East Jerusalem: 6 Voices - Muna and Muhammad al-Qurd
12, Palestinian twins from Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem
What's the story?
Sheikh Jarrah is a Palestinian neighborhood that was also home to a very small Jewish community before 1948. The Jordanian government, which controlled it until 1967, settled 28 Palestinian refugee families there who lived before 1948 inside what is now Israel. Recently, fundamentalist settler organizations won a claim of ownership to several plots of land there under an Israeli court. Several of the families have been evicted from all or part of their homes, with settlers taking their place in what is a declared effort to Judaize the area.
What happened to the twins’ family?
Settlers have taken over the front part of were thrown out into the street. Israeli, international and Palestinian activists, Sara Benninga among them, have started a growing solidarity movement and demonstrate there weekly to oppose the injustice of Israel accepting pre-1948 ownership claims by Jews, but not by Palestinians., and the family continues to live in its back part. The irony abounds, as the front part was declared an illegal building extension by the Jerusalem Municipality, yet it did not hesitate to sanction settlers moving in there. Other families
In this innovative project, B’Tselem and the Guardian gave six Palestinians and Israelis cameras to create video diaries of their lives in occupied East Jerusalem, under the shadow of the settlement enterprise. The diaries offer a glimpse into the impact of the volatile reality on their lives. This is one aspect of B’Tselem’s video project, in which the organization has given some 200 Palestinian families cameras to document violations of their rights.