Two extremist members of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, raided the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah on Tuesday afternoon and told three Palestinian families that they had to leave their homes, Wafa news agency has reported. The two MKs were Bezalel Smotrich and Orit Strock from the far-right Religious Zionism Party, accompanied by a number of illegal Jewish settlers and protected by Israeli police officers.
The group stormed the neighbourhood and threatened the Diab, Al Kurd and Qasim families that they will be forcibly expelled from their homes within one month. Local residents gathered together and fended off the intruders to protect the Palestinian families.
Smotrich has a history of racist incitement against Palestinians. He met with Israeli settlers who had taken over part of the Al Kurd family home before being ordered to leave by police.
The residents of Sheikh Jarrah have been subjected to regular harassment by extremist MKs and Jewish settlers. Last night, the Israeli police protected settlers who attacked Palestinians in the neighbourhood, triggering clashes. During the attack, 20 Palestinians were wounded, according to the Red Crescent Society; two were detained.