Saturday, April 28, 2012

Clashes in Jerusalem over occupied Palestinian homes

Activists protest against Israeli Jewish settlers moving into the house of Palestinian Khaled Natshe
AFP - Ahmad Gharabli

Clashes broke out on Friday when some 150 Palestinians and Israelis demonstrated in east Jerusalem to protest against Jewish settlers taking over two houses there, an AFP reporter said.

As protesters brandished signs saying "Stop the occupation" and "Stop stealing Palestinian land," there were scuffles between one settler and demonstrators and between protesters and police.

One Israeli demonstrator was arrested, which prompted her comrades to stage a sit-in in a street to block police.

On April 18, Israeli police evicted a Palestinian family of 14 people from their two houses in Beit Hanina after settlers won a court battle over ownership.

The eviction of the Natshe family was the first successful attempt by settlers to secure a property in the well-heeled Arab district in the northern part of east Jerusalem, rights groups said.

Israel captured east Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and the Syrian Golan Heights during the 1967 Six-Day War.

It considers all of Jerusalem to be its "eternal, undivided" capital and does not see construction in the eastern sector as settlement building.

But the Palestinians want east Jerusalem as the capital of their promised state, and furiously denounce any move by Israel to buy or build property there.

More than 340,000 Jewish settlers live in the Palestinian West Bank, and more than 200,000 in east Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, the Israeli government asked the Supreme Court to postpone until Tuesday the planned demolition of some 30 residences built on Palestinian land in the wildcat settlement of Ulpana, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, judicial sources said.

That would give time to reach a court decision on allowing them to remain, the sources said.

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