11 December 2009
On Friday 11 December 2009, the fourth demonstration march against evictions and demolitions of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem arrived in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood. The demonstration takes place every Friday, and gathers Israeli, Palestinian, and international activists in West Jerusalem to subsequently march to the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem.
The demonstration this week gathered about 150 activists, demonstrating to the beat of an Israeli samba drum band. Following a scuffle between a settler and an activist, outside the occupied al-Kurd family house, the large police force on site proceeded to violently disperse the demonstrators. 24 activists were arrested; 21 Israeli, one American, one Canadian, and one German. Police unnecessarily used pepper-spray on two Israeli activists and a 13-year old Palestinian boy.
A non-violent Israeli activist being attacked with pepper-spray by the Israeli police:
13-year old Palestinian boy, a Sheikh Jarrah resident, recovering from being attacked with pepper-spray by the Israeli police:
Activists being arrested and taken to the al-Kurd family house occupied by Israeli settlers, temporarily turned into a police station to hold the 24 arrested activists:
The arrested activists subsequently suffered from bad treatment during their up to 40 hours detention, including exposure to cold temperature, strip search humiliation, food deprivation, and inadequate court process. A detailed description of their ordeal can be found here.