Terry Crawford-Browne, who is currently observing the Palestinian situation for the World Council of Churches, reports that the Shaikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem is very tense due to house demolitions and evictions by belligerent settlers.
The Israelis have been trying to ethnically cleanse this historical Arab part of the Holy City in order to “Israelise” it. Only 24 Arab properties remain and millionaire Bingo man, Irving Moscowitz, is bankrolling this effort to “Judaise” Arab East Jerusalem. This is what Terry had to say earlier this week:
The situation at Sheikh Jarrah was quiet over the Eid, but now is very tense. The Jerusalem court on Sunday rejected the Al Kurd family’s appeal, and this morning Israeli settlers accompanied by police moved into the front house on the Al Kurd property.
There have been fisticuffs throughout the day. One settler was hit on the head by a stone, and two internationals were arrested but later released. The younger Mrs Al Kurd, whilst berating the settlers, suffered a stroke about 15:30 this afternoon, and has been taken to hospital.
The Al Kurd family will apply to the court tomorrow to have the house demolished rather than have it occupied by settlers who can then block access and exit to the rest of the property. It is a forlorn hope given the biases of the Israeli legal system.
The South African government last week issued a statement deploring the situation in East Jerusalem and, Sweden, currently the President of the EU, has indicated that it might recognise a unilateral declaration of independence. Predictably, the Israeli government has condemned both stances as “unhelpful to peace negotiations.”
The Sheikh Jarrah situation seems pretty hopeless for the remaining 24 properties unless the international community exerts sufficient pressure on the Israeli government to put a stop to these house invasions.
I just came back to the guesthouse to write this to you ahead of your broadcast, and to grab some warmer clothing. The internationals have been asked to help mount a vigil tonight. So I’ll be back in Sheikh Jarrah before 6:45 if you want to phone.