Israeli soldiers have forcibly evicted a Palestinian family after raiding their home in Sheikh Jarrah, reported Wafa news agency.
Around a dozen police officers arrived at the Salhiya family’s house in the early hours of the morning, dragging 15 Palestinian residents outside and proceeded to demolish the house with a bulldozer.
The move comes despite the international community, including the European Union, calling on Israel to allow the Salhiya family to remain, after Mahmoud Al-Salhiya threatened to set himself and his family on fire in protest of the Israeli eviction order.
“We won’t leave. We’ll either live or die. I’ll burn myself with fuel,” Salhiya said in a video that circulated on social media.
“The (Israeli) municipality wants to remove a family from their home in order to set up schools. Who are the schools for? Schools for them, for the Jews,” he explained.
“Whoever approaches, I will burn the house which is full of gas pipes, and I will bomb the house with whoever is inside,” he warned.Years-long attempts by the family to have the order revoked have failed.
“As thieves in the night, officers arrived to evict the Salhiya family into the freezing street. These are the lives of Palestinians in East Jerusalem,” said Meretz parliamentarian, Mossi Raz, immediately following the eviction on Wednesday morning.
The Salhiya family was originally expelled from their house in the West Jerusalem neighbourhood of Ein Karem in 1948 during the Zionist ethnic cleansing of the village.
They bought a new house in the 1950s in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, about a decade before Israel occupied and annexed — illegally — the area. Now, the Israeli-run Jerusalem Municipality has expelled them, yet again.
Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, released a statement following the Salhiya family eviction today, demanding the US administration “to shoulder its responsibility and immediately intervene to stop these continuing Israeli crimes against our people in Jerusalem, specifically in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, who are subjected to a policy of racial discrimination that the world has never seen the like before.”
He added: “The demolition, displacement and intimidation of the citizens in Jerusalem that the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood is witnessing puts the Biden administration and its obligations to the test, translating its words into actions, and this should be done by putting pressure on the Israeli occupation government to stop its policy of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people, and to spare the region more tension and escalation.”