Pictures and details: After six and a half decades, Abu Asab family is evacuated from its homes in favor of the settlers
February 17, 2019

 

For six and a half decades, Abu Asab family lived in its home in the Old City of Jerusalem, and in a few minutes was forcibly evicted in favor of settlers claiming ownership...The family is living in pain after losing their home which overlooks Al-Aqsa Mosque, and is now in the hands if settlement associations.

Rania Abu Asab, the owner of the house, explained that the police raided the house in the early morning and told us to evacuate immediately. We stayed in the house for more than 3 hours, and the police tried to take us out. Suddenly the forces attacked my son Mahdi and arrested him and then my husband Hatem and arrested him.

She added: "We were forced out of the house and we could not go to the courts and the relevant authorities to postpone the eviction. We were taken out of the house and the policeman told us that the house would be closed and all contents left intact, so that the family would empty it within three days. After evicting us, settlers stormed the house and changed its locks and raised the Israeli flag on its walls and roof."

She said: “The occupation did not only seize our home, but also attacked and assaulted our family members and arrested them.”

Assault and altercations

Following the seizure of the house, Abu Asab family gathered in front of its house, refusing to leave the area and demanding the release of the family members that were arrested. The forces assaulted the women, young men and children, while protecting the dozens of settlers who stormed the house.

In the evening, the Israeli police released Hatem Abu Asab and his sons, Mahdi, 15, and Abdullah, 13, and orderedAbu Asab not to reach the vicinity of his home in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Pursuit and steadfastness

The occupation authorities started harassing the family of Abu Asab in 2014 by handing over the decision to evict them from the house on the pretext of "losing the right to protected tenant.” The family went to Israeli courts to protect the property during the past years until the evacuation decision was finally issued at the end of last October.

Nima Abu Asab, the owner of the house, said: "I am from the third generation, after my father and mother, and here I am, we never left our house."

Hatem Abu Asab explained that his family has been living in the house since 1952, "after the family emigrated from the Al-Baqa'a neighborhood of West Jerusalem, where they stayed for several years in a room in the area of Damascus Gate, and then moved into this house with Tufaha family.

Abu Asab explained that the ownership of the property belongs to Nuseibeh family from Jerusalem, which had leased the house for the Jews before 1948, for 99 years. Despite the expiration of the lease period, the judge gave the right of the property to the settlers.

Abu Asab added: "The lease was renewed and the Custodian of Absentee Property was being paid the rent fees, but we were pursued several years ago under the pretext of" losing the right of protection. But how did we lose the right of protection? How was it dropped?”