“If I don’t steal your home, someone else will steal it,” was the answer given by an Israeli settler to Mona al-Kurd, a young Palestinian woman who accused him of stealing her home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in the occupied East Jerusalem.
The dialogue, captured on video by Palestinian activist Tamer Maqalda, shows 22-year-old al-Kurd confronting the settler in the garden of her family home.
In the video, al-Kurd is heard telling the settler in English: “Jacob, you know that this is not your home.”
The settler replies in a thick US accent: “Yes, but if I go, you don’t go back, so what’s the problem? Why are you yelling at me?”The response provoked al-Kurd, who told him “You are stealing my house!”
“If I don’t steal it, someone else will steal it,” Jacob answers. “So why are you yelling at me?”
“No one is allowed to steal my home!” al-Kurd shouts.
Jacob then says in Hebrew: “This is not mine in order to return it.”
‘Squatters with Brooklyn accents’
In recent months, the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood saw a series of sit-ins by Palestinians to protest against Israeli orders for them to vacate their homes, which they have described as a continuation of the ethnic cleansing that began with the Nakba in 1948.
On Monday night, dozens of Israeli forces stormed the neighbourhood and assaulted Palestinian families by beating and shooting tear gas and sound bombs at them. According to local Palestinian media, 20 people were injured, and at least four Palestinian men and one girl were arrested, with two being released on Tuesday.