Six-year-old girl shot and injured as Israeli soldiers raid an East Jerusalem neighbourhood
A six-year-old girl was shot and injured as Israeli soldiers and settlers invaded the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan in attempts to seize a piece of land they claim belonged to Yemenite Jews pre-1948.
Land owner Ra’fat Basboos told local media that a group of settlers along with Israeli soldiers raided his family’s land in the Batn Al-Hawa area.
The soldiers began to place wires around it, claiming the Israeli Court recently ruled their ownership of the land. Residents then confronted the settlers, preventing them from continuing.
The assault on the land continued soon after, in which Israeli forces sprayed residents with pepper spray, Basboos explained. They also fired concussion grenades at homes indiscriminately.
Basboos added that the Israeli police officer informed his family and other local Batn Al-Hawa residents that they are not allowed to enter or use the land, despite settlers being allowed to enter and exit freely.
The soldiers had also violently raided Mada Creatively Centre where there were around 30 children between the ages of five and 14. Many of them have been reported to suffer from anxiety attacks as a result.
Ongoing settler project
Israeli settlers’ attempts to seize land and property in Batn Al-Hawa began nearly eight years ago as a project undertaken by settler group Aterat Cohanim.
The aim of the plan is to capture 5,200 square metres from Batn Al-Hawa under the claim that Yemenite Jews have owned the land since 1881.
Aterat Cohanim claims that the Israeli Supreme Court recognised the settlers’ ownership of the land.
Since then, they have been using various tactics to scare residents out of the neighbourhood.