Settlers took over 75 building overlooking the Aqsa Mosque

Settlers took over 75 building overlooking the Aqsa Mosque

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, A human rights organisation revealed that extremist Jewish settlers have so far taken over 75 Palestinian buildings overlooking the Aqsa Mosque, the last of which was the home of Qersh family a few meters from the mosque.

The Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights (JCSE) said that Jewish settlers lead by Atirat Kohanim, a settler society active in arrogating Palestinian property in Jerusalem’s old city.

By taking the Qersh family house in the Sadeya neighbourhood, the settler society has succeeded in extending its control over the fourth property in the direction of the red minaret in the neighbourhood.

The JCSE said that the house which was taken over on Thursday lies about 200 meters north of the Aqsa Mosque. The two-storey building is built over an area of a 1000 square meters and comprises 14 apartments inhabited by nine families of Qersh extended family.

Khaled Qersh, one of the residents of the house, said that his family has lived in the house since 1936, on a lease signed by his grandfather with the owner of the house, Sulaiman Daud Handal from Bethlehem.

He added that in 1987 Atirat Kohanim claimed that they bought the house from the heirs of Handal who live in the USA and the Qersh family entered into a legal battle with the settler society at Jerusalem’s magistrate and central courts and the settlers could not prove their claims.

The settlers used the brief absence of the family from the house as they went to attend a wedding and occupied it, leaving 48 Palestinian people without a home.