Monday, 7 January 2013

Do not let settlers expel us from our home in Sheikh Jarrah


(Photo: Anne Paq/Activestills)


My name is Ayoub Shamasneh and I live in Um Haroun, Sheikh Jarrah. My wife and I are living here with our son, Mohammed, his wife Amaal, and their six children ranging from the ages of 11 to 22 years old. We have lived in this house since 1964, it is where we built our family and raised our children. In 2009, after decades of living in our home, the Israeli General Custodian’s Office informed us that our rental’s agreement will not be renewed.

They have now sued us in order to take ownership of the property via individuals whom they claim are the descendants of the original Jewish owners pre-1948. Our case has been reviewed by an Israeli court in two separate hearings and judges have refused to accept evidence we have submitted to show proof of our residence in our home since 1964. Therefore, they are claiming that we are not eligible for protected tenant status. Consequently we have been ordered to evacuate the property by 2pm on December 31st, 2012. As far as we know, the property will be handed over to a right wing settler organization that has previously taken over properties in the neighbourhood.

Now more than ever we are aware of the double standard of the Israeli law that does not lend Palestinian refugees or their children a claim to property they owned before 1948, yet allows children of Jewish Israelis to sue and evict Palestinian families from homes they have lived in for decades. As a result of this discriminatory double standard of the Israeli law we are about to lose our home and be thrown out onto the street. more

'Jews for Palestinian Right of Return' statement backs single state and refugees’ right to go home


:The following statement, dated 1 January 2013, is issued by Jews for the Palestinian Right of Return. The initial signers are listed below along with a link for those who wish to sign on.

“For Palestinians, the right to return home and the right to live in dignity and equality in their own land are not any less important than the right to live free of military occupation.” – Prof. Saree Makdisi

For more than a century, Zionists have sought to construct a “Jewish state” through forced removal of the indigenous Palestinian people.

In 1948, this state was established through the Nakba (Catastrophe): erasure and occupation of more than 500 Palestinian towns and villages, dispossession of over 750,000 Palestinians, and a terror campaign of which the massacre at Deir Yassin is but the most infamous example. Since 1967, Israel has also occupied and colonized the remainder of historic Palestine. Today, this relentless ethnic cleansing continues — armed and financed by the US and its allies — on both sides of the 1948 “Green Line.”

As a cumulative result, seventy percent of Palestinians are in exile, the world’s largest refugee population.

Nowhere is this clearer than in Gaza, where Israel inflicts particularly brutal collective punishment on 1.7 million people — most of them refugees — for defiantly resisting expulsion from their homes throughout historic Palestine.

“Pick a point, any point, along [Gaza’s] 25-mile coastline,” writes Gaza City resident Lara Aburamadan, “and you’re seven or so miles — never more — from the other side. The other side is where my grandparents were born, in a village that has since become someone else’s country, off limits to me. You call it Israel. I call it the place where the bombs come from.” more

Egypt allows Qatar building materials to enter Gaza


EL-ARISH, Israel (Ma'an) -- Egypt allowed building materials into the Gaza Strip via the Rafah crossing on Sunday, the second shipment of its kind since Hamas seized control of the territory in 2007.

Sixty-two truckloads of gravel entered the coastal enclave, part of a shipment by the Gulf Arab state of Qatar, which has pledged $400 million to finance reconstruction in Gaza.

On Dec. 29, Egyptian authorities allowed building materials into Gaza for the first time since 2007.

The Rafah border with Egypt is the only Gaza crossing not controlled by Israel, which withdrew its settlers and soldiers from Gaza in 2005.

Cairo has restricted the use of Rafah crossing to travelers and medical relief, giving rise to extensive smuggling into Gaza through tunnels under the border. more