Sunday, February 5, 2012

Testimony from Palestinian Women in East Jerusalem

We will now begin a featured series of testimonies from an excellent by the Women's Center for Legan Aid and Counseling in November 2010 titled Forced Evictions: Assessing the Impact on Palestinian Women in East Jerusalem.  These testimonies are all quotes from interviews conducted by members of the Women's Center with women from East Jerusalem.  These are the stories that often get lost in the press coverage of East Jerusalem, and it is important to acknowledge the voices of residents of East Jerusalem themselves:

We will begin with Maisa Al Kurd, who lives in Sheikh Jarrah, and is facing the threat of eviction from her home:  “On 24th November [2009]which was the night of Eid Al-Adha, a Muslim holiday, I was up late after my son Munjad came back after his late shift at  the hotel.  It was around 1am when I heard the sound of moving furniture in the extension and I went outside with my mobiles.   It was lit up outside from the lights from the settler house opposite and I could see that there were four settlers inside the house and one of them standing outside the house.  As I approached the settler stood outside, he pushed me away towards the wall in my chest. I could see him clearly, he had ginger hair.  My son M came out of the house and saw the settler push me and said: ‘what are you doing to my mother’ but then the settler put his hands around M’s neck.  I was frightened of what
was going to happen and phoned the police while I was still stood with my back against the wall.

On another day – December 1st [2009], I was attacked by a settler who hit me with a metal bar.  My sons tried to defend me but when the police arrived they arrested my sons because the settlers accused them of attacking them.  Always, they believe what the settlers say even though   it is them attacking us and them coming onto our property and trying to take it from us.  My sons were then ordered to stay away from the house and from Sheikh Jarrah for 47 days.   Once this expired, M was arrested again and banned for another two months meaning that he couldn’t work because the hotel he works in is in Sheikh Jarrah.  Even now the orders have expired, my sons are too scared to come back here in case they are arrested.”" [end of quote].

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