Sunday, November 9, 2008

Arab squatters evicted in Jerusalem

Haaretz reports:

In a pre-dawn operation in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of predominantly Arab East Jerusalem, scores of police officers and IDF troops Sunday evicted an elderly Palestinian couple from their home, despite protests by the United States, other countries, and human rights groups.

Security forces also detained several activists of the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement who had been sleeping on the family's property, and expelled them to the adjacent West Bank, without pressing charges.

The case came to international attention in July, when U.S. diplomats lodged an official protest with Israel for harming Palestinians and for anti-Palestinian actions taken by settlers, citing as one example the eviction of the al-Kurd family from their home in the Shimon Hatzadik complex in Sheikh Jarrah.

For months, a group of settlers has also lived in a portion of the house, maintaining that an Ottoman-era bill of sale grants ownership of the Shimon Hatzadik property to the Committee for the Sephardic Group. The Jerusalem District Court issued a ruling in favor of the Sephardic Group,which transferred the property to a settler organization called "Shimon's Estate."

The settler group, in turn, sought to evict the al-Kurd family, refugees from West Jerusalem, who have lived in the house since the early 1950s.
At 4:45 on Sunday morning, some 20 IDF vehicles and seven police minibuses sealed off much of the neighborhood, prior to the eviction, witnesses said.

Mohammed and Fawziya al-Kurd were then taken from the apartment, which they have been sharing with Israeli settlers since 1999, when Israeli courts evicted their son Raed from an added wing of the property. The couple has been fighting for their property through the courts ever since, but in July 2008 they were ordered to vacate the premises at once.

Israel Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said that following the court order naming a Jewish family as the legal owner of the house, "The Arab family was evicted. Two people were, in fact removed from the house," he told Haaretz, referring to the al-Kurds. [...]

1 comment :

  1. Notice that the claim of Jewish ownership is relegated to the 4th paragraph.


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