Tuesday, June 9, 2009

House Sitting

We all arrived in Tel Aviv and traveled to Jerusalem without any major issues. We are now currently staying in East Jerusalem. Today we got in touch with some folks in the ISM who are involved in stopping house evictions in East Jerusalem. Currently 28 families are in danger of having their houses evicted to give to settlers. The justification for these evictions are some fabricated documents the settlers registered a week or two after the 6 day war ended and East Jerusalem came under the jurisdiction of the Israeli military.

Documents of ownership have been obtained from the Turkish government after years of them stalling (to placate the Israelis) and they definitively prove that the families have had ownership since the Ottoman empire. However, the Israeli high court has refused to even look at this evidence and has instead ruled in favor of the Israeli settlers. After the homes were ruled to the settlers, the Palestinian families refused to pay them "rent as they refused to cede control over to settlers. The fathers of all the families were jailed for 3 months. Meanwhile the ISM has been conducting round the clock stay-ins in the houses to try to prevent eviction by force. One home has already been evicted a few months ago. 500 police forced their way into the house at 5am and arrested all the internationals there and forced the family out. There is another home that is destined to be forced out by July 19th (the court deadline) but the Israelis could come at any time before that to force them out. We have opted to spend a few nights there to make sure that doesn't happen.

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