.
At court, "Amidar"'s racist lawyer said that "this is our [the Jews] land and the Arabs should be thankful for us letting them live on it". This is the true face of "Amidar" - a tool of racist, capitalist apartheid.
It is important to point out that many dozens of additional Jewish and Palestinian-Arab families all across the 1948 territory are faced with similar eviction attempts by the "Amidar", which is trying to privatize its holdings and sell them to real-estate tycoons. At the same time, Israel's Minister of Housing, Atias, expands his home in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem without a permit - and this is done while many working-class families all over the country are facing the danger of losing the roof over their heads!
We, the undersigned, demand that the "Amidar" public housing company erase all the "debts" that it claims the al-Aju family owes it and immediately and permanently stop its eviction attempts against the family. We also demand that "Amidar" stop the eviction of its tenants all across the country. We will not allow the rich few get even richer at the expense of the roofs over the heads of working-class people!
Please send protest letters to "Amidar"'s public complains department:
Amidar Public Complains Department
39 Shaul HaMelech boulevard