UPDATE: All activists were given a condition to stay out of East Jerusalem for 3 weeks and will be released later today.
For Immediate Release:
4pm, Monday 27 July 2009: A demonstration will be held outside the Darwish Hijazi home to protest the demolition of the home and the ethnic cleansing of occupied East Jerusalem.
Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah, along with international and Israeli solidarity activists, will hold a demonstration outside the Darwish Hijazi home in Sheikh Jarrah. On Sunday, 26 July 2009, 7 international activists, 1 Israeli activist and 2 Palestinians were arrested outside the Palestinian home.
Settlers had broken into the home and began to destroy the house from the inside. According to local residents, the Palestinian home owner had died a month ago, leaving no one inside the home to protect it. Around 12:30 pm, Israeli forces arrested a German national, an Australian national, a Scottish national, an Israeli and 2 Palestinians including former Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Hatim Abdul Qader, when they tried to block settlers from entering the home.
After they were taken to the police station on Salah al-Din street, settlers were able to enter the home. According to witnesses at the scene, settlers were destroying the house from the inside.
Around 3:30, Israeli forces arrested 2 American nationals and a British national, as they tried to enter the Palestinian home to stop the settlers from destroying it. They were also taken to the police station on Salah al-Din street.
The 7 internationals and 1 Israeli activist are still in detention and will likely have court on the morning of Monday, 27 July 2009.
The case of Sheikh Jarrah
The Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem was built by the UN and Jordanian government in 1956 to house Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war. However, with the the start of the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, following the 1967 war, settlers began claiming ownership of the land the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood was build on.
Stating that they had purchased the land from a previous Ottoman owner in the 1800s, settlers claimed ownership of the land. In 1972 settlers successfully registered this claim with the Israeli Land Registrar.
The 28 families face eviction from their homes. In November 2008, the al-Kurd family was violently evicted from their home in Sheikh Jarrah. Two weeks thereafter, Mohammad al-Kurd died from a stress induced heart attack.
Currently, the Hannoun and the al-Ghawe families face eviction from their Sheikh Jarrah homes. However, all 28 families are battling eviction in Israeli court.