Aggressive orthodox Israeli settlers attacked the Salah family on their way to Friday prayers in a bid to take over their home in the East Jerusalem community of Beit Safafa.
The settlers, twelve according to Palestinian sources and six according to Israeli media,a nd three according to the Jerusalem police chief, pulled up in a car with an eviction order for Ali Ibrahim Salah and his children Ismail, Mohammad, Mahmoud, Ahmad, for their family home which shelters 55 residents, 30 of which are under 12 years old. Salah said the settlers claimed that they bought the homes from their Armenian owners.
The Palestinian News Network quoted Sheha Salah as saying that her husband had purchased the buildings from its owners in 1966, and had the documents to prove the validity of the sale.
Israeli high court issued an eviction order on the home in August, giving the family one month to vacate the premises.
An argument erupted as the settlers demanded the family get out of their home. One of the settlers, reportedly all in their 50s, was armed with a gun, and fired on the family members. Israeli sources differed saying between one and four were injured, most of them youth.
The following family members were admitted to the Al-Maqased hospital in East Jerusalem after the attack:
- Daoud Salah, 18, sustained blows to the head and extensive bruising on his foot,
- Mohammad Salah, 48, sustained bruises to his lower back after being hit with an iron bar,
- Sheha Salah, 89, sustained bruises to his head and neck,
- Ismail Slah, 60, was shot with a live bullet in his hand,
- Ali Ibrahim Salah, 95, sustained moderate bruises to his body after being struck several times,
Israeli news source Ynet said the middle-age extremists fled the scene after the shooting, and were later found and detained.
Spokesman of the Israeli police department in Jerusalem had a different of the incident, saying “three Jewish people came to the home in Beit Safafa to deliver the eviction order to the family then fighting erupted. It seems one of the Jewish people opened fire with his personal weapon and injured one of the Arab residents in the hand…then the Jewish people fled the scene driving their car.”
Following their release from the hospital, members of the Salah family were summoned to the police station for interrogation.