Yona in her home in Shuafat
Yona in her home in ShuafatIsrael news photo: Hezki Ezra

“She wants to eat me alive,” 70-year-old Yona told Arutz Sheva, referring to her next door neighbor – an Arab woman from the Shuafat neighborhood of Jerusalem. “She wants to devour me. Just look at her face.”

Yona’s story begins more than 40 years ago, when she and her newlywed husband made a bold move, buying a home in the majority-Arab neighborhood of Shuafat in northern Jerusalem. Few Jews lived in the area then, although more came in wake of the couple’s decision.

The couple remained in their home in Shuafat for the next several decades, even as the neighborhood became notorious for hostility to Israel. Then, ten months ago, her husband passed away.

A short time later, Arabs living nearby declared that the couple’s apartment had, in fact, always belonged to them. Since then, a gang of Arab men has made Yona’s life a nightmare.

The men have decided that the best way to get Yona out of her house is to simply break in and remove her. She pointed out parts of her home that had been damaged in various attempted break-ins.

On Thursday afternoon the men came again, and began working together to break the lock on her front door. Police came, and told the Arab men that they need to resolve the issue in court.

Yona’s son Gavriel Marzel, who grew up in the home, told Arutz Sheva that he hopes the Arab gang will listen.

“I grew up in this home, even before the Six Day War,” he said. “It was fun. My father was the first who lived here, and he brought more Jews.”

“Last Monday the court held a session on ownership of the property, and today Arabs suddenly came and broke the door,” he said. The court had ruled that Yona must be allowed to remain until a final decision is made regarding the property, he added.

Yona, for her part, says she will remain in her home despite the attempts to use violence to force her out. “They come here and attack me like animals, but I’m still not afraid to sleep here alone,” she told Arutz Sheva. “There needs to be a presence here.”