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Cablegate: East Jerusalem Family Fights Eviction Order With

VZCZCXRO3166
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1325 2041118
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 221118Z JUL 08
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2233
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC PRIORITY

UNCLAS JERUSALEM 001325

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE. NSC FOR ABRAMS/SINGH/PASCUAL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KWBG PREL PHUM IS PBTS
SUBJECT: EAST JERUSALEM FAMILY FIGHTS EVICTION ORDER WITH
PA, ACTIVIST SUPPORT

REF: JERUSALEM 1257

1. (SBU) Muhammad and Fawziya al-Kurd told PolOff on his
July 21 visit to their Shaykh Jarrah home that they will
continue to resist an Israeli eviction order despite legal
setbacks (reftel). Fawziya said the family has been
resisting Israeli efforts to remove them for two decades and
will not move elsewhere, even if forced out by Israeli
police. Fawziya said she met with PA President Mahmud Abbas
(Abu Mazen) on July 19 and receives daily visits from Abbas'
Chief-of-Staff Rafiq Husseini and Jerusalem Advisor Adnan
Husseini, and PM Salam Fayyad's Jerusalem Advisor Hatim Abd
al-Qadr.

2. (SBU) PolOff observed 12 Israeli and international
activists, including Arik Asherman, head of Rabbis for Human
Rights, keeping vigil at the house to resist police who could
execute the eviction order at any time.

Comment
-------

3. (SBU) The al-Kurd eviction order has attracted press
attention and PA support because it involves what
Palestinians regard as a fundamental injustice in the
treatment of Jerusalem property. The GOI has often permitted
settlers to take over Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem on
the basis of historic Jewish ownership (it is not disputed
that Jewish families lived in the neighborhood in the 1930s),
but has never allowed Palestinians with clear property title
to return to their West Jerusalem homes. Palestinian
contacts in Jerusalem view the al-Kurd family, who fled from
their home in West Jerusalem's Talbiyah neighborhood in 1948
and now are threatened with eviction from their East
Jerusalem home, as a local symbol for Palestinian property
rights.
WALLES

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