JERUSALEM, Friday, February 18, 2022 (WAFA) – Israeli occupation forces today assaulted and dispersed hundreds of Palestinian protesters and supporters in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in occupied Jerusalem, said WAFA correspondent.
The protesters were chanting slogans condemning Israeli plans to evict native Palestinian families from their ancestral homes in the neighborhood, when Israeli police officers forcefully dispersed them and forced them out of the neighborhood.
Tensions have been high in the neighborhood for nearly one week as extreme right-wing Israelis led by fascist Israeli lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir set up a makeshift office in the neighborhood, provoking its residents and drawing confrontations from time to time.
Ben-Gvir is head of the Jewish Power party, part of the Religious Zionism political alliance that calls for the eviction of Palestinians from their lands and running Israel according to Torah texts.
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.
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.