Page last updated at 16:01 GMT, Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Israel police remove protest tent

Crane removes Kurd family protest tent (19.11.08)
Police said they were operating on the basis of a court order

Israeli police have pulled down a protest tent set up by a Palestinian family evicted from their home of 52 years in East Jerusalem.

They also arrested three international activists and one Palestinian.

Fawzia al-Kurd, 57, had been sleeping in the tent since she and her disabled husband were forced from the house last week on the basis of a court ruling.

Jewish groups have claimed ownership of the site as part of efforts to settle the Israeli-occupied east of the city.

They say the land, which includes a site held to be an important Jewish burial place, was Jewish-owned in the 19th Century.

"They kicked me out of my home and now they kicked me out of the tent," Mrs Kurd told the BBC.

Fawzia al-Kurd, 57, in protest tent, 12.11.08

"Where am I supposed to go?"

A spokesman for the Israeli police said their actions were based on a court order and were co-ordinated with the Jerusalem municipality.

The municipality said the tent had been erected on public land and was dismantled after the Kurd family failed to comply with a warning calling for its removal.

Mrs Kurd said she had received no written warning, and activists said the land was privately owned.

The case has been followed closely by international activists and centres around the controversial issue of the status of Jerusalem.

Israel considers all of Jerusalem its capital, but Palestinians want to locate the capital of a future state in the east of the city, where they make up the majority of the population.

Israel has annexed the city's east and extended its municipal boundaries into the West Bank.

But this move is not recognised by most of the international community, which regards East Jerusalem as occupied, along with the West Bank, since the 1967 Israeli-Arab war.

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