The price of Jerusalem

 turned on Al Jazeera on Sunday to see a live interview with Maher Hanoun.  In 2009, I was living with Maher’s family in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah when they were evicted from their home.

It was 5:15am on Sunday 2nd August, when I woke up to the sound of the Hanoun family’s front room windows being smashed in.  I had just laid down to rest 20 minutes earlier.

We had known that the threat of eviction was imminent ever since the first order of this year was served on 19 February of that year.  The family had already been kicked out of their home once, in 2002, but it was still hard to imagine that the day would ever come.

By the time I’d got to my feet, scores of soldiers were rushing into the house and had surrounded me.  Due to my disability I cannot walk at a fast pace, which they used as an excuse to increase their level of aggression, kicking me as I fell to the ground and pushing me out the front door.  As I tumbled down the stairs outside, I pointed at my wheelchair:

“That’s my wheelchair,” I said. “I need it because I can’t walk.”

“No! No!” the armed Israeli forces replied, continuing to shove me away.

It was only a couple of hours before a van of Jewish settlers drove up and began moving in to the Hanoun family’s house.  We slept the night on the pavement opposite the home.

The next day, Maher spoke to reporters who had gathered by the olive tree we ... >>>

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