‘The Ugly Faces Of Occupation’

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Demolition begins
Demolition begins

Dear friends,

THE ugly faces of occupation from two houses demolished in Silwan, Jerusalem last week.

Two other houses were destroyed the same day in Jerusalem.

Yesterday, the Al Kurd family was evicted.

Some diplomats were there, many stayed away.

Some UN representatives were there, many stayed away.

Some NGOs were there, many stayed away.

Some journalists were there, many stayed away.

For a moment, stay away from reporting about the past or planning for the future.

It’s happening just now, outside our offices, outside our homes. Today another house will probably be destroyed.

Your neighbours are evicted, their houses destroyed, the family is displaced.

But we can do a lot.

Forward my pictures to your friends on the internet. If you have 50, send it to them; if you have 100, do the same.

Let’s try to see if these pictures can be seen by 100,000 people within 24 hours. It’s possible because the possibilities are there, only a click away – ask president Obama.

Warm regards,

Mats Svensson.’

ISRAELI police evicted a Palestinian family at gunpoint from their home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of Jerusalem at 4.00am on Sunday.

A member of the Al-Kurd family said that Israeli troops and police stormed their neighbourhood and designated the area a ‘closed military zone,’ preventing residents from reaching the house.

Eight international solidarity activists from Canada, the United States, Britain and Sweden were arrested for protesting against the eviction by camping on the family’s property.

The eviction took place in spite of a formal diplomatic complaint filed by the US in July against it.

The US official protest questioned the authenticity of the Ottoman-era bill of sale on which the Jerusalem District Court relied in ruling that the property belongs to the Committee of the Sephardic Group, an organisation seeking to establish a settlement in the neighbourhood.

In July, the Israeli Supreme Court ordered the eviction of the family for their refusal to pay rent to their new settler landlords, whose presence the family, along with the international community, view as illegal.

Hatim Abdul-Qadir, the Palestinian president’s advisor on Jerusalem affairs called the eviction a ‘robbery as Israeli forces took advantage of the absence of neighbours and evacuated the house.’

Abdul-Qadir said that he has not been able to reach the house or see the family. He said the father of the family is disabled and needs medical attention.

Abdul-Qadir pledged to help the family and provide shelter in addition to the efforts to return them to their home.

Settler groups have been attempting to take over the Al-Kurd family home, along with 26 other houses in the neighbourhood in order to found a new Jewish settlement.

• See Photo Gallery for more pictures