A perhaps little known fact is that Israel won' allow Palestinians to build on their own land - I'm talking about the part of Palestine that was left to the Palestinians when over half of Palestine was given to Zionists in 1948 to form Israel.
The part left to Palestinians was militarily occupied by Israel in 1967, and since then Israel has demolished more than 11,000 Palestinian homes as well as businesses, farm buildings, factories, irrigation systems and wells. (See The Israel Committee Against House Demolitions.)
Israel then charges the Palestinian for the cost of the demolition.
Israel claims the demolitions are of buildings and projects for which Palestinians didn't obtain a permit - that is, a permit from the Israeli Occupation Authority. This isn't in Israel we're talking about, this is in Palestine.
The "Occupation Authority" never approves Palestinians' permits. The Israeli human rights group B'Tselem explains that Israel's construction policy for Palestinians is given a thin veneer of pseudo legality: the land is needed for a park, for an Israeli military zone, for more Israeli settlements, etc.
Palestinians, either because they object to asking for permission to build on their own land, or simply have to build and take the chance, build anyway, with no permit -- remember, permits are always denied -- and eventually Israel finds out and demolishes it.
This, along with the imprisonment of young Palestinians, the nighttime raids of houses where Palestinian families are marched outside to stand in the freezing air in their night clothes while Israeli soldiers ransack the house, defecate on the walls, steal things, the periodic mass slaughters in Gaza, the restrictions on food and medicines Israel lets into Gaza and the West Bank, the assassinations of Palestinian leaders by Israel, many by rockets (more rockets go into Gaza from Israel than come out of Gaza, according to the UN) is often referred to as ethnic cleansing, but in fact it's genocide.
The status quo of 1948 was always seen by the more hardline Zionists as temporary. "Greater Israel," a term you sometimes come across in articles and opinion pieces supportive of Israel, is code for "We want all the land". "We want the Palestinians gone." "Gone, or dead."
The US government has aided and abetted the Greater Israel policy from the beginning, and unlike most Americans, always knew what was going on over there. Every president from Harry S Truman on knew. A few made feeble attempts to do something - Truman, GW Bush the first, and now Barak Obama, but the overall policy has always been the same - repeat the Zionist propaganda line, cover for Israel at the UN Security Council, keep modern weaponry flowing to Israel, turn a blind eye to the "settlement building" -- huge housing developments for Israelis on stolen occupied Palestinian land.
Note: Americans, particularly college students, have gone to Palestine to resist home demolitions or participate in other kinds of demonstrations. If Americans are present, Israel is usually more careful about killing people.
Rachel Corrie, a 23-year old from Olympia, Washington, was crushed to death March 16, 2003 by an Israeli army bulldozer (a special Caterpillar model made in America only for Israeli home demolitions) as she stood in front of a Palestinian home in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip trying to prevent its demolition. Corrie, as seen in photos below, was wearing blaze orange. Witnesses say the bulldozer stopped, ran over Corrie, then backed up over her.
The Israeli army investigated and ruled the operator didn't see Corrie and that her death was an accident. Neither the US administration nor congress has ever complained about the death of an American citizen in a foreign country, or mentioned it, or investigated, or called for a thorough investigation by Israel.