Sheikh Jarrah: Israeli settlers seize, fence off piece of land from Palestinian family
Settlers seized the small patch of land belonging to the Salem family in the presence of Israeli police and the deputy mayor of Jerusalem municipality, the sources said.
“Settlers arrived in the morning and brought construction materials, accompanied by the police”, Nabil El-Kurd, a member of Sheikh Jarrah’s neighborhood committee, told The New Arab.
The patch of land measures no more than 20 square metres, El-Kurd said, and is right next to the Salem family home.
El-Kurd said the settlers had pushed away members of the Salem family who tried to oppose the land seizure.
“Um Salem, the mother, tried to confront the settlers, but they violently pushed her away”, he said.
Watch | Israeli colonial settlers, under the protection of IOF, storm a land owned by Salem family in Sheikh Jarrah in an attempt to seize it and attack Palestinian citizens. #FreePalestine #SaveSheikhJarrah pic.twitter.com/2XI6o7ez9d— Sajid Naiyer (@Sajidnaiyer) January 21, 2022
Sheikh Jarrah has witnessed a rise in tensions in the last week, following the expulsion of a Palestinian family and the demolition of their house.
Last May, attempts to expel four families from the neighborhood sparked a wave of Palestinian protests across the country, against Israeli occupation.
Israeli settlers have taken over a number of houses in the neighborhood, where tensions between them and Palestinian families remain high.
Nabil El-Kurd's children, Mohammed and Muna El-Kurd, report on events in Sheikh Jarrah, raising international awareness of Israeli state and settler violence in the neighbourhood. Settlers have taken over part of the El-Kurd family home.
El-Kurd told The New Arab the man who led the takeover of the Salem family's land is the same settler that has occupied part of his house.
Some 28 Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah face expulsion orders against them, based on an Israeli law that allows Jews to claim any property that had Jewish owners at any point before 1948.
The case has been raised since the 1990s by an Israeli settler organisation that claims to possess documents proving Jewish ownership of the land in the late 1800s.
Instagram has blocked Muna el-Kurd from live streaming the ethnic cleansing of Sheikh Jarrah to her 1.6 million followers.— Lowkey (@Lowkey0nline) January 17, 2022
She was attempting to show the occupation forces building up to expel al-Salhiya family from their home.
The Jordanian government provided documents in 2020 proving that it had began the transfer of the land to the Palestinian families in the 1950s, when they arrived as refugees following their expulsion by Israel from their hometowns in 1948.
In November, the Sheikh Jarrah families unanimously refused a deal offered by the Israeli court to receive a ‘protected tenants’ status for 15 years, in exchange for paying rent to the Israeli organisation.