Sheikh Jarrah, occupied East Jerusalem – Israeli forces have destroyed the house of a Palestinian household in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem, days after the household tried to stave off the demolition by threatening to explode the home.
Giant numbers of Israeli police and particular forces raided the Salhiyeh residence and cordoned off the encircling space at 3am native time (1 GMT) on Wednesday. The household informed Al Jazeera that dozens of closely armed forces broke into their residence whereas they slept and assaulted members of the family, arresting six of them together with the top of the family, Mahmoud Salhiyeh.
At the least 18 different Palestinians who stood in solidarity with the household had been additionally arrested.
The demolition started on the daybreak name to prayer at roughly 5am native time (3 GMT) throughout a rainstorm on one of many coldest nights of this yr’s winter season. The household of 18 is now rendered homeless.
Israeli authorities have justified the demolition to construct a particular schooling faculty for the residents of the neighbourhood.
Member of the family Yasmeen Salhiyeh, 19, stated Israeli forces lower off the electrical energy to their residence and fired tear fuel canisters in and round the home. She informed Al Jazeera that some 50 officers “raided the home and commenced beating up the lads of the household – additionally they assaulted my aunt”.
“They pulled my father away from bed, beat him together with my brothers and cousins,” earlier than arresting them “with out giving them the possibility to place garments on”, she stated.
Yasmeen added that Israeli forces fired rubber-coated bullets at activists and journalists who had been trying to achieve the scene of the demolition, resulting in a number of accidents. Medics had been blocked from offering therapy to these injured, she continued.
Jawad Siam, head of the Wadi Helweh Info Middle monitoring group, arrived on the scene at about 3:30am (1:30 GMT). He informed Al Jazeera that there have been “about 200 police, border police, Yammam and particular forces” on the scene.
Hours after the demolition ended and Israeli forces largely pulled out, the household and attorneys proceed to don’t have any details about the whereabouts of these arrested, stated Yasmeen.
The Salhiyeh residence lies on the principle road within the flashpoint neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, about one kilometre (half a mile) north of Jerusalem’s Previous Metropolis partitions. Many households within the neighbourhood face imminent expulsion by Israeli authorities.
Israeli forces initially tried to demolish the home on Monday, however the household barricaded themselves on their rooftop and threatened to blow the home up slightly than face displacement, resulting in a tense, day-long standoff with the authorities.
“I’ll burn the home and every part in it,” Mahmoud Salhiyeh stated as he stood on the roof of his residence surrounded by fuel canisters. “I cannot depart right here, solely from right here to the grave, as a result of there isn’t any life, no dignity.
“I’ve been in battle with them for 25 years, they despatched me settlers who provided to purchase the home and I didn’t agree.”
Israeli authorities had issued a land confiscation order below the pretext that the six-dunam property can be used to construct a particular wants faculty, based on the household.
Israeli police stated in an announcement on Twitter on Wednesday that “this land was expropriated by the native authority for the aim of creating a particular schooling faculty for the residents of the neighborhood.”
A ultimate Israeli court docket listening to for the household’s displacement was set for January 23. Compelled displacement in occupied territory is a violation of worldwide regulation.
“There was hope that the household would have extra time,” stated Siam. “The attorneys had put in a request to increase the time for the demolition – they had been anticipating that it could be briefly halted.”
The household was forcibly displaced from their residence as soon as earlier than, within the village of Ein Karem within the western half of Jerusalem, throughout the 1948 Nakba, or disaster, when Zionist militias violently expelled some 750,000 Palestinians to create the state of Israel.
Mohammad Abu al-Hommos, an area activist, stated Wednesday’s demolition was about “revenge”.
“The Israelis simply needed to show that they might get to the household even when the household managed to dam the demolition for 48 hours,” he informed Al Jazeera on the scene.
“They needed to demolish the spirit of Mahmoud’s household, to kill its historical past and its recollections. Mahmoud’s mother and father had been displaced as soon as earlier than from Ein Karem, and right here they’re in 2022, they’re being displaced once more,” added Abu al-Hommos.
“That is in regards to the Judaization of Jerusalem,” he continued.
Native NGOs and rights teams have lengthy pointed to a variety of Israeli practices and insurance policies in Jerusalem geared toward altering the demographic ratio in favour of Jews, a aim laid out as “sustaining a stable Jewish majority within the metropolis” within the municipality’s 2000 masterplan.
Illegal settlement growth, Palestinian residence demolitions, and restrictions on city growth are a number of the fundamental methods getting used to understand this aim, based on rights teams.
Israel militarily occupied the jap half of the town in 1967. Some 57 % of all land in occupied East Jerusalem has been expropriated by Israeli authorities, together with from personal Palestinian homeowners, for each the constructing of unlawful settlements and zoning of land as “inexperienced areas and public infrastructure”. The remaining 30 % includes “unplanned areas” the place development can be banned.
At the least 280 Palestinian households in Jerusalem consisting of 970 folks, together with 424 youngsters, are susceptible to compelled displacement by Israeli authorities, based on the United Nations Workplace for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA).
Grassroots al-Quds, a Jerusalem-based Palestinian NGO, stated Israel’s actions come as a part of “a large-scale plan to empty al-Sheikh Jarrah of its Palestinian residents,” together with plans to construct new unlawful Jewish settlements.
In Might, standard Palestinian protests erupted when Israeli authorities tried to forcibly displace the Palestinian al-Kurd household from their residence in Sheikh Jarrah for settlers to maneuver in. A number of different households within the neighbourhood are additionally at present dealing with imminent compelled displacement.