For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, 4 November 2009 at 7pm: A protest vigil will be held outside the al-Kurd home in Sheikh Jarrah.
Following a settler takeover of a Palestinian home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, the al-Kurd family and international and Israeli solidarity groups will hold a vigil.
Israeli settlers take over Palestinian home
Tuesday morning at around 9.30am, a group of settlers took over a portion of the al-Kurd family home. The 40 settlers, accompanied by private armed security and Israeli police forces, entered a section of the home, threw out the family’s belongings and locked themselves in.
The take-over came after an appeal submitted by the family’s lawyer was rejected by the District Court this morning. In their appeal, the Palestinian family was challenging an earlier court decision that deemed a section of the house illegal and ordered that the keys be given to settlers. The settlers proceeded to enter the house, while the court did not grant them the right to enter the property.
The al-Kurd home was built in 1956. An addition to the house was built 10 years ago, but the family was not allowed to inhabit the section because the municipality refused to grant them a building permit.
The al-Kurds have become the fourth Sheikh Jarrah family whose house (or part of it) has been occupied by settlers in the last year. So far, 60 people have been left homeless. In total, 28 families living in the Karm Al-Ja’ouni neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, located directly north of the Old City, face imminent eviction from their homes.
In a strategic plan, settlers have been utilizing discriminatory laws to expand their presence in Occupied East Jerusalem. Palestinians, who face difficulties in acquiring building permits from the municipality, are often left with no legal recourse for extending their homes to accompany their growing families. The Israeli authorities exercise their abilities to demolish and evict Palestinian residents, while ignoring building violations from the Israeli population in East Jerusalem. Visibly unequal practices make it possible for settlers to move into a home where it was declared illegal for Palestinian residents to inhabit.