Ma'an News Agency
September 17, 2010 - 12:00am

Jerusalem's Qeresh family said friends and neighbors helped them resist what witnesses described as an attempted home take over on Wednesday.

The event reportedly began in the early morning in the As-Sa’diyah neighborhood in the old city of Jerusalem, as Israeli settlers entered a wing of the family home and allegedly began removing furniture.

Family members said young men from the neighborhood came to the scene, and forcibly prevented the settlers from taking the furniture out of the home.

"The settlers tried to throw the furniture," one man told Ma'an, and added that police were not called, as the family feared its sons would be detained for preventing the settler action.

The attempted take over came as Israeli and Palestinian leaders met less than four kilometers away at the Israeli Prime Minister's Residence, for the latest round of direct peace talks.

President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly said that if settlement projects continue in Palestinian areas, including East Jerusalem, he will walk away from talks.

Latest in 14-year settler battle for home

The Qeresh family continues a court battle following the 29 July forcible entry of two settler families into the home.

At the time, Israeli National Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said two Jewish families entered the building "based on documents claiming that they owned the property."

Police said they were examining the documents presented by two Jewish families who evicted the Qeresh families from their home. A police spokesman said the day after the forcible eviction, that he had "no idea whatsoever" as to how long it would take police to verify the papers.

He explained that if police decided the documents were authentic, the matter would be transferred to court.

According to Qeresh family members, the matter was transferred to courts, which put a freeze on settler action on the home, including the removal of furniture, until the matter was decided.

Fatah official for Jerusalem Affairs Hatem Abdel Qader said publicly that the documents presented by settlers to police were fake, noting the settlers who entered the homes were part of a Jewish group that lost a lawsuit in 1996, wherein they sought to take over the same home but failed to sufficiently prove ownership.

Palestinian defendants proved to an Israeli court that the home was owned by Kamal Handal and rented by the Qeresh family, Abdel Qader said following the July attempt.

"This armed burglary is considered an attack on a Palestinian home and will not pass silently," he added at the time.


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