27 July 2009
On July 26th a group of settlers led by Arie king took over a Palestinian house in Sheikh Jarrah to which they where given custody of in a very controversial decision of the Israeli court. While trying to prevent the settlers from taking over the house and demolishing it, 11 activists (three Palestinians, seven internationals and one Israeli) where arrested.
At about 11:30, with the support of police and army units, settlers came to demolish a home whose owner passed away recently. This is part of the settler organization’s larger campaign to dispose Palestinians of their land and to settle Jews in the East Jerusalem neighborhood, especially in the holy basin – the area which surrounds the old city of Jerusalem.
Activists at the scene attempted to non-violently prevent the entrance of the settler bulldozer into the home, an effort that was met with unrelenting force by the police and army, and ended with the violent arrest of the 11 activists. The activists were held and interrogated at Salah-Adin police station in Sheikh Jarrah, and 8 of them were transferred to the Russian compound and held overnight.
Currently, 28 families face eviction in the East Jerusalem neighborhood, and others have already been evicted and settlers now occupy their houses. Sheikh Jarrah is a Palestinian neighborhood, and the continued efforts by settlers to move Jews there is yet another way of creating “facts on the ground” and preventing any real, just solution from being reached in the future.