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UNRWA condemns Israel’s demolition of Salhiah family home in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood

January 21, 2022 at 9:32 am

A view of the demolition site in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem on 17 January 2022. [Mostafa Alkharouf – Anadolu Agency]

The West Bank field office of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA) condemned on Thursday the demolition of the home and eviction of the Salhiah family in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem.

“Israeli forces violently raided the house of the Palestine refugee family at 3 am on 19 January, while members of the Salhiah family, including an elderly woman and a young child, were sleeping,” the UN agency said in a statement.

“In a matter of hours, the Salhiah’s house and possessions were destroyed, erasing all traces of their nearly 40 years of history in the neighbourhood. Having already lost their place of residence as a result of the 1948 conflict, the Salhiah family is now again displaced, seeking refuge one more time,” it added.

Visiting the scene this morning, UNRWA observed the total destruction of the house: school bags, clothes and family photos still partially visible under the rubble, it added.

READ: EU calls on Israel to stop demolitions in East Jerusalem

Sadly, the case of the Salhiah family is not unique. Tens of Palestine refugee families in different parts of Sheikh Jarrah alone (over 200 persons, many of whom are children) currently face an imminent threat of eviction by the Israeli authorities.

According to data collected by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in 2020, an estimated 218 Palestinian households comprising 970 Palestinians, 424 of whom are children throughout East Jerusalem are at risk of displacement by the Israeli authorities.

UNRWA called upon the Israeli authorities to immediately halt all evictions and demolitions in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

UNRWA urged the Israeli authorities to abide by international laws and, as the occupying power, ensure the protection of Palestine refugees and civilians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.