l Kurd Family: A Victim of Israeli Colonial Policies
27 Other Houses in Al Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood are in Real Danger

l Kurd Family: A Victim of Israeli Colonial Policies <br> 27 Other Houses in Al Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood are in Real Danger


Israeli Special Forces and Border Police, accompanied by a large sized bulldozer, damaged and removed on November 20th, 2008, the fence surrounding the land of Mr. Kamal Obeidat and his partners in Al Sheikh Jarrah area of East Jerusalem. The land was rented by Mrs. Fawziya Al Kurd (a.k.a. Umm Kamel) upon which she placed her protest tent.


Photo 1: A Palestinian girl walks next to the damaged fence in Al Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem.

Lawyer Mohannad Jibara, advocating on behalf of the land owners, informed Land Research Center (LRC)’s field researcher the following: ' The Jerusalem Municipality used a section of the law called “City Cleanliness Code” which was not used for the past 30 years to remove the protest tent. The Municipality did not give Umm Kamel the usual 48 hours to file an appeal against its decision. The demolition was illegal as legal procedures were not followed by the Municipality. When I went to the Judge to try and prevent the demolition, he told me that the operation is done and over with and that nothing can be done to reverse its action. The land was a private land and to use this Code in this case is only an indication of the double standards used by the Municipality. A month ago there was a huge tent set up by Israeli colonists, yet neither the Municipality nor the Special Forces issued a removal order against it. As such, I declare that this demolition came as a result of a racist political decision and using the aforementioned law was immoral to say the least.'


The Jerusalem Municipality has used multiple pretexts in its dealings with the Umm Kamel protest tent; once it declared that the tent is illegal and once it declared that the owner of the land placed a fence without getting a permit. That was despite the fact that the fence was erected two years ago. The Municipality has never raised the legality or illegality of its presence before. Also, the Municipality used the pretext the land is classified to be used for the benefit of the public only to come back to say that the camp (i.e. Umm Kamel’s small tent) “is built in the street.” !!! and, as such, it should be removed.


Lawyer Mohammad Dahla, advocating on behalf of Umm Kamel, indicated that the behavior of the Municipality is racist: ' Using the Cleanliness Code indicates that humans and the tent are nothing but trash that has to be removed without the necessary appeals. This behavior confiscates the right of people to act as they wish on their own lands. '


The solidarity of the people with Umm Kamel and their presence at the tent along with the different media outlets is what made the occupation occupied with the urgent need to remove the tent.

Not only that; the occupation forces have surrounded and removed Umm Kamel’s tents on the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th of November 2008 while imposing a fine of NIS 430 each time due to “illegality of the tent.” That was despite the fact that the tent was established on private property rented out by Umm Kamel for a period of one year.


Photo 2: An Israeli security officer holding a removal order of Umm Kamel’s tent.


On the 19th of November, 2008, the Municipality and the Israeli Police removed the tent from its basis. In the previous times, the Police would only threaten to remove the tent without actually carrying out its threat. The Israeli Internal Intelligence called Mr. Kamal Obeidat three times for questioning. On the fourth time they arrested him while being present on his land as to pressure him to nullify the rental agreement between him and Umm Kamel.



Photo 3: Relatives and internationals assembled in place of the removed tent.


Israeli occupation authorities are preoccupied with Umm Kamel’s tent as it has become a symbol of the right of Palestinian residency in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood as well as an icon of the resistance to the policy of forced eviction, land grab and house occupation in East Jerusalem and elsewhere. The small tent has become to resemble all that due to the stream of Palestinian Jerusalemites and Israeli Arabs that did not stop for one day since the establishment of the tent in protest of the policy of uprooting Palestinians and replacing them with Israeli colonists. Such a policy is being carried out at a feverish rate in East Jerusalem to the degree that it amounts to a war crime that should constitute criminal charges against Israeli policy makers.


It is worth noting that Abu Kamel, the handicapped Palestinian who was kicked out of his house in Al Sheikh Jarrah and replaced by Israeli colonists, was transported to the hospital on the 17th of November 2008. Due to the physical and psychological pressure placed upon him and his family by the Israeli occupation, he passed away on the 22nd of November, 2008 as a result of a heart attack in Mar Ilyas hospital in Jerusalem.


The 62-year old Mohammad Kamel Al Kurd (a.k.a. Abu Kamel) died after few days after the Israeli Special Forces and Border Police raided his house at 3:30 AM on the 9th of November, 2008. Force was used to remove Abu Kamel and his wheel chair while his wife was handcuffed behind her back and thrown into the street in front of Abu Kamel’s watchful eyes. The blood pressure and sugar levels sky rocketed in Abu Kamel’s body. Doctors who examined him said that he should not become upset as not to make his condition deteriorate even further. Yet, the shock of being evicted out of his house was too much for Abu Kamel which led his health to decline at a faster rate. He was transported to Mar Ilyas hospital for further medication and observation. However, the humiliation he saw before, during and after the eviction and the harsh treatment by occupation authorities during the removal of the protest tent was just too much for him to handle. He died homeless with a violated dignity on the 22nd of November, 2008 in the said hospital.


A similar case was documented earlier. It was the case of Mr. Ahmad Husheima who suffered a heart attack and died during the demolition of his uninhabited house in the present location of Qalandia terminal.


It seems that it is the fate of Palestinians to die due to Israeli injustices if they don’t die by the bullet !!!.


Photo 4: A Palestinian Jerusalemite carries an order for Umm Kamel to pay a financial fine for erecting the protest tent.




Prepared by:
The Land Research Center


Categories: Settlers Attacks