The Israeli occupation demolishes a house in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem, arrests 25 Palestinians and assaults activists

Today, Wednesday, the Israeli occupation forces demolished a house in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and arrested 25 people, including the owners of the house and activists who were present in solidarity with them.

The Israeli occupation police said that the demolition of Mahmoud Salhia’s house came in implementation of an order to evacuate what it described as illegal buildings built on land designated for building educational units for children with special needs from East Jerusalem.

The demolition took place shortly after dawn today, after the arrest of members of the Salhia family, and after negotiations between the owners of the house and the occupation municipality in Jerusalem reached a dead end.

On Monday, an Israeli force tried to carry out the demolition, but Salhia and a number of his family members threatening to detonate gas canisters forced the force to retreat and leave the area.

On Tuesday, Mahmoud Salhia said that negotiations with the Israeli municipality in occupied Jerusalem had not reached a conclusion, and that his lawyer had submitted a petition to the Supreme Court to annul the eviction decision.

Earlier, Mahmoud Salhia told Anadolu Agency that his family had been in this house since 1948, after they were displaced from the village of Ein Karem, west of Jerusalem.

The house that was demolished is located one kilometer north of the old city walls in occupied Jerusalem. Hundreds of Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and other Palestinian neighborhoods in occupied Jerusalem are facing threats to evict their homes.

Arrests and attacks

In a joint statement with the occupation municipality in Jerusalem, the Israeli police said that they had arrested several people for questioning about what it described as violating a judicial order, disturbing public order, and violent fortification.

While a police spokesman confirmed to Agence France-Presse the arrest of 18 family members and their supporters, witnesses reported the arrest of 25 Palestinians, including 5 family members, during the demolition.

In addition to the family members, the Israeli occupation forces assaulted their sympathizers, among whom were activists from the Israeli left.

A video clip documented the forces’ assault on activist Muhammad Abu al-Hummus, expelling him from the property of the Salhia family, and preventing him from showing solidarity with them.

There is a greater presence of settlers in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in parallel with the campaign launched by the occupation authorities against the residents of the neighborhood, and these attacks were one of the reasons that led to the confrontation between the occupation and the Palestinian resistance last May.

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