Israeli Police and Border Police forces clashed with hundreds of protesters in the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem Friday afternoon, May 7, with cops arresting two Israeli activists
“We came here in the hundreds – Palestinians and Israelis – to demonstrate against the racist act of theft taking place in Sheikh Jarrah and against Kahanists and other worst possible racists acting under the active protection of the far-right government,” MK Ofer Cassif (Hadash – Joint List) told the crowd.
Occupation forces on the scene violently attacked protesters, including using pepper spray and stun grenades. The MKs who were among the protestors were also pushed and shoved by officers, including MK Cassif whose glasses were broken for the second time since April.
Cassif has attended several recent protests in occupied Sheikh Jarrah, including a demonstration there last month in which he was beaten and punched by officers. “Violence was directed towards us [the MKs] and towards everyone,” Cassif said after last Friday’s protest. “It seems like the Israel Police, or the Bibi-militia to be more precise, belonging to the Jerusalem District enjoy breaking my glasses, as this is the second time,” he added. Since Sunday, May 2, at least 20 Palestinians have been detained and 12 were injured, three requiring medical treatment, by police in demonstrations in Sheikh Jarrah.
Israel’s High Court of Justice (HCJ) can either uphold the decision of a lower court to evict the Palestinian families in favor of the settlers or overturn that decision thereby allowing the Palestinians to stay in homes they have been residing in as refugees since 1956. Ir Amim, an Israeli human rights group focusing on Jerusalem, says that around 200 families in East Jerusalem are now under threat of eviction, with cases slowly making their way through administrative bodies and Israeli courts. Around 70 of those families live in Sheikh Jarrah.
Israel’s Latest Ramadan Provocation on Haram Al-Sharif
Israeli police also made an incursion into the Al-Aqsa compound (Haram Al-Sharif – Temple Mount) on May 7, the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, 205 Palestinians were injured during the operation. Some 43 wounded Palestinians were hospitalized, including one who was shot in the head with a rubber-coated metal bullet.
The protests in Jerusalem could come to a head tonight. Sunday night, May 9, is “Laylat al-Qadr” or the “Night of Destiny,” the most sacred night in the month of Ramadan. Worshipers will gather for intense nighttime prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque. Sunday night is also the start of Israel’s so-called Jerusalem Day, a national festive day of commemorationin which it celebrates “the unification of Jerusalem” (following the June 1967 war), and during which racists, fascists and settlers traditionally hold provocative and violent parades in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem.
- Hadash MK Ofer Cassif Beaten by Police in Occupied East Jerusalem
- MK Attacks Police Beating; Today, Protesters Return to Sheikh Jarrah
- Hundreds Protest Ethnic Cleansing, Occupation Violence in E. J’r’salem
- Protesters in W. Jerusalem Decry Occupation, Racism & Incitement
- More Palestinian Families Face Eviction from Sheikh Jarrah Homes