Sunday, May 22

Jerusalem: Police destroy the home of a Palestinian family in Sheikh Jarrah (AFP)

The ruins of a Palestinian family’s home destroyed by Israeli police in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem on January 19, 2022 AHMAD GHARABLI

After multiple attempts, Israeli police destroyed the home of a Palestinian family in the sensitive neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem early Wednesday morning, an AFP photographer noted.

Israeli police went before dawn to the home of the Salhiya family, threatened with eviction since 2017 and the subject of a support campaign in the Palestinian Territories and abroad, according to a video posted by the police . Shortly after this operation, an AFP photographer observed the demolition of the family home.

“Overnight, the Israel Police implemented the eviction order for illegal buildings on land intended for a school for children requiring special care in East Jerusalem,” the Israel Police said in a statement. a press release, stressing that the Salhiya family had refused on “several occasions” to “consent to return this land”.

Israeli police said they made 18 arrests in the operation. Early Wednesday morning, a few police officers were still on the spot, at the foot of the ruins of this house in Sheikh Jarrah, a Palestinian neighborhood located in East Jerusalem, part of the Holy City occupied since 1967 by the Jewish state.

The Salhiya family has been under threat of eviction since 2017, as the land on which the family home stood was allocated for the construction of a school. Advocacy groups for this family believe that the school could be built elsewhere in town, without forcing the destruction of the residence.

In May, demonstrations in support of Palestinian families threatened with eviction in Sheikh Jarrah degenerated into clashes with the police and Israeli settlers, the first signs of a new outbreak of deadly violence between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

On Monday, shortly after Israeli police arrived to try to enforce the eviction order, members of the Salhiya family took refuge with a barrel of gasoline on the roof of their home, threatening to set themselves on fire if they were forced to leave.

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