Israeli extremist MP tries to storm Al-Kurd family home in Sheikh Jarrah following settler violence

Israeli extremist MP tries to storm Al-Kurd family home in Sheikh Jarrah following settler violence
Bezalel Smotrich, the leader of the extremist Religious Zionism party, has tried to storm the home of Palestinian activists Mohammed and Mona al-Kurd following a night of settler violence in Sheikh Jarrah.
3 min read
22 June, 2021
Bezalel Smotrich has previously incited violence and racism against Palestinians [Getty]

An extremist member of the Israeli Knesset has tried to storm the family home of Palestinian activists Mohammed and Mona al-Kurd in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of occupied east Jerusalem.

Bezalel Smotrich, the leader of the far-right racist Religious Zionism party, tried to force his way into the house on Tuesday afternoon before being prevented by residents of Sheikh Jarrah, eyewitnesses said.

Yaaqub Arafah, the head of a committee representing Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah, told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service that members of the Al-Kurd family confronted Smotrich as he tried to storm their house.

Israeli police then intervened and forced Smotrich and other Israeli extremists accompanying him to leave the area.

The Al-Kurd family have gained global fame for their outspoken opposition to the attempts of Israeli settlers to take over their home and other houses in the Sheikh Jarrah area. Earlier this month Israel arrested Mohammed and Mona al-Kurd before releasing them a few hours later.

They are among dozens of families in Sheikh Jarrah who face eviction from their homes after Israeli settlers claimed that they were built on land owned by Jews before the 1948 creation of Israel.

The settlers’ assertion has been strongly rejected by Palestinians and human rights groups and while Israel allows Jews to claim Palestinian property on this basis, it refuses to allow Palestinians who were forcibly displaced from their homes in 1948 and their descendants to reclaim their properties in what is now Israel.

Smotrich, who has a history of racist incitement against Palestinians, managed to meet with Israeli settlers who had taken over part of the Al-Kurd family home before being ordered to leave by Israeli police.

The residents of Sheikh Jarrah have been subjected to regular harassment by Israeli extremists and settlers.

On Monday, Israeli extremists under the protection of Israeli police rampaged through the area, attacking Palestinians with chairs, fireworks, and pepper spray.

20 Palestinians were injured, including an elderly man who was wounded after being hit on the head.

Also on Monday, a Palestinian police captain was shot dead close to the Israeli settlement of Homesh near Nablus.

Palestinian sources said that Israeli settlers were responsible for the shooting but the Israeli army said that no Israelis were involved and that it was investigating the incident in cooperation with Palestinians security forces.