‘I am homeless’ ‘This is a Jewish country’ (voices from the evictions in E. Jerusalem)

Sheikh Jarrah, E. Jerusalem

After receiving eviction notices last May, three Palestinian families constituting 53 people, including 20 children, were forcibly removed from their homes under High Court order at dawn yesterday, August 2.

The Hanouns, the Rawis and the al-Ghawis, all families who fled their homes in West Jerusalem and became refugees during the 1948 War, have been living in their houses since 1956, when Jordan reached an agreement with UNRWA to resettle them. They are now living on the streets, homeless.

Just a week ago they were living inside their home and now there are Jewish settlers inside, exhibiting not the least bit of remorse for the homeless family just outside. The Hanoun family’s furniture was seized by Israeli forces and they are now responsible for paying the storage and mover fees. Meanwhile, the Jewish settlers are living with round-the-clock security, not allowing anyone near. At one house, the police actually had the nerve to tell us not to film too close, as we should respect the privacy of the new residents.

This is just one of several plans by various real estate groups, such as Nahalat Shimon, and international businessmen such as Irving Moskowitz to populate the areas surrounding the Old City with Jewish strongholds that sever Palestinian territorial contiguity in East Jerusalem. This prejudices any final resolution in which East Jerusalem would be the Palestinian capital. It is also in clear breach of Israel’s commitment under the Road Map. But these operations are backed by the Israel Lands Administration, the Jerusalem Municipality and the Israeli government, who are all working together to undermine any possibility for a two-state solution and are blatantly infringing on the basic human rights of the residents of what they deem to be the “united Jerusalem.”

About Joseph Dana and Mairav Zonszein

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