Three MPTers joined the Hanoun and al-Ghawi families along with Palestinians, internationals and Israeli activists outside of the Hanoun home the night of their eviction in order to protest the forced removal of 53 people from their homes. The demonstration lasted 2 hours and 45 minutes during which time internationals, Palestinians and Israeli activists were arrested and injured.
The Hanoun’s house was blocked off by a police barricade of 30 Israeli border police and 3 Israeli police officers. Settlers occupying the house sat on the front steps videotaping demonstrators. Other settlers drove through the demonstration yelling at the protestors while one settler stood in the middle of the street snapping pictures of the demonstrators.
During the demonstration one police officer ordered the border police to arrest internationals first. The border police and police officers formed a line and started walking towards the protestors, at which time demonstrators linked arms in solidarity. The police appeared to randomly select on international activist from International Solidarity Movement to arrest. While soldiers pulled on the individual’s arms and legs from opposite directions MPTers along with other internationals, Israeli activists and Palestinians struggled to de-arrest the individual. The border police pushed the demonstrators away and eventually arrested the ISM member. Although the police arrested an international as a scare tactic demonstrators did not leave the area.
An hour and a half into the demonstration a Rabbi came to the home in order to give his blessing to the occupying settlers. Half and hour later the Israeli forces declared the area a closed military zone and threatened to arrest everyone in 5 minutes. Approximately 10 demonstrators, including 3 MPTers, sat nonviolently across the street from the home, linking arms in solidarity with one another. One MPTer was sitting arm in arm with an Israeli activist who said, “they [the police and border police] do not have enough space in their van to arrest us all, so they’ll arrest some of us and beat the rest of us.” Shortly after this comment border police charged the demonstrators where they sat, pulling at individuals in an attempt to arrest them. Border police also prevented videographers and photographers from documenting the arrests and beatings.
MPT struggled to interposition themselves between soldiers who were punching a man in the head and choking him with a banner that read “Solidarity with Sheikh Jarrah”. One Palestinian man was pulled into the air by his neck and then thrown onto the ground, where the border police continued to beat him. The border police pushed MPT and others away from the scene, trying to disperse the crowd. When the police had taken away the people they decided to arrest, MPTers were pushed down the road by a female officer. Although MPTers told her that they were leaving she continued to push them. Although the border police attempted to arrest all three MPT members, no one from MPT was arrested and the injuries they sustained were minor in comparison to others’.
The Israeli Soldiers approaching the demonstrators
Two MPTers hold a banner during the demonstration
A video of the demonstration is available on YouTube