Thursday, May 26, 2022


Israeli police, Palestinians in standoff over east Jerusalem home eviction

Palestinian residents of a flashpoint east Jerusalem neighborhood had a tense standoff with Israeli authorities Monday as police came to evict them…

By Sunday Herald Team , in Middle East , at January 19, 2022 Tags: , ,

Palestinian residents of a flashpoint east Jerusalem neighborhood had a tense standoff with Israeli authorities Monday as police came to evict them from a disputed property.

Several residents of a home in Sheikh Jarrah climbed onto the roof of the building with gas tanks and threatened to set them alight should the Jerusalem municipality follow through with the eviction.

Mahmoud Salhiyeh, 50, said said he was ready to see his home and family go up in flames rather than hand over the keys to Jerusalem’s municipality.

“I will blow myself up, with the house, with the children, with everything,” he told NBC News by telephone as he stood on the roof. “My children, myself and my wife, my sister and her five children, we will all be blown up.”

One photo showed flames already tearing through a pile of debris on the ground as men looked down from the roof.

Salhiyeh said he has spent half his life fighting in courts for his home. Then without warning, the Jerusalem municipality arrived at his house early Monday and handed him an eviction order for his house, he said.

Residents say they purchased the property before 1967, when Israel captured east Jerusalem, while the state has argued in court that the family does not have rights to the property. The Jerusalem Municipality formally seized the property in 2017 for the purpose of building a special needs school.

A Jerusalem court ruled last year in favor of the city and authorized the eviction. The family has appealed and is awaiting a ruling, but the judge did not freeze the eviction order.

City hall and the police issued a joint statement saying the court ordered the family to vacate the property a year ago. The municipality said the property is to be used to build the school, which is to serve Palestinian children in the neighborhood.

Sheikh Jarrah is an east Jerusalem neighborhood where dozens of longtime Palestinian residents are battling efforts by Jewish settlers to evict them from their homes. That case, which has been in Israel’s Supreme Court for months, has drawn global attention and fueled last year’s Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Palestinians in east Jerusalem tend to live in poor, neglected neighborhoods and struggle to get permits and paperwork from city hall. They accuse Israel of trying to push them out of Jerusalem.

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