A HOUSE DIVIDED IN DIVIDED JERUSALEM


Since 1952 a Palestinian family owned a home in East Jerusalem. In 1998 an addition was added to the home, without obtaining a building permit from the city which claimed it was it was a renovation rather than an extension… therefore not requiring a permit.
Read this excerp from the following posted article;
A few months after Kurd’s 1998 renovation, it came to the attention of the Knesset Yisrael Committee, a Jewish property rights group, that potentially illegal work had been carried out on the house and that ownership of the land was disputed.

A court case was filed and it was ultimately determined that settlers should be allowed to live in half of the house, which is built on land that Knesset Yisrael says belonged to Jews before 1948, when the state of Israel was founded and Jordan took over the West Bank in the ensuing war.’

So we have a home, owned and built by Palestinians… and we have a Jewish family living in half of it without their permission. And this the zionists call justice….
Jewish ‘settlers’ that move to a predominantly Palestinian community so they can ‘not talk to them or allow their children to play with their’s’…
Good zionist logic… as riddled with hate as the rest of their philosophy is.
Here is a piece that was published by Reuters yesterday…. it’s worth the read.

A divided house, and divided lives, in Jerusalem

By Luke Baker

JERUSALEM, Oct 30 (Reuters) – If they look out of their windows, Fawzia al-Kurd and Bryna Segal share the same view from the same house across the rooftops of East Jerusalem.

But that’s where their shared vision ends.

Kurd, a 54-year-old Palestinian, raised her five children in the house, which sits half-way up a hill in Sheikh Jarrah, one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Arab East Jerusalem.

Segal, a 25-year-old Jewish settler born in Israel to parents from New York, moved in nearly four months ago.

The large home, built of cream-coloured Jerusalem stone, has been in Kurd’s family since 1952, when she says her father-in-law was granted permission by the Jordanian authorities, which then controlled East Jerusalem, to build it.

For decades, including the years that followed the 1967 Middle East war, when Israeli forces defeated the Jordanian army and captured the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Kurd and her family lived in the house without particular problems.

Then in 1998, hoping to move her eldest son in with her, she renovated half the house to create a separate unit — a two-bedroom home for her son and his family.

Because the work was a renovation rather than an extension, she says the Jerusalem municipality told her she did not need a building permit, and so the changes went ahead unchecked.

Then the problems began.

Eight years on, the person living next door to Kurd and her husband is Segal, with her husband and two young children. A third is on the way.

“It’s hard, every day it’s so hard,” says Kurd, a mild-mannered, religious woman who keeps her hair covered with a traditional hijab headdress. “I cannot bear it.”

For Segal, a simply dressed woman who also keeps her hair covered for religious reasons, it’s equally odd.

“We don’t talk to one another,” she says, playing with one of her sons at a playground near the house. “We don’t bother them and they don’t bother us.”

RISKY RENOVATION

Property disputes are not uncommon in Jerusalem, a city that both Palestinians and Israelis want as their capital. But the one between Kurd and Segal is notably quirky.

Since 1967, when Israel annexed East Jerusalem in a move not recognised internationally, the Jewish population in the traditionally Arab area has grown rapidly, with wealthy Jewish organisations buying up properties and moving settlers in.

There are now estimated to be about 200,000 Jews living in East Jerusalem, alongside about 250,000 Palestinians.

As the population balance grows ever closer to even, property disputes become more heated.

A few months after Kurd’s 1998 renovation, it came to the attention of the Knesset Yisrael Committee, a Jewish property rights group, that potentially illegal work had been carried out on the house and that ownership of the land was disputed.

A court case was filed and it was ultimately determined that settlers should be allowed to live in half of the house, which is built on land that Knesset Yisrael says belonged to Jews before 1948, when the state of Israel was founded and Jordan took over the West Bank in the ensuing war.

Lawyers challenged the ruling, but the settlers moved in, with the first group taking up residence in 2000. Since then other families have come and gone. Segal moved in in June, after transferring from a settlement in the West Bank.

“We like living in places that are important,” she said when asked why she wanted to live in this shared house. “We wanted to be in Jerusalem.”

There are now seven Jewish families living cheek-by-jowl with Palestinians in the small neighbourhood. They are protected 24 hours a day by two armed Israeli guards.

Segal and her husband, who is looking for work, pay $300 a month rent for their house, which she says is the largest and nicest among the small settler bloc in the district. The rent doesn’t go to Kurd, but she didn’t say who it does go to.

$10 MILLION? NO THANKS

While the guards say they have to deal with very few problems, tensions are constantly present between the Jewish and Arab families in the area and between Kurd and the Segals.

The Jewish community has installed a small playground for their children, which Arab children are not allowed to use, says Segal. The armed guards stop them. The Arab children play on grass nearby or in the street.

“I don’t want my kids playing with Arab kids, and they don’t want to play with each other,” says Segal.

Kurd, who speaks Hebrew, says she refuses to speak to the Segals. Segal says she has tried to talk but has been rebuffed. “They took my house, why would I speak to them?” says Kurd.

She used to have a doorbell that played a prayer from the Koran, but she accuses the Segals of cutting the electricity. Their front doors open just inches apart.

An Israeli flag flies above the Segal’s side of the house, as they do from all the other Jewish houses in the neighbourhood. Inside Kurd’s home, there is a tapestry map of the region showing Palestine before Israel’s founding.

Kurd holds out hope that lawyers will get the settlers evicted. But it’s also unclear if she does have ownership of the land the house is built on since another Arab family can show ownership back to at least 1933.

More court cases are pending.

Kurd says a settler group offered her $10 million to give up her side of the house. She refused.

“What would God think of me if I did such a thing?” she says, sitting on the green sofa in her front room, looking out the window over East Jerusalem, the same view the Segals have. (Additional reporting by Roleen Tafakji)

9 Comments

  1. I love Munich said,

    November 1, 2006 at 00:03

    That is nothing short of a tragedy! WHY ON EARTH do people who come from all over in the world have MORE RIGHTS – ONLY because they happen to be Jewish – that the ones who have been there all along and have ROOTS there?? Someone please explain me this logic …
    Shouldn’t JUSTICE rule? EQUALITY? COMPASSION? UNDERSTANDING? GIVE AND GET? Instead there is hatred, greed, harassment, pain, humiliation … THIS is supposed to be a foundation for peace? Do they KNOW at all what the word PEACE means?? Concluding from the above, I SERIOUSLY doubt that!

    BTW … I absolutely LOVE the pictures of Ismael Shammout! I am a BIG fan of his art …

  2. Jade Erik Paige said,

    November 1, 2006 at 04:42

    The sense of right and wrong and injustice prevails once again…too bad that this couldn’t have been settle in a more peaceful manner. I can think of several ways this could’ve been resolved and be beneficial for all parties involved. Quite sad really for both parts.

  3. Renegade Eye said,

    November 1, 2006 at 04:52

    Israel is turning its back on Jewish values of justice more all the time.

  4. DesertPeace said,

    November 1, 2006 at 08:09

    Karin… this is just one example of the everyday ugliness that zionism is guilty of. Peace can only come… and I am confident that it WILL come, when the zionists realise that they are NOT the ‘chosen people’. Humanity is the chosen people. Reference and misinterpretations of the Scriptures will NOT stand up in an international court of law. Justice WILL be served and the zionists will pay for their sins.
    Ismael Shammout was truly a gifted artist. His works speak to us… tell of of the suffering and hopes of his people. He was truly a gift to all of humanity.

  5. DesertPeace said,

    November 1, 2006 at 08:11

    Thanks for visiting Jade… as I said to Karin, this is just one example of the ugliness. It will be solved one day and justice will be seen.

  6. DesertPeace said,

    November 1, 2006 at 08:13

    Yes Renegade, you are absolutely right. But, as the world becomes aware of this situation things will change. Of this I am very confident.
    Hence this blog… it is my intent to constantly expose the evil workings of zionism until it becomes a thing of the past.

  7. ab said,

    November 1, 2006 at 19:06

    Yes, i’ve read this yesterday. Zionists are hoping that the Palestinian family will move out eventually. I wish that they won’t, but it must be so horrible to live like this. I’ve read so many inhumane things commited by zionists, but this one really struck me. I pray that these people will have patiance.

  8. DesertPeace said,

    November 1, 2006 at 19:09

    All I can say to your comment ab is AMEN!!

  9. January 7, 2010 at 07:13

    […] A HOUSE DIVIDED IN DIVIDED JERUSALEM […]


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