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Settlers in Jerusalem attack Palestinian family, 3 injured 25 detained

Dec. 18, 2009 6:03 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 20, 2009 11:49 A.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Three Palestinians were injured including two children and a journalist in an attack by Israeli settlers on homes in the East Jerusalem community of Sheikh Jarrah on Friday evening.

From the scene, Ma'an's reporter described the incident as a "mob" of settlers who focusing their attack on the A’teiyah and Al-Ghuwar homes.

The attacks came after a day of protests where Palestinians, internationals and left-wing Israelis congregated outside the home of the evicted Al-Kurd family, speaking out against the Israeli court order handing the home over to a group of settlers. During the protests Israeli forces arrested 25, including Palestinians and internationals, witnesses reported.

The three injured in the evening attacks were teenagers, brothers Imad and Mohammad A’teiyah, 13 and 15-years old, and a Palestinian photojournalist identified as Nader Papers. The extent of their injuries was not immediately clear.

Earlier in the day, protesters outside the Al-Kurd home called for restoring the home to its owners. Rabbi Arik Ascherman, director of the Rabbis for Human Rights organization, told the Israeli daily Ynet , that he was demonstrating against a "fundamental injustice."

"We have been active here from 2002, in order to defend our neighbors. The settlers claim that the houses were owned by Jews before 1948. I doubt if this is true, but even if it is, we must ask whether Arabs also have right to return to what were their homes before the State's establishment. If they don't do so, what we have here is a case of discrimination," he told Ynet.

The spokesman for the Israeli police, Mickey Rosenfeld, was unavailable for comment.

Since August, the Al-Kurd home has been the site of numerous clashes. Last Friday, it was reported that an ambulance was called to the scene as a result of high tensions between Israeli police and Israeli peace activists.

Outgoing Commissioner General of UNWRA Karen AbyZayd was forced to leave the premises last Thursday by Israeli police as she gave a speech and visited the Al-Kurd family.
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