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By: LUISA MORGANTINI- Vice-President of the European Parliament

Just after Israeli police evicted for the second time Um Kamel Al-Kurd from her protest tent and destroyed the tent and all its contents, an urgency was presented on the case of this family and a debate took place today in the Plenary Session of  the European Parliament.  A resolution was adopted by the Plenary, asking the Israeli authorities to stop their illegal actions. 

The European Parliament, considering the Israeli action against international law and a danger for other 26 families living under the threat of eviction, called on Israel to immediately halt any expansion of settlements and called on the Council, the Commission and the international community, to protect Palestinian residents in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood and other areas of East Jerusalem.

Affirming that East Jerusalem is not subject to the jurisdiction
of Israeli courts, since the EU does not recognize the annexation by
Israel of this part of the city, the European Parliament urged Israel to
refrain from all unilateral measures that pre-empt the result of the
final status negotiations. Such actions only damage the chances of
reaching a peace agreement.

Luisa Morgantini, Vice President of the European Parliament, one
of the author of the resolution which was presented by the political
groups, in her intervention emphasized that this policy is not an
incident but part of the colonial practice of the Israeli government
evidenced in the increase of illegal settlements,  the demolition of
Palestinian houses, in the siege on Gaza and the blocking of movement
with closures and check points all along the West Bank.

She also reported: "Two weeks ago, a European Parliament
delegation to the Palestinian Occupied Territories, composed of members
from different political groups and including myself, visited the
Al-Kurd family in its home: we witnessed the violence and abuse suffered
by the family because of settlers who live in the same courtyard. They
no longer have that home and an Israeli bulldozer cruelly evicted them
from the tent situated  in the courtyard of a Palestinian-owned house".

The Al-Kurd family includes Um Kamel, her husband - who is
partially paralysed, and suffering from chronic heart disease - and
their 5 children. This family, already refugees in 1948, when they were
displaced from West Jerusalem, has once again been dispossessed of its
home, where it has been living since 1956. A group of extremist settlers
claim ownership to that house and 26 other houses in the same
neighbourhood, on the basis of an Ottoman title deed dating from 1880,
the authenticity of which is doubtful and which is also disputed by
United States.  The project of the Jewish associations is to build 200
hundreds colonial units that will replace the Palestinian homes.


Session document



on the case of the al-Kurd family


The European Parliament,

-    having regard to its previous resolutions on the Middle

-    having regard to the report drawn up by the European
Parliament‘s Ad Hoc Delegation to Israel and the Palestinian Territories
(30 May - 2 June 2008) and its conclusions,

-    having regard to the IV Geneva Convention,

-    having regard to pertinent UN resolutions,

-    having regard to the EU-Israel Association Agreement, and
in particular its Article 2,

-    having regard to the declaration by the Presidency on
behalf of the European Union on the destruction of houses in East
Jerusalem of 10 November 2008,

-     having regard to Rule 115 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.       Whereas, on the night of Sunday the 9th of November,
2008, Israeli police and army forces evicted the Al-Kurd family from
their home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem where
they have lived for more than 50 years; whereas, immediately afterwards,
they enabled settlers to enter the family‘s house and then sealed off
the area,

B. whereas this eviction was carried out on the basis of an
order issued by the Israeli Supreme Court on 16 July 2008 following long
and controversial legal proceedings on disputed ownership before Israeli
courts and authorities,

C.       Whereas the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine
Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) declared that it would continue to
offer the family assistance,

D.  Emphasizing the fact that the eviction took place despite
international objections; whereas the US has raised the issue with the
Israeli authorities; whereas this decision may pave the way for the
takeover of 26 more houses in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East
Jerusalem, with 26 other families targeted for eviction; having regard
to the political ramifications of this matter for the future status of
East Jerusalem,"

E. Reminding of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and
that the international community has not recognised the Israeli
sovereignty over East Jerusalem.

F.    Whereas a delegation of the European Parliament visited
the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood and had the opportunity to meet the
al-Kurd family on 3 November 2008,

1. Expresses its deep concern regarding the eviction of the
al-Kurd family, the recent destruction of houses of Palestinian families
by the Israeli authorities in several areas of East Jerusalem and the
possible serious consequences of these measures; 

2. Recalls that these operations, which seriously affect the
life of the residents of these areas, are illegal under international
law and calls on the Israeli authorities to put an end to them as soon
as possible;


 3. Recalls that under the international law East Jerusalem is
not subject to the jurisdiction of Israeli courts, while respecting the
independence of the Israeli judiciary within the internationally
recognised borders of the State of Israel;

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