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Sheik Jarrah observations

MPT in Sheik Jarrah

Nearly one year ago two households consisting of eight families were forcibly evicted from their house in the Sheikh Jarrah section of East Jerusalem. On a recent visit through the neighborhood MPT noticed how some family members take refuge outside under a shade tree across the street from the house they no longer live in. The house is currently occupied by Israeli settlers.

Upon walking closer to the house, MPT’s attention was drawn to what appeared to be an interview in progress. Two older Palestinian men, heads of the evicted household were being interviewed and filmed by internationals from Japan, Norway, England and the United States.

The Palestinian man stated that the interactions with his new “neighbors” are peaceful and the situation has to remain calm, so one day he and his family will have a better chance of returning to their home. One of the men stated, “There is no need for violence, so we just have a peaceful struggle.”

The men hold onto the hope that the freeze on settlements will indeed take effect in the fall of 2010. Additionally, with an impending appeal from the Israeli High Court this fall to further investigate the eviction process, the men and several international supporters meet in solidarity every Friday to hold non-violent protests.

In last Friday’s demonstration, nine non-violent protestors were arrested. Those arrested were mainly Israeli peace activists. Click on the link below for a more recent overview of the situation, courtesy of Haaretz online publication.

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