Israeli pressure on Palestinians in East Jerusalem has largely fallen off the media radar.
Most days, Sharihan Hannoun and her family sit along the sidewalk on dusty white plastic chairs watching the East Jerusalem home from which they were forcibly evicted, watching as the strangers who took it over come and go.
“Today we stay in the street 65 days,” said Hannoun, on October 8. “The first few nights, we slept here,” recalled the 20-year-old who was a psychology student at Birzeit University, which is located in the town of Birzeit on the west side of Ramallah, inside the West Bank. That was before August 2 early morning police raids left 37 members of her extended family homeless.
Hannoun, wearing black slacks, a long-sleeved white turtleneck sweater and matching white head covering worn by Muslim women, recalled being awakened at 5 a.m. when Israeli police broke down the front door of the home owned by her parents since 1956.
“I told them we have ownership papers. They said they didn’t want to see them. They said, ‘it’s not your house, it’s our house.’ They put a gun to my brother’s back and said for him to leave the house. He is just 10 years old,” she said.
“They broke everything in the house, the television, everything,” she recalled. “They went to the refrigerator and ate the food. They took my brother’s football and started playing with it in the yard. They said, you are Palestinians and we can do what we want with you.”