Video shows Israeli settler trying to take over Palestinian home

Video shows Israeli settler trying to take over Palestinian home

“If I don’t rob your house, someone else will rob it,” was the response given by an Israeli settler to Mona al-Kurd, a young Palestinian who accused him of robbing her home in the city. Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in the occupied zone. East Jerusalem.
The dialogue, captured on video by Palestinian activist Tamer Maqalda, shows al-Kurd, 22, confronting the settler in the garden of his family home.

In the video, al-Kurd is heard saying to the settler in English, “Jacob, you know this is not your home. “

The settler responds with a heavy American accent, “Yes, but if I go, you don’t go, so what’s the problem?” Why are you yelling at me? “

The response provoked al-Kurd, who told him, “You are robbing my house! “

“If I don’t steal it, someone else will steal it,” Jacob replies. “So why are you yelling at me?”

“No one is allowed to steal my house!” shouts al-Kurd.

Jacob then said in Hebrew, “This is not mine to return.” “

‘Brooklyn-style squatters’

In recent months, the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood has seen a series of Palestinian sit-ins protesting the Israeli order to leave their homes, which they described as a continuation of the ethnic cleansing that began with the Nakba in 1948.

On Monday evening, dozens of Israeli forces stormed the neighborhood and assaulted Palestinian families, beating them and firing tear gas and sound bombs at them. According to local Palestinian media, 20 people were injured and at least four Palestinians and a girl were arrested, two of whom were released on Tuesday.

Half of the al-Kurd family’s house was taken over by Israeli settlers in 2009. Mohammed, Al-Kurd’s twin brother, previously told Al Jazeera that sharing their house with “accented squatters” of Brooklyn ”was“ unbearable, intolerable. [and] terrible ».

“They just sit in our house, torment us, harass us, do whatever they can to not only force us to leave the second half of our house, but also harass our neighbors to leave their homes in the part of an effort to completely wipe out the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem, ”said Mohammed, who was 11 when the settlers forced their way in.

Last March, the Israeli District Court in occupied East Jerusalem ratified orders ordering six Palestinian families – including al-Kurds – of Sheikh Jarrah to leave their homes in order to make way for settlers. The same court also ruled that seven other families are expected to leave their homes by August 1.

Israel’s Supreme Court on Sunday postponed its ruling on those families who threatened to leave their homes to benefit mostly private settler organizations funded by the United States. The court gave families until Thursday to come to an “deal” with the settlers, based on paying the settlers’ rent and being recognized as owners of their own homes.

The terms of the court agreement were condemned by Palestinian families.

“The inherently unfair Israeli colonial court system does not contemplate questioning the ownership of illegal settlers and has already ruled on the dispossession of the families,” the families said.

The 28 Palestinian families arrived in the area from Karm al-Jaouni to Sheikh Jarrah as refugees in 1956. Under an agreement with the Jordanian government and the United Nations refugee agency UNRWA, the houses were built in exchange for revoking their refugee status and the promise that these families would own the houses after three years.

The promise was never kept, and in 1967 Jordan lost its mandate over the West Bank and East Jerusalem after Israel occupied the territories.

Israeli settlement groups said that Palestinian families had built their homes on land owned by Jews before 1948 and that they had to evacuate those homes, but Palestinian cartographer Khalil Toufakji refuted the claims.

Toufakji said he found the land title that denies any Jewish ownership in the area at the time after searching the Ankara archives 11 years ago.

“I presented it to the Israeli District Court, which quickly rejected it,” Toufakji told Al Jazeera.

In recent years, Palestinians have evacuated three houses in the neighborhood, following Israeli court rulings. Currently, 38 Palestinian families are threatened with eviction.


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