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Israeli lawmaker plans to reopen 'office' in Sheikh Jarrah

February 13, 2022 at 2:38 pm

Israeli right-wing Knesset member Itamar Ben Gvir holds a press conference in front of the Salim family’s home, in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, 13 February 2022 [Mostafa Alkharouf / Anadolu Agency]

Israeli far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir plans to reopen an office in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem in a move likely to cause tension amid evictions of Palestinians from the area, Israeli media reported.

Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper said BenGvir wants to set up an office again in Sheikh Jarrah “to support the Jews living in the neighbourhood.”

In May 2021, the lawmaker moved his office to the neighbourhood but he was prevented from moving to the area by the government of then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over fears of escalation amid tensions between the Palestinians and Israel over home evictions.

Read: Knesset calls for probe after Israel minister draws gun at Arab guards

In the past year, tensions ran high in Sheikh Jarrah after an Israeli court ordered the eviction of several Palestinian families in favour of Israeli settlers.

Since 1956, a total of 37 Palestinian families have been living in 27 homes in the neighbourhood. However, illegal Jewish settlers have been trying to push them out based on a law approved by the Israeli parliament in 1970.