Israeli police evict Salhiya family in East Jerusalem
Jerusalem, Jan 19 (EFE).- Israeli police on Wednesday evicted a Palestinian family from their home in the occupied territory of East Jerusalem in a raid that has drawn international attention.
Since Monday, the Salhiya family had barricaded their home in the Shaykh Yarrah neighborhood with gas canisters, threatening to blow it up if they were forced out.
After withdrawing from the standoff on Monday, Israeli police returned before dawn on Wednesday saying it was enforcing a court-approved eviction of illegal buildings in the neighborhood.
Over 100 agents raided the house with “extreme violence” after dozens of officers removed the gas canisters with a bulldozer and cut off the electricity, forcing the family out of their homes, according to the Salhiya support committee.
The two houses on the plot were then demolished, leaving behind a mountain of rubble.
Several people were detained for questioning after the raid under allegations of violating a court order and disturbing public order, according to the police.
Israeli authorities claim the Salhiya family’s home was being demolished in order to build a school for children with special needs.
The municipality expropriated the plot in 2017 while the family claims it had purchased the land before the Israeli occupation in 1967.
The Shaykh Yarrah neighborhood is a central and strategic point in East Jerusalem which has been a scene of tension after four other families were evicted from their homes last year.
The evictions sparked a series of protests, soaring tensions in the occupied territory and leading to the worse escalation of war between Palestinian militias in Gaza and Israeli authorities in 30 years.
Over 370,000 Palestinians currently live in East Jerusalem while some 200,000 Israeli settlers also reside in the territory.
Human rights watch said on Wednesday the forced eviction of the Salhiya family were “war crimes.” EFE