Israeli police evicted a disabled Palestinian man and his wife from their East Jerusalem home of more than 50 years in a late-night raid early Nov. 9. The eviction followed a July Israeli supreme court order that found the home, provided to the couple in 1956 by the Jordanian government and a UN refugee program, was built on land they did not own. A Jewish land association said it has Ottoman-era documents proving the land originally was owned by Jews who fled in 1948 when Jordanian troops took East Jerusalem.
The wheelchair-bound Palestinian man, Mohammed al-Kurd, and his wife, Fawzieh, were removed from the building before dawn. The eviction came despite a plea by the US consulate to allow the couple to remain in their home. Now in their 60s, the al-Kurds became refugees when the newly established state of Israel took over their family holdings in West Jerusalem and in Jaffa. Palestinians and Israeli human rights groups protested the eviction. The BBC report made clear that the couple were forced to flee before they could even get dressed, much less collect their belongings. Thrown into the street in the pajamas, the couple are now living in a tent they have erected nearby.
“I will never forgive the Israelis for what they have done to me and my sick husband, kicking us out of our own house in the early hours of the morning. I may forgive other things they have done, but not this,” said Fawzieh al-Kurd.
In 2001, Jewish settlers moved into the extension the Kurd family had built for their son, and have now taken over the rest of the property. Daniel Luria of the East Jerusalem settlers association Ateret Cohanim said “nobody’s forcing anyone out—the courts ruled they were living there illegally”. (BBC News, Nov. 15; JTA, Nov. 11)