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