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East Jerusalem: 53 People Homeless and Counting

MPT returned to occupied East Jerusalem for an action protesting the eviction of the Hanoun and Al-Ghawi families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah. The demonstrators marched from Damascus Gate outside the Old City to the settler-occupied Hanoun home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

MPT joined Palestinians, Israeli activists, and other internationals in front of the Hanoun home. Upon arrival at the home demonstrators noticed hired security officers stationed inside the gates of the occupied homes. Settlers stood in the gate and on top of the roof laughing at the demonstrators and one settler danced in rhythm to the protestors’ chants, led by 3 Palestinian women. Protestors displayed signs created by the Hanoun, Al-Ghawi family and other residents of Sheikh Jarrah. One police officer and 4 Israeli soldiers were present at the demonstration.

Palestinian woman leading protest chants

Settlers watch the demonstration from the Hanoun house

After demonstrating in front of the Hanoun home for approximately 35 minutes the leader of a local Palestinian committee asked protestors to proceed to the Al-Ghawi home. More hired security was present at the Al-Ghawi home and settlers occupying the Hanoun home came down to the Al-Ghawi home. After 25 minutes in front of the Al-Ghawi home the committee leaders thanked protestors for their presence and announced that a similar action would take place the following week. After the demonstration formally ended some dialogue was exchanged in Hebrew between the occupying settlers and the Israeli activists. Sheikh Nasser, one of the evicted Palestinians, spoke at length with an Jewish American tourist, explaining the situation in Sheikh Jarrah.

Following the protest MPTers were approached by a Palestinian man living in Sheikh Jarrah whose family is next in line to be evicted. This man goes between the Hanoun and Al-Ghawi family daily to stand in solidarity with them as his family faces a similar situation. He further explained to MPT that he thinks Israel is taking the neighborhood in a piecemeal fashion so as not to draw too much attention to the process.

A hired security officer stands guard as he allows settlers into the Al-Ghawi home

Sheikh Nasser speaking with a Jewish American tourist

On Sunday the former Governor of Arkansas and possible 2012 Presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee, joined Israeli settlers and their supporters for a dinner in East Jerusalem, held at the Shepherd Hotel, which is located in Sheikh Jarrah and is a site for more projected illegal settlements. An excerpt from the New York Times article on Huckabee’s visit to the area, “His three-day trip, focusing on visits to settlements and meetings with settler leaders, puts him in direct opposition to President Barack Obama and positions him even to the right of Israel's own hawkish prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.”

Picture of Huckabee on his trip (courtesy of Haaretz)

To read about Huckabee’s visit in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz visit:


For the full New York Times article visit:


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