UPDATE: Seven of the arrested activists were released after court, with a condition to not be in Sheikh Jarrah for 3 weeks. One American solidarity activist has been taken to the immigration prison for deportation.
Another international activist is reportedly refusing to give her name and intends to go on hunger-strike, according to the released activists who were in detention with her.
Rami Hannoun is being treated at a local hospital after being beaten by Israeli forces.
For Immediate Release:
2 August 2009: Israeli forces have evicted the Hanoun and al-Ghawe families from their homes.
At around 5:30 in the morning, Israeli police arrived at the Hannoun family home and broke into the house through the windows. They forcefully removed Maher Hanoun, his wife Nadia and their 3 children. The police violently separated the family from the international and Israeli solidarity activists that were staying in the home. Police then arrested the international and Israeli solidarity activists that were staying with the family. Similarly, Israeli police came into the al-Ghawe family home at 5:30am and removed the family and internationals staying in the home.
Settlers arrived with a truck and began to move the al-Gwahe Hannoun family possessions out of their home. Everyone outside of the house was forced across the street, away from the house.
According to eyewitnesses, Israeli forces beat a Palestinian male who was trying to intervene when police were yelling at an elderly Palestinian woman. Additionally, media personnel were pushed around by police when they were trying to get close to the evicted Sheikh Jarrah homes.
Amongst those arrested are at least 7 international activists and 1 Israeli activist. They are scheduled to be brought to court in Jerusalem at 11am.
Maher Hannoun, Palestinian resident of Sheikh Jarrah:
Despite condemnation from the international community about the evictions of my neighborhood, Sheikh Jarrah, the Israeli government continues to pursue the ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem. My family were refugees from 1948 and now we have become refugees again. We were forced out of homes to make way for settlers, contrary to international law. The legal case that residents presented in court included an Ottoman-era document which discounts the settler associations claim of ownership over Sheikh Jarrah land and homes. But the unjust policies of Israel to judaize East Jerusalem render our legal proof of ownership irrelevant.
Jody McIntyre, a British solidarity activist:
I woke up to the sound of a brick through the front window. By the time I could get up, I was being pushed out the door by Israeli forces. They wouldn’t allow me to take my wheelchair and were physically violent towards me and the others in the Hannoun house. The unjust policies of the Israeli government are not just written documents, they affect real families. The government has made the Hannoun and al-Ghawe families homeless, and their only crime is being Palestinian in a system that is racist against them.
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 built 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 of Sheikh Jarrah 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.
In 2004 Nadav Shargai from Ha’aretz reported that: “A process of Judaization has already begun . The compound is currently, and
gradually, being cleared of its Arab population by means of legal procedures.” (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml? itemNo=481362&contrassID=1&subContrassID=7&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Y)