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


ethnic cleansing
A banner is displayed at the entrance of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in March, 2009.
(Photo: Anne Paq/

To whom it may concern,

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.

Forced eviction from our home will not only be a human tragedy but also a political maneuver which aims to strengthen and expedite the settlement project in East Jerusalem, specifically in Sheikh Jarrah. Israeli Jewish settlement takeover in Sheikh Jarrah serves to interrupt the presence of a continuous and connected Palestinian community in East Jerusalem. Numerous families have already lost their homes and 30 more are living, day-to-day, under the eminent threat of eviction. Our case will set yet another precedent that will play directly into the hands of the settlement project and will be another nail in the coffin of a viable East Jerusalem.

We are turning to you, as writers, activists, public figures, artists and concerned citizens of the world, to do all that you can to call on the Israeli government to instruct the General Custodian not to evict our family from our home and thereby facilitate the agenda of extremist settlers who are destroying all chances for a peaceful and just future in Jerusalem.


Ayoub Shamasneh




  1. R Davis said,

    December 29, 2012 at 17:55

    “they have now sued us”
    A rubber stamp, for all must be seen to be done correctly.
    Please understand that I know nothing, I am an ignorant. I live on the other side of the world & have just begun to discover the situation in the Middle East.
    In an Israel court you have Buckley’s chance, I would imagine.
    You definitely need a legal team to work on your behalf & in the international arena. I know it sounds hard & expensive but in reality it is not.
    Surely there are law students who would like to take on Goliath & win.
    There must be Palestinian legal students, but also young professionals from other nations, who would love a challenge & a chance to make a name for themselves in the process. In fact it is more desirable to have they young, fresh, quick thinking mind than a procrastinator set in his or her ways. Protocol can be learned by a quick thinker.

  2. R Davis said,

    December 29, 2012 at 17:57

    They could call themselves-

  3. December 29, 2012 at 18:23

    Very nicely and intelligently put put..

  4. Ermanno said,

    December 29, 2012 at 18:31

    Israeli settlers……inhuman practitioners attesting to the living personification of the words…..MAN’S INHUMANITY TO MAN.

  5. cistercian said,

    December 29, 2012 at 21:44

    I weep to hear daily of the new atrocities perpetuated upon your people.
    You are in my prayers and please know I educate as many as I can to the nature of your plight.
    I hope my efforts bear fruit…as I live in the United States.
    God will not allow this to continue forever….please hold on!!!!

  6. Dr Goldstein said,

    December 30, 2012 at 21:21

    This is Israeli Atrocities and racism in action.

    Palestine has a right to exist. Palestinian families have a right to stay in their homes.

    Here in Canada , or our American neighbours, nobody can just say they are “settlers” and then steal peoples homes and property. They would be arrested for trespassing and attempted robbery.

    I apologize that my Canadian Government has turned a blind eye to the suffering families of Palestine, and the Israeli atrocities against Palestine. They are a fake “majority government” that only got 38% of the vote. Most Canadians do not support our Israel-loving government, and they will be kicked out in the next election.

    I pray that God almighty brings plagues, diseases, wars and famines to all all those who oppress the families of Palestine. I pray for an end to the suffering of Palestinian people.

  7. January 5, 2013 at 02:59


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