Israeli settlers assault Palestinian residents in Sheikh Jarrah

Israeli settlers assault Palestinian residents in Sheikh Jarrah
For the third day in a row, Israeli lawmaker accompanied with settlers continue to hold a make shift office on Palestinian family's land in the neighbourhood.
3 min read
West Bank
15 February, 2022
28 Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah face expulsion orders [Getty]

Dozens of Israeli settlers stormed the Palestinian neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah late on Monday, local sources confirmed.

Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood committee member Aref Hammad told The New Arab that "several hundreds of settlers entered the neighbourhood and began to break cars, assault residents in the street and throw stones at the houses".

Hammad said local Palestinians confronted the settlers for over an hour, after which Israeli police arrested 14 Palestinians over the clashes.

"Israeli police protect the settlers at all times," said Hammad. "Without the police protection, the settlers wouldn’t dare to do this."

Israeli media quoted the mayor of the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem saying that the Jerusalem police will "significantly bolster police forces in the neighbourhood, to boost residents' safety".

Clashes in Sheikh Jarrah started on Sunday, after Israeli far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir announced the transfer of his parliamentary office to Sheikh Jarrah "to protect Jewish settlers" from local Palestinians.

Ben Gvir’s move in Sheikh Jarrah led to dozens of Israeli settlers joining him, resulting in confrontations with Palestinian residents, during which 31 Palestinians were injured, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent  Society.

The injuries included four resulting from rubber bullets, two with stun-grenades, six by direct physical aggression and three choked with pepper spray.

Ben Gvir set up a makeshift office in a tent on the land of the Salem family. The land is claimed by an Israeli settler family based on a controversial law that allows Jews to claim any property in the area which allegedly had Jewish ownership before 1948.

Ibrahim Salem, a member of the Salem family, told The New Arab that “Israeli settlers arrived and began to set up the tent while my sisters were in the garden, one of them reading the Quran. Settlers began to argue with my sisters and one of the settlers knocked the Quran off my sister’s hand and that is when clashes began”.

Salem added that his mother, 74-year-old Fatima Salem, had her hand injured by one settler. She was later taken to hospital due to suffering from exhaustion.

An Israeli court ordered the expulsion of the Salem family in the late 1990s based on the Israeli settlers' claim.

In January, an Israeli court rejected a request by the family’s lawyer to cancel the order, since it had expired according to Israeli law. The court ordered the expulsion of the Salem family during the month of March.

Sheikh Jarrah has been at the centre of tensions in Jerusalem since last year, with some 28 Palestinian families facing orders of expulsion from their homes.