Israel’s War Against Palestine: Documenting the Military Occupation of Palestinian and Arab Lands

Rightist MKs scuffle with Arab families in East Jerusalem

9 August 2009

By Nir Hasson, Haaretz – 9 Aug 2009

Scuffles broke out Sunday between two rightist MKs and members of a Palestinian family in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, while the MKs toured the contested area.

At one point, stones were thrown at Yaakov Katz and Uri Ariel, both from the National Union party, and the MKs’ bodyguards traded blows with protestors.

While the MKs were touring the neighborhood, a member of the Gawi family yelled at them “you learned the Apartheid laws from South Africa. East Jerusalem will be free, this is our land. We didn’t expel you, why are you expelling us?”

The Gawi family is one of two Palestinian families in the neighborhood who were evacuated from their homes last week.

MK Katz said “all of this area belonged to Jews between 70 to 80 years ago and we are returning to it.”

When asked if the same principle would apply to houses belonging to Arab families that were deserted during the 1948 Israeli War of Independence, Katz replied “on the contrary, let an Arab come forward and make a claim on a house that he thinks belongs to him and his family inside the state of Israel. This claim will be handled by the court.”

Right-wing activist Aryeh King, who escorted the MKs through the neighborhood, pointed out a number of houses that had been acquired by the Nahalat Shimon organization or that were subject to documents saying they belonged to Jews. King vowed that in another year, the number of Jewish families in the area will increase from 28 to 40.

On Monday night, left-wing activists from Israel and abroad will hold a demonstration in the neighborhood to show solidarity with the evacuated families

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