In the street, they are present day and night, indifferent to the unpleasant smell that has been flooding the neighborhood for days, as the occupation forces deliberately sprinkle wastewater daily during the stands in solidarity with the people of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, who are threatened to evacuate their homes for the benefit of the settlers.
Like a hive of bees, they circled and discussed the latest developments, neither among them was lazy nor desperate despite the extreme exhaustion that appeared on their faces as the fateful court sessions coincided with fasting and high temperatures. Read alsoHow does the settlements pose the greatest danger to the rest of the Palestinian territories?British website: Jerusalem is on the verge of erupting … and other indications of an uprising are on the horizon Foreign Policy article: Washington has enabled Israeli extremism Watch. Mubasher map expert for Al Jazeera: Jordanian documents confirm that the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood is a pure Palestinian property
Young people seemed more lively than the elderly, exhausted from the decades-long hesitation of Israeli courts that they believed would not do them justice, but the phrase repeated by everyone, “Our hope is in God is great, truth will triumph even after a while.”
Nabil al-Kurd, one of the oldest residents of the neighborhood, Al-Jazeera Net asked him on the street: With the approach of the 73rd anniversary of the Nakba, are you on the threshold of a new catastrophe?
He did not remain silent for long and replied, “We have been living in a continuous catastrophe since 1948, and Israel chooses every region in Palestine to uproot its inhabitants, and now it is the turn of the mass displacement of the people of Karam al-Jaouni, and I believe that the occupation has increased in ferocity and strength during the presidency of Donald Trump, and we are paying the price for this mandate, in addition to To the failure to establish our right to ownership of land and homes. “
The Kurds added that the Israeli judiciary has been requesting, for 20 years, papers from settlers to prove their ownership of the land, and they have not submitted anything yet, noting that senior figures in the Israeli government offered him $ 10 million to sell his house and he refused.
He commented on that, asking: If the settlers really own this land, why do they pay me huge sums to vacate my house?
Regarding his expectations about the appeal hearing by the families of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in the Supreme Court next Monday, the Kurd said, “Since the seventies, I have been saying that these are pseudo-occupation courts, which are political courts that implement what the government and settlers want, not what the law dictates.”
Asylum, resettlement, a new evacuation
In 1948, the Kurds fled from Haifa to Jerusalem, and his family was among 28 families that Jordan decided to settle in Jerusalem in cooperation with UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees), and with the aim of expansion, Nabil built a house adjacent to his home and finished working in it in 2001, but the occupation confiscated his keys 4 days before his residence, and in 2009 settlers came and took him, and since that time the life of this family has turned into hell.
They set up a tent at the entrance to the house and took turns to be there in solidarity with Palestinians, Europeans, and Jews. They were subjected to several harassment, which was the pouring of spoiled milk on them, and the throwing of rotten vegetables and fruits on them, throwing rubbish toilets on them and their beds, in addition to shooting rats while they were sleeping, and after 5 years settlers set fire to them. In the tent and burned it.
The harassment of the solidarity activists has ended, but the owners of the house suffer around the clock, and about that, the Kurds say, “The extremists deliberately strip their clothes completely and stand in front of the windows overlooking us, so I had to put a cloth barrier to protect my daughters and my wife .. Their dogs attack us and their garbage sinks the entrance, they executed trees and wreaked havoc on the house.” .
Nabil switches between one media outlet and another, informing her of a long legal path in the Israeli courts that may end with a recent eviction decision against him and the right of other families waiting for a bleak fate in the neighborhood.
Nearby is a member of the Committee for Refugees Housing Units in Sheikh Jarrah Aref Hammad, who said that the neighborhood’s residents, lawyers, and those in solidarity with his cause are making a great public and legal effort so that the residents are not subjected to a second displacement after most of the families resorted to Karm al-Jaouni from Haifa, Acre, Jaffa and Nazareth.
“We forcibly left our homes and properties, and after years we established a good society in which we can live here, but simply the Israeli government, which obeys the orders of the settlers, wants to uproot us from the neighborhood and build 220 housing units for the settlers in our place. This is greater than a war crime.”
This is a modal window.
We are having an unexpected problem, check and try again shortly
Error code: MEDIA_ERR_UNKNOWN Session ID: 2021-05-07: 3b748d53c0c376105db01cba Player Item ID: vjs_video_998
Regarding the poor psychological situation that 111 children living in the neighborhood are going through, Hammad commented, “What the children see these days of brutal repression that affected them very psychologically, and my grandchildren ask me all the time: What is our fate? And where will our books and games go? And I have no answers to these questions. That plunges me into a cycle of helplessness and sadness. “
Hammad explained that 160 people in the neighborhood had recently received orders to evacuate their homes, including 46 children. These belong to 12 different families, and 28 extended refugee families live on an area of 18 dunums in “Karm al-Jaouni” in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, and their number is 500 people.
His grandson, Aref Hammad, is on the street with adults, listening deeply to their discussions at times, then walks alone back and forth in front of his house.
Al-Jazeera Net asked him to introduce himself, so he said in a firm tone, “I am Arif Hammad, from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, which is threatened with eviction from my house. I am 9 years old. I knew last year that the settlers wanted to seize our house, so I started participating in the sessions and protests to understand what is going on around me.”
And about how he spends time in the last hot days in the neighborhood, he said, “Every night I drink a cup of anise, I eat a banana, and I try to go to sleep, but I am unable to do so from the sound of bombs and the smell of wastewater.”
Before we bid him farewell, we asked him about his wish, and he replied: To live in my house safely like the rest of the world’s children, and to play with the children at school and I am calm, as all of them play happily, and I think during the school break at home and I am afraid that I will return and not find my family in it.
Sami Irsheed, one of the lawyers assigned to defend the families of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood who are threatened with eviction, said that the judge in the Israeli Supreme Court issued a technical decision in which she decided to hear the appeal submitted in the name of the people of the neighborhood before a panel of 3 judges next Monday, corresponding to May 10.
“Al-Kurd, Al-Jaouni, Qassem and Skafi” are the four families that will appear before the Supreme Court in a few days, and Irsheed stressed that any decision that will be issued during the next session may be decisive for them.