Israeli occupation forces imposed on Thursday evening a nearly full lockdown of occupied East Jerusalem’s highly-tense Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, shortly after dozens of local Palestinian citizens and Israeli peace activists supporting them in the neighborhood were assaulted by the forces. WAFA correspondent said Israeli Police physically assaulted Palestinians and solidarity activists outside the home of the Salem family – who are facing a risk of forceful Israeli expulsion – in the neighborhood and injured many of them.
Activists take part in the weekly protest in support of Sheikh Jarrah Palestinian residents who are under threat of eviction, January 23, 2022 (Photo: Activestills)
Tensions remained high in the neighborhood over the past week as extreme right-wing Israelis led by racist lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir set up a makeshift office in the neighborhood, provoking its residents and drawing confrontations from time to time. On Sunday, he opened his makeshift office in Sheikh Jarrah on a plot of land belonging to the Salem family that was confiscated by settler groups last month.
Following the move, dozens of settlers raided the neighborhood just after midnight, pelting stones at Palestinian homes and damaging cars. Settlers then reached the house of the Salem family and assaulted women and children with pepper spray, residents told Al-Ittihad.
Currently, 37 Palestinian families live in Sheikh Jarrah, six of them are facing imminent eviction. Since 2020, Israeli courts have ordered the eviction of 13 Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah. The area became a focal point of protest and sit-in solidarity activities last year, drawing in Palestinian and anti-occupation Israeli and international activists.