The Salaymeh family live on Al-Shuhada street right in front of the Beit Hadassah checkpoint. Right now this section of Shuhada street is under a closed military zone and all the people who want to reach their house have to pass through the olives trees of Tel Rumeida hill and use a ladder to climb down into their courtyard. They were forced to protect their inner courtyard with a metal net from settlers throwing rocks.
Jameela Salaymeh has lived on Shuhada street since 1988. Before the street’s complete closure, she could move around as she wished. Now she says she is stuck at home. “We live in a prison here,” she tells us. She has been arrested more than 25 times. The first time was ten days after her marriage. She was cleaning in front of her house when settlers attacked her and threw acid at her. She defended herself by hitting them back, and the court ruled in her favor. She says she will defend herself, no matter how many times she is arrested. 12 years ago she was attacked by the daughter of the notorious settler Anat Cohen. Jameela slapped her when she tried to pull off her hijab, and the girl fell down the stairs. The Cohen family was angry, and a group of 100-150 settlers surrounded the house for three hours during the day. They stated they had come to attack her and tried to make her go outside, but she refused. Instead they stole the iron gate of the main way to the house and brought it with them to the Beit Hadasseh settlement.
The house is old and dates back to the Ottoman period. Settlers have broken into it many times and once tried to start a fire inside. Another time, settlers under the protection of soldiers came and threw large rocks at the house, which broke the floors outside and damaged the electricity cables and TV satellites on the roof. Jameela does not feel secure here, but she chooses to stay. Just like the house has protected her, she feels that she must protect it back, despite the trouble. Two years ago the Salaymeh family released a video of an attack, which was watched by many people. A group of around 20 soldiers came to the house in response and attacked her. When a soldier hit her with his gun, she beat him back and was forced outside. They cuffed her hands behind her back with a plastic string that she managed to break free from when she saw the soldiers arrest her only son. She went to prison for two arduous weeks before being released.