Palestinian family threaten to set themselves if expelled from home

Palestinian family threaten to set themselves if expelled from home
2 min read
West Bank
17 January, 2022
Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem has been at the heart of a battle between Palestinian locals and Israeli authorities over homes.
The house is home for 12 family members including children [Getty]

A Palestinian family threatened on Monday to set themselves and their house ablaze after Israeli forces attempted to expel them from their home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in Jerusalem.

Israeli police and municipality crews surrounded the Salhiyah family's house early Monday in preparation for the expulsion, local sources affirmed to The New Arab.

At about the same time Mahmoud Salhiyah and two of his sons climbed the roof of their home carrying gas cylinders and cans of gasoline, threatening to set their house alight if they are expelled.

"We will not leave the house, they will only take it in flames," Mahmoud Salhiyah was recorded as saying in a video that circulated on social media.

"The municipality is taking families out of their homes to make schools for Jewish settlers, wake up people," he repeated.

The expulsion did not take place. Israeli forces however razed property surrounding the house, including a tree nursery - the family's business.

Hashem Salaymah, a resident and member of the neighbourhood committee of Sheikh Jarrah, told The New Arab that the Salhiyah family includes 12 members including children.

"Israeli settlers claim the property for 'public benefit' projects, which are no more than a religious Jewish school," he said.

"The case is still open in the Israeli court, yet the Israeli municipality issued the permit for building the school before the court even gave a verdict."

He claimed after Israel's attempts to expel Palestinians from their homes was met with worldwide condemnation, Israeli authorities are now trying to expel families from the neighbourhood "one piece at the time".

Around 28 families face expulsion orders in Sheikh Jarrah, based on an Israeli law that allows Jewish Israelis to claim properties that had Jewish owners before the creation of Israel in 1948.

Others, like the Salhiyah family, face cases for their expulsion under claims of using their properties for "public benefit".