[News] Court orders Jerusalem family to share home with settlers & Silwan Report

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Mar 29 11:03:30 EDT 2011

Court orders Jerusalem family to share home with settlers
Report, The Electronic Intifada, 28 March 2011


In the last month Palestinians in Jerusalem continued to face ongoing 
violence and settler takeovers of their homes. As Israeli forces 
abducted and arrested children in the Silwan area, an order by the 
municipal court could force a family to "share" a room in their home 
with settlers. Meanwhile, a United Nations expert called Israeli 
policies in East Jerusalem consistent with characteristics of 
apartheid and ethnic cleansing.

Ras al-Amoud

In Ras al-Amoud, an Israeli court recently ruled that a Palestinian 
family will have to move out of one room in their home as Israeli 
settlers and an armed Israeli guard could move in in a matter of weeks.

After 11 years of legal battles, the Hamdallah family was ordered to 
move their furniture and belongings out of one of their bedrooms and 
their front yard. Their home is next to settler houses in the illegal 
settlement colony of Maaleh Zeitim.

The Israeli daily Haaretz reported that American billionaire and 
settler financier Irving Moskowitz waged the long battle against the 
Hamdallahs in court, claiming that he "acquired" the land from an 
ultra-Orthodox Jewish organization. The Hamdallah family has lived in 
the home since 1952; however the Jerusalem district court ruled in 
2005 that they had to "evacuate parts of the home built after 1989" 
family ordered to share East Jerusalem home with Israelis," 10 March 2011).

Haaretz added that Moskowitz's lawyer "convinced the bailiff's office 
that this includes one bedroom and the front yard."

Sixteen members of the family live in the home. Speaking to Haaretz, 
Khaled Hamdallah said that three persons live in the room slated for 
evacuation. "We don't know what to do," he told Haaretz. "I don't 
even care anymore. I feel like dying. They want to throw us out 
completely. The police is with them, the judges are with them. So 
what's the point?"

Shlomo Lecker, the lawyer representing the Hamdallah family, managed 
to delay the settler's move-in date for one month. But if the legal 
team fails to overturn the court's ruling, the family could very well 
face sharing their home with armed settlers -- or make the decision 
to leave the home altogether.

Speaking to the UK Guardian newspaper, Lecker said that "[t]his group 
of settlers are very determined to get the family out and they are 
trying every possible trick" 
family in East Jerusalem told to make way for Jewish settlers," 10 March 2011).


Meanwhile, in the village of Silwan, just outside the gates of the 
Old City, residents face regular attacks by Israeli forces as popular 
resistance continues against settler takeovers of homes.

According to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center (SILWANIC), Israeli 
forces "indiscriminately fired" tear gas in two areas of Silwan on 26 
March, during another round of intense clashes spurred by the 
presence of Israeli settlers and soldiers.

SILWANIC also reported that "[h]eavy numbers of Israeli forces have 
moved in to Baten al-Hawa and Bir Ayyub districts of Silwan after 
several Molotov cocktails were thrown at the Palestinian house 
occupied by Israeli soldiers in Baten al-Hawa" 
("<http://silwanic.net/?p=14034>Heavy military presence in Silwan 
after Molotov cocktails thrown," 26 March 2011).

The report added that live ammunition was fired by soldiers, though 
no injuries were sustained. Saturday's clashes followed sweeping 
arrests by Israeli soldiers the day before, in which nine 
Palestinians were arrested from their homes 
("<http://silwanic.net/?p=13920>Israeli forces carry out massive dawn 
raid," 25 March 2011).

On 18 March, Ma'an News Agency reported that Palestinian residents of 
Silwan set fire to a house taken over by settlers. An Israeli border 
guard was burned and hospitalized, the report added 
burn settler home in Jerusalem," 18 March 2011).

Israeli forces fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets, Ma'an 
reported. During the clashes, a Palestinian photojournalist was also 
injured and taken to the hospital.

Palestinian children targeted in Silwan

On 14 March, Israeli police forces attempted to arrest three 
Palestinian children from their homes in the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood 
of Silwan ("<http://silwanic.net/?p=13578>Israeli police attempt to 
seize children from their home in Wadi Hilweh," 15 March 2011).

The police eventually left, the report stated, but ordered the 
children's uncle to bring the children to the police station for 
"investigation." After interrogation, "the children were released 
from police custody at a bail of 20,000 shekels [US $5,620] per 
child," SILWANIC added.

It has been a regular policy of Israeli police to 
<http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11652.shtml>target, arrest, 
detain and interrogate children in Silwan.

Days earlier, SILWANIC reported, Israeli police arrested four boys in 
an early-morning raid on 9 March, charging the youth with stone-throwing.

Silwan activist Ibrahim Aoudeh was released from Israeli detention on 
10 March after being jailed for ten months. Twenty-two-year-old 
Aoudeh was arrested and jailed on charges of participating in 
clashes. SILWANIC reported that a celebratory procession wound its 
way through Silwan as local leaders gave speeches condemning Israeli 
policies while insisting residents "remain steadfast in their 
resistance to the settler colonization of the village" 
("<http://silwanic.net/?p=13213>Ibrahim Aoudeh released, brother 
Mohammed remains behind bars," 10 March 2011).

Ibrahim's brother, Mohammed, also an activist, remains in an Israeli 
jail after being arrested for his participation in recent clashes. 
Their younger brother, 10-year-old Muslem, has been the target of 
Israeli police forces over the last year. Last March, Muslem was 
<http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11140.shtml>abducted in the 
middle of the night by Israeli police, who interrogated him.

More recently, Muslem was abducted again by Israeli forces in 
February, along with several other boys, and he was beaten so 
severely that his skull was fractured and his entire body sustained 
serious bruises, SILWANIC reported 
("<http://silwanic.net/?p=13100>"How can they criminalize me? I'm ten 
years old." The plight of Muslim Aoudeh," 6 March 2011).


Ma'an News Agency reported that two Palestinians were injured and 
five were detained on 23 March when an Israeli patrol entered the 
village of Qatanna and opened fire with rubber-coated steel bullets. 
All of those detained were 15 and 16 years old, Ma'an added 
near Jerusalem: 2 injured, 5 detained," 23 March 2011).

Israeli Department of Education bans Palestinian curricula

The Israeli department of education passed a resolution on 7 March 
for all the recognized and state-financed public and private schools, 
mandating that every school abide by supervised curriculum standards 
and programs.

The Palestinian news agency WAFA reported on 22 March that 
Palestinian educational leaders issued a strong statement saying they 
would continue to teach Palestinian curriculum in occupied East 
Jerusalem schools.

They considered the ministry's decision a step towards Judaizing East 
Jerusalem, starting with the education sector.

Samir Jibril, director of Palestinian education in East Jerusalem -- 
administered by the Palestinian Authority -- asserted that "the 
curriculum is one the rights [with which] the Israeli side is not 
entitled to interfere ... [we consider] this step as a prelude to 
impose the Israeli curriculum in East Jerusalem," WAFA reported 
Adherence to Palestinian Curriculum," 22 March 2011).

"Jibril demanded the schools' administrations not to deal with the 
Israeli resolution and called [on] the private schools to take a 
national decision by continuing to teach the Palestinian curriculum 
without any deletion or change in the content," WAFA added.

70 Palestinian homes demolished since January

The United Nations issued a report on 21 March that showed a two-fold 
increase in the numbers of house demolitions in the West Bank, 
including occupied East Jerusalem, since the beginning of the year, 
Ma'an News Agency reported 
("<http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=369913>UN: Massive 
increase in home demolitions," 22 March 2011).

The UN agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) "recorded 70 demolitions 
since the start of 2011, displacing 105 Palestinians, of whom 43 were 
under the age of 18. The demolitions were carried out across the West 
Bank and East Jerusalem, and ordered by Israeli police, municipal 
officials and by mandate of the Civil Administration," Ma'an reported.

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said that in occupied East Jerusalem, 
the Israeli government has zoned approximately 13 percent of the city 
for Palestinian construction, "most of which is already incredibly 
built up ... They are forced to build without a permit."

Last month, the High Commissioner for Human Rights "described this as 
discriminatory," he stated. Gunness labeled home demolitions as a 
"triple humiliation, with families forced to build illegally, faced 
with the demolition of their homes, a process that all too often 
occurs in front of the faces of their children."

UN expert: Israel is engaged in ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem

Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in the 
occupied Palestinian territories, delivered a report to the UN Human 
Rights Council on 21 March in which he described Israeli policy in 
East Jerusalem as ethnic cleansing.

The council released an abridged version of Falk's statements, and 
reported that he "reminded the Council that the fundamental right of 
Palestinian self-determination was constantly abridged by Israeli 
settlement expansion in East Jerusalem and the West Bank ... The 
death of over 1,000 children, the continued building of illegal 
settlements, and the ill treatment of prisoners were barbarities that 
could not continue" 
Rights Council holds interactive dialogue with Special Rapporteur on 
situation of human rights in Occupied Palestinian Territories," 21 March 2011).

Falk stated that the International Court of Justice should be called 
upon to define what it means for Israel "to continue an occupation 
with characteristics that were associated with colonialism, apartheid 
and ethnic cleansing."

Israel has refused to allow Richard Falk to enter the country to 
continue his mandate as UN Special Rapporteur. He told the council 
that he plans to attempt to enter in April anyways, and hopes that 
the Israeli government will allow his entry into the occupied Gaza 
Strip and the West Bank.

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