The Moroccan Quarter: A History of the Present
Israeli attempts at re-configuring Arab Jerusalem have been varied over the past half-century. Appropriating the built form in Palestinian owned areas of the city has most often meant seizing Arab structures, homes, and neighborhoods, emptying them of their Arab inhabitants, and substituting new histories, new communities, and new meanings in place of old. Entire neighborhoods and thousands of Arab homes were taken over by the nascent Jewish state in 1948. Occasionally, however, the Israeli state has sought to demolish and to physically erase particular areas of Palestinian habitation that obstruct Israeli visions for exclusive rule in what mainstream Zionism regards as Israel‘s "eternal" and "unified" capital.
The Harat al-Magharibah (the Moroccan Quarter), first constructed over 700 years ago in the age of the Ayyubids and Mamluks, was on the eve of the June 1967 War home to approximately 650 people and 100 families. The neighborhood was demolished by the Israeli state in the days immediately after it conquered East Jerusalem. This former space represents a site where practices of ethnic cleansing and wholesale dispossession have been combined with Israeli discourses of "the sacred" as well as others which promote exclusivist, transhistorical notions of Jewish entitlement to the city.
What is today referred to in the dominant, Zionist cartography as the "Western Wall Plaza" is of only recent construction. The Wall itself, once the western enclosure of the Herodian Temple (the Second Temple), has been a place of Jewish worship for several centuries. However, the currently comprised space before the wall—exceptional by the standards of the densely populated Old City for its lack of built form—is of only recent invention. The Character of the Neighborhood before 1948 The structures that comprised this neighborhood over the course of seven centuries were familial, religious, and social and were built mainly of stone and brick. Clustered densely together, these modest one and two story buildings enveloped a network of narrow alleyways that snaked through this largely poor neighborhood. Its population became increasingly diverse in the centuries after the quarter‘s inception. Historically, most families resident in this quarter traced a genealogy back to the Maghrib. Pilgrimage or oppression in former lands brought many to Jerusalem. Over the course of several centuries, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Arabs from Palestine and elsewhere also took up residence in this quarter.
A number of historians of Jerusalem describe the Moroccan Quarter as dating from the time of the Ayyubids. Mujir al-Din relates that ‘Afdal al-Din (son of Salahdin) "endowed as waqf the entire quarter of the Maghribis in favor of the Maghribi community, without distinction of origin" and that the "donation took place at the time when the prince ruled over Damascus [AD 1186-1196], to which Jerusalem was joined." He simultaneously allowed for the building of the Hayya al-Sharif neighborhood, contiguous to the Moroccan Quarter in what today Israel refers to as the "Jewish Quarter." As a waqf endowment, the area was specified to serve as a haven for new arrivals from Morocco, and from the thirteenth century until the last days of the Jordanian regime in 1967, immigrants arrived to, made their home in, and visited this neighborhood from the western reaches of the Islamic world.
This corner of the Old City, roughly 10,000 square meters in size, became the site of a number of historically and culturally significant structures erected during the age of the Ayyubids and Mamlukes. These included the Jami‘ al-Magharibeh near the Bab Maghribeh and the Zawiyya Fahriyya. ‘Afdal also endowed and built al-Madrasa al-‘Afdaliyya in this quarter during the later part of the twelth century for the use of the Maliki fuqaha (jurists). The quarter, as constituted in the thirteenth century, came within meters of the Western Wall. The Herodian-era Wall, known to Jews since the age of the Second Temple as possessing "the presence of God," was used as a regular site of prayer after Sultan Sulayman (1520-66) ordered that a space between the Moroccan Quarter and the Wall be cleared for such purposes. Before the era of Sulayman, however, the evidence of regular prayer at the site is somewhat ambiguous. 1948-1967: Divided Landscapes
The War of 1948 led to the division of the city, with the Jordanians holding the Old City and Israel the city‘s west side. Intense fighting took place in the vicinity of this quarter between Zionist forces sent to wrest this area from the Jordanian forces. The former were eventually defeated in the summer of 1948. They and the 1,500 Jewish civilians living in this part of the Old City were expelled (the non-combatants were sent across the frontier that divided the city between Israeli and Jordanian held sectors, while the Jewish soldiers were held and then released a few months later). The flight of these 1,500 Jews coincided with the forced removal of 700,000 Arabs from areas of historic Palestine conquered by Israel in 1948, including 70,000 from Jerusalem neighborhoods and the city‘s surrounding villages.
Recalling the years of the "divided city," residents of the Moroccan Quarter remember a simmering conflict between residents and Palestinian landlords over ownership rights for certain familial properties in the quarter. Other significant moments included the 1965 evictions of Palestinian squatters in Jewish properties contiguous to the Moroccan Quarter by the Jordanian government and the subsequent transfer of these families to the Shu‘fat Refugee Camp, four kilometers north of the Old City. Speculation as to the Jordanian‘s intentions in this matter circulate to this day in Palestinian Jerusalem. 1967: The "Liberation" of East Jerusalem
The Israeli conquest of East Jerusalem came suddenly during the first week of June 1967 and brought the entire city under sole Israeli control. With the advent of Israeli occupation in East Jerusalem came an entire set of bureaucratic initiatives meant to re-configure this highly contested urban space. These schemes and the assumptions underlying them represented a continuation of policies of erasure, removal, and segregation begun in 1948.
One former resident of the Moroccan Quarter, a man in his thirties in June 1967, relates that in the days immediately following the Israeli entry into the Old City, the entire neighborhood was put under strict curfew. Palestinians were confined to their homes while their new "masters"—Israeli planners, politicians, and generals—met to determine the fate of their quarter and the Old City as a whole. Very soon after the war, the Israeli state took a decision (without the consultation of the Palestinian residents) that the area before the Wall was "needed" for the use of the Jewish state and that the neighborhood "obstructed" the designs of the architects of occupation. The residents of the quarter would have to go.
The process of removing this unwanted population was initiated swiftly and with uncompromising severity. On the evening of 10 June 1967 the several hundred residents of the Moroccan Quarter were given two hours notice to vacate their homes. Those who refused the orders were forcefully evicted from their places of residence, as bulldozers and floodlights were mobilized to raze the area. So suddenly came this dictate that one woman from the quarter who did not hear the calls to vacate was buried alive beneath the rubble that evening. Her body was found the next morning under the ruins of her home.
Nearly all of the quarter‘s 135 homes were flattened by the evening of 11 June, with the "cleaning up process" proceeding for a few days thereafter. Certain structures on the neighborhood‘s periphery, however, were initially retained, most notably a mosque near the Bab Maghribeh, and the Zawiyya Fakhriyya. Both, however, were eventually razed in 1969. Palestinian historian Albert Algazerian believes that these religious sites were initially left standing as a gesture to the Moroccan King Hassan II, a monarch with whom Israel wished to cultivate a relationship and with whom many Moroccans of this community maintained close ties. Roughly one-half of the neighborhood‘s residents at the time of its demolition traced a lineage back to the Maghrib. Many of these returned to Morocco via Amman with the assistance of King Hassan II after the destruction of the quarter. Other families from the neighborhood found refuge in the Shu‘fat Refugee Camp and elsewhere in Jerusalem.
Muhammed Abdel-Haq, the current mukhtar of the Moroccan Quarter community, is the son of a man who journeyed to Palestine from Rabat, Morocco in the 1920s. He describes the trauma his and other displaced families have experienced, both in the wake of their forced removal in 1967 and since. "In the days after the demolition," he relates, "my wife and child would return to the site of our home and wait for the Israeli bulldozers to clear the rubble somewhat so that we might retrieve clothes and other belongings which we did not have time to take with us." They repeated this ritual everyday for weeks, never recovering any of their lost property. Another former resident remembers how the Israeli military authorities would regularly cordon off the vicinity of the destroyed quarter for "security purposes" in the afternoon hours so that those who still resided in the area could often not return to their homes at night if they did not return before the closure.
Ironically, it was not until several months after their forced removal and the paving over of their neighborhood that the Israeli Municipality and the Ministry of Treasury actually presented the community with eviction and expropriation orders. On 14 April 1968 came the order by the Israeli Ministry of the Treasury to expropriate 116 dunums of land in and near the "Jewish Quarter" for "public use." These documents were accompanied by an Israeli offer of "compensation": a mere 200 dinars to each displaced family. Abdel-Haq believes that roughly half of the residents took the compensation. Others, including him, refused it in principle: to accept it, he explains, would be to legitimize the erasure of their community. Ethnic Cleansing as Historical Process
Though the destruction of the quarter has been written about elsewhere, few works have detailed the personal consequences of displacement and the everyday qualities of loss for the former inhabitants of this largely forgotten quarter. For many of these Palestinian residents, the processes of colonial appropriation have been the dominant features of their lives. Abdel-Haq and his family have been displaced as the result of Israeli aggression on three occasions since the birth of the state. In 1948, Zionist armies raided his family‘s village of Beit Shanna, a small Muslim hamlet near Latrun, emptied it of its inhabitants, and destroyed the homes of the village. His family then sought refuge in the Moroccan Quarter, where his father kept a small property. There they resided for the next nineteen years until the evictions of June 1967. In the post-war period, when many of the neighborhood‘s Moroccan families returned to Morocco, he and his family stayed on in Jerusalem in another structure not far from the site of their demolished homes. In 1977, however, as part of Israel‘s efforts to make the newly comprised "Jewish Quarter" "clean of Palestinians," they were ejected a third time. The mukhtar and his family have now taken up another dwelling in the Muslim Quarter. Israeli Rationales for the Destruction of the Quarter: The "Presence of the Holy"
The motivations of the Israeli state for obliterating this quarter were the same as those invoked for altering the rest of occupied Jerusalem since 1948. Underlying these schemes was and is the notion that the rights of the Jewish People in and to their "eternal" capital supercede those of the Palestinians. The logic that propelled then Mayor Teddy Kollek and others to erase the Moroccan Quarter community mirrors the vision of Zionist planners in other locales and in different times before and since. Meron Benvenisti, then deputy mayor of Israeli Jerusalem under Kollek, relates the dominant rationale and the "practical" considerations which propelled this simultaneous construction and destruction of the Old City‘s landscape:
The desire to accommodate an expected influx of Jewish visitors to the Wall served as the justification for the displacement of another people and the silencing of their histories. Similar decisions were taken by the new occupying power in East Jerusalem after 1967—both in a newly defined "Jewish Quarter" (see below) as well as in other regions of a radically reconfigured Jerusalem. Spatially this has meant the intensification of segregationist practices and the policing of highly fortressed boundaries between Israelis and Palestinians. Consolidating Israeli rule in the city has also entailed over determining the "demographic balance" by housing tens of thousands of Israeli Jews in illegal settlements in East Jerusalem while deeply constraining Palestinian growth and development in the city. Re-configuring the Moroccan Quarter
The newly comprised area before the wall was transformed within weeks of the Moroccan Quarter‘s destruction. The hundreds of thousands of Jewish visitors that the Israeli Government predicted would wish to visit the Kotel did arrive within days of the city‘s "liberation." They approached the Wall, walking literally over the ruins of the former Arab neighborhood, which few no doubt knew had been razed only days earlier. Through a swift and resolute reconstruction, the area became—and remains—the "Western Wall Plaza" in the dominant Zionist lexicon.
One segment directly before the Western Wall, consisting of roughly fifty meters in length and another fifty in width, was designated as an orthodox synagogue. This cordoned off area has been deemed "sacred space" and is partitioned between a men‘s and women‘s section. As the Israeli state reconfigured this area, the claim for the existence of the "presence of God" was now expanded. It was now made not only about the Wall itself, but also about territory several dozen meters before it—over precisely the area where the demolished Moroccan Quarter once stood. Leaving aside the question of whether the area does in fact contain the "presence of God," its designation as "eternal" and as an "immutable" part of the Jewish nation is belied by the very recently invented quality of this space. The arbitrariness of establishing this site as "sacred" and "eternal" is underscored by Benvenisti‘s assertion that there was and is no way of assessing what segment of this area belongs to the Jewish state by right: "How far," he asks, "did the holiness of the Western Wall extend?"
Beyond the synagogue exists the greater part of the space of the razed neighborhood. This segment of the plaza is utilized not so much for secular purposes, as opposed to religious, but rather for rituals where religion, nationalism, and militarism converge and merge. This is the site of swearing-in ceremonies for Israeli soldiers as well as the final stop of the annual "Jerusalem March": an Israeli mass spectacle organized to demonstrate the Jewish state‘s sole claim to its "unified capital." Israel‘s Jewish Quarter: Eternal or Recently Invented?
It is a scarcely known fact that most of what today is defined by Israel as the "Jewish Quarter" is in fact land appropriated from Palestinians. Only 20 percent of the territory of the current quarter is in fact Jewish property. This reality is less difficult to hide today, since in the years after 1967 some 6,000 Arab Christians and Muslims have been evicted from this area of the Old City. Palestinians are precluded from living in the newly defined "Jewish Quarter" for the simple reason that they are not Jewish. This explicit restriction was contrived by the private company put in charge of "developing" and "reconstructing" the new "Jewish Quarter" after 1967.
This discriminatory stipulation remains "good law" by a 1978 decision of the Israeli Supreme Court. The case in question is known as the Burqan case and involved the contest between Muhammed Burqan and the Israeli state over the former‘s family home. The Israeli Supreme Court, in its ruling, said something quite interesting. They recognized that the house did in fact belong to Burqan, but they refused to allow Burqan the right to return to his home because the area had "special historical significance" to Jews. This "significance" was said to supercede all other claims by non-Jews—including that of the actual owner of the home. Burqan‘s property was therefore expropriated by the Israeli state. His family—like dozens of others—was banished from the area. Conclusion
The story of the Moroccan Quarter and the violent processes that led to its erasure are not simply anecdotal but emblematic as well. The destruction of this community is consistent with the practices of violence and visions of exclusivity that have defined and engendered Israeli policy in occupied Jerusalem since 1948. The vast re-configuration of the city to suit segregationist designs (a process which has not yet come to a halt) has suppressed histories not of exclusive and monolithic quarters, but of fluidity, mixture, and inter-communal interaction (if not always complete cooperation) across a vibrant and changing urban space. One need not be nostalgic about Jerusalem‘s past to acknowledge this heritage and the many histories which comprise it.
Tom Abowd is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University. His dissertation focuses on the politics of space, racism, and the production of history in contemporary Jerusalem.
2 Ibid. Also see A. L. Tibawi‘s excellent work, The Islamic Pious Foundations in Jerusalem: Origins, History, and Usurpation by Israel (London: the Islamic Cultural Center, 1978). return
3 See Michael Hamilton Burgoyne, Mamluk Jerusalem (London: the British School of Archaeology for the World of Islam Festival Trust, 1987). return
4 According to Donald Little, "The location of this school in the Moroccan Quarter was appropriate, since most of the Malikis traced their origins from North Africa." See "Jerusalem under the Ayyubids and Mamlukes, 1187-1516 AD," in Jerusalem in History ed. K. J. Asali (Scorpion Publishing Ltd., 1989), p. 180. return
5 According to F. E. Peters, the accounts of Jewish visitors to Jerusalem during the Islamic Middle Ages suggest that "most Jewish prayer was conducted within synagogues in the Jewish Quarter and, on public occasions, most often on the Mount of Olives overlooking the Temple site from the east" (The Distant Shrine (AMS Press, 1993), pp. 242-243). return
6 See Salim Tamari, "The Phantom City," in Jerusalem 1948: The Arab Neighbourhoods and their Fate in the War (Jerusalem: Institute of Jerusalem Studies and Badil Resource Center, 1999). The division of the city, which pertained for the next nineteen years, was the result of the Jewish state‘s desire to hermetically seal off West Jerusalem and other Arab areas conquered by the Israelis in 1948. This meant dividing Jerusalem in an effort to prevent the Arab refugees Israel had displaced from returning to these areas. See Tom Segev, 1949: The First Israelis (New York: The Free Press, 1986). return
7 Interview with Muhammed Abdel-Haq, 26 September 1999. return
8 See former deputy mayor Meron Benvenisti‘s recounting of the post-war events in Jerusalem: The Torn City (Jerusalem: Isratypeset Ltd., 1976) and City of Stone: the Hidden History of Jerusalem (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996). return
9 Interview with Albert Algazerian, 6 July 1999. Interviews with the current mukhtar of the community reveal that in 1966 he traveled to Morocco and presented the Moroccan monarch with a list of the quarter‘s inhabitants to be registered with the Moroccan Ministry of Religious Affairs (Interview with Muhammed Abdel-Haq, 14 July 1999). return
10 Interview with Muhammed Abdel-Haq, 26 September 1999. return
11 See Israel Government Publication 1443, 1968, p. 1238. return
12 This is related by Benvenisti in Jerusalem: The Torn City. return
13 Benvenisti, City of Stone, p. 82. return
14 See Rashid Khalidi‘s "Transforming the Face of the Holy City: Political Messages in the Built Topography of Jerusalem," Jerusalem Quarterly File no. 4 (Spring 1999), pp. 21-29. return
15 Benvenisti, City of Stone, p. 84. return
16 Burqan v. Minister of Finance (1978). return
The following are excerpts from an interview that appeared in the Israeli daily Yorshalim on 26 November 1999 with Major Etan Ben Moshe, the officer in charge of the destruction of the quarter:
Before wiping out the neighborhood, a regiment of the army passed by Arab houses to order their residents to leave their homes within 15 minutes. After we finished demolishing the neighborhood, we found some bodies of the residents who refused to leave their homes between the wreckage.
There were three bodies and I conveyed them to Bikur Holim Hospital in the Western sector of the city. However, there were other bodies.
We buried them. Look, I demolished the entire neighborhood. However, I didn‘t find an atom of earth. Under the Wailing Wall yard, there are remnants of nine different historical epochs, one over the other. When you dig there, you will reach empty spaces. By then, I had dug in search of historical epochs, and I had thrown out all the garbage. We threw out the wreckage of houses together with the Arab corpses. We threw Arab corpses and not Jewish, so that they would not convert the area to a place where it is forbidden to tread.
The whole story began after the end of the Jerusalem battles. By then Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek marked on a piece of paper the sites that should be demolished in the neighborhood. However, drivers of bulldozers defied the order and demolished additional houses. Around 135 Palestinian families lost their houses.
Teddy and his comrades planned for a small job that would not affect holy sites. There was a mosque in the area called al-Buraq Mosque built on the site where the horse of Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven. I said, if the horse ascended to the sky, why shouldn‘t the mosque ascend too! So I crushed it well, leaving no remains.
Asked why residents were not allowed to remove their furniture and belongings, the Major replied:
There was no time. That day was Saturday and the next Tuesday observed the Old Testament feast of Passover. At that time, many Jewish people were expected to arrive at the Wailing Wall, and we had two days only to prepare the yard.
A senior person told me that if there were many international responses, we will say that you did it personally and that we are going to sentence you to five years in prison, yet we will issue you an amnesty the next day. For my part, I accepted the offer.
Asked if he had a guilty conscience about demolishing the houses without checking if they were empty, Ben Moshe replied:
No, I am descended from a religious family. I believe in the sovereignty of Israel and that the place is ours.
In 1973 Jerusalem: A City without Walls (Tel Aviv: Schocken) was published by the Israeli journalist Uzi Benziman, describing the destruction of the Moroccan Quarter. It was translated into Arabic by Muhammad Madi as Al Quds: Madinah bila Aswar (Jerusalem: ‘Arafah Agency, 1976). Selections from this book were then published in English by A. L. Tibawi under the title "Special Report: The Destruction of an Islamic Heritage in Jerusalem," Arab Studies Quarterly 2, no. 2 (Spring 1980), pp. 180-189. The following are some selections from this article, with the notes that were added by A. L. Tibawi to correct Benziman‘s factual mistakes.
On [Wednesday] June 7, 1967, while the parachutists were passing through the narrow alleys of the Old City of Jerusalem, Etyan Ben Moshe, an officer engineer in the Central Command, approached Lahat, the prospective military governor to Jerusalem, and proposed the removal of the "conveniences" close to the Wailing Wall….
The next day David Ben-Gurion, accompanied by Teddy Kollek (mayor of the Jewish sector), Jacob Yenai (director of the national gardens authority) and a number of security guards, visited the Wailing Wall. Ben-Gurion burst into tears. He ordered one of the guards to remove the Jordanian sign on the wall which described it as al-Buraq.
He abruptly turned to Yenai: "Are you not humiliated by the presence of these conveniences near the wall?"
"We have been here only since yesterday," Yenai said.
"Even so, this is unbearable," Ben-Gurion answered. Yenai then turned to Kolleck: "The area must be cleared to reveal the wall."
Kollek replied that he would see to it and consult the army. …
Some rich Jews, including Sir Moses Montefiore and Baron Edmond de Rothschild, tried in vain during the last two centuries to buy the wall and the surrounding land for the Jews. The area remained the property of the Islamic waqf. In Islamic tradition the place is considered holy because it lies across the way which Muhammad took riding al-Buraq [his celestial steed] on his Nocturnal Journey and ascension to heaven. In 1929 there was a clash between the Arabs and the Jews near the wall of al-Buraq which led to bloody events in Palestine. The British government appointed a commission of inquiry which found that the Arabs were the owners, but acknowledged the right of the Jews to pray there without disturbance. It also renewed the right of the Jews to bring stools and put screens between men and women near the wall, but recommended the prohibition of the blowing of the ram‘s horn. In 1949 the cease-fire agreement between Israel and Jordan guaranteed Jews the right of passage to the Wailing Wall, but Jordan did not abide by this provision of the agreement. …
After inhabitants had been forced out and before the buildings were levelled by the bulldozers, the houses were inspected by units of the Israeli army and Frontier Guards. One demolished wall of a room revealed an unconscious middle-aged Arab woman in the throes of death. She was placed on her bed in the open amid the debris and clouds of dust stirred up by the bulldozers. Johanan Montsker, an engineer who supervised the demolition, tried to revive her. But by midnight al-Hajjah Rasmiyyah ‘Ali Taba‘ki was dead-before medical assistance requested by Montsker reached the spot. …
In June 1967 Mordecai Sahaz, an engineer, was appointed liaison officer in the military governor‘s office in Jerusalem. On visiting the Jewish Quarter in the Old City, he was surprised to discover that it was inhabited, even the synagogues, by Arabs. "Why did they not flee when we came?" he exclaimed. Israeli bulldozers with army sappers demolished two buildings near the entrance of the quarter expecting that the operation would frighten the Arabs away. When Sahaz saw that this strategy did not succeed he decided to follow a different one. He produced a memorandum on Jewish habitation in the quarter which claimed that it fell into the hands of the Arabs because the Jews reduced their presence, or because they desired higher standards of housing elsewhere or disliked the pressures of a hostile Arab environment. He concluded that the Arabs had to be evicted. The Sahaz memorandum explained that the Jews acquired by long use and occupation prescriptive rights to the buildings in the quarter and produced "flimsy" legal argument concerning the right of the Jews to restoration of these rights….
Lahat knew that actual Jewish ownership of the properties in the Jewish Quarter was small. The quarter had about 1,500 houses inhabited by about 5,300, many of them refugees, and some immigrants from Hebron. Most of the land of the district [the Jewish Quarter] belonged to several Islamic waqfs. But the Jews had lived there for a long time and their prescriptive right to the buildings had legal validity. Lahat and Salman believed that this was sufficient to decide the evacuation of the Arabs.
Suggestions were circulated among the Arabs that it was better for them to leave. Certain buildings were declared to be Jewish "holy places" and were marked with paint; those living in them were ordered to vacate within three days. Alternative accommodation was promised. The eviction of the Arabs revealed a ruined synagogue, an ark in another synagogue and a third that was locked, its key kept by a Muslim caretaker.
In this manner the Jewish Quarter was evacuated of its Arab inhabitants. After the cancellation of military rule on June 29, 1967, the quarter was placed in civilian hands and the Arab inhabitants returned to it. But the civil authorities evicted Arabs again over the coming years.
2 Montefiore lived in the nineteenth century and Rothschild in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Neither of them tried to "buy" what was in Islamic Law inalienable. return
3 This show that the Israelis knew the meaning of their aggression against this hallowed spot. return
4 There was no clash at all anywhere near the wall. Those that occurred elsewhere were provoked by Jewish demonstrations and claims of the "ownership" of the wall. See the Shaw Report (1930): Cmd. 3530. return
5 The commission was an international commission approved by the League of Nations. This is a misrepresentation of its findings. See L?fgin Report (H.M.S.O., London, 1931), pp. 57-59. return
6 Another misrepresentation. Jordan‘s agreement depended on Israel‘s implementation of the U.N. resolution on the repatriation of refugees. See Records of the Twelfth Session of the General Assembly (1949), Vol. 1, p. 32. return
7 What a callous description of the slow murder of a woman who clung to her home to the last breath! return
8 This is the standard Israeli method of terrorizing Arabs and evicting them from their homes. return
9 The greater part of the properties in the so-called Jewish Quarter belonged to Islamic waqfs or Arab landlords. The Quarter was largely vacated by the Jews before May, 1948; an armed force was retained there. After the capture of the Old City by the Jordanian army at the end of that month the remaining Jews, civilians and combatants, left, the former voluntarily and the latter as prisoners of war. Since then the vacant buildings had been used to house Arab refugees evicted by the Israeli army from the villages around Jerusalem. return
10 This admission confirms note 9. return