Recent image. Israeli settlers throwing chairs at Palestinians residents in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah on 13 February 2022. (Photo credit: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli settlers in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in the occupied East Jerusalem on 13 February left at least 31 Palestinians, including a child, with injuries.
The clashes were triggered by the decision of a far-right Israeli member of parliament to set up an office in the neighborhood.
In a provocative move on 12 February, Ben Gvir set up a makeshift office next to Palestinian home whose owners are set to be evicted by Israeli authorities. Gvir claims that his decision was motivated by the “failure of police to protect Jewish residents” in the neighborhood.”
On the morning of 13 February, a mob of Israeli settlers led by the far-right MP gathered in front of the home of the Salem family – who are facing an imminent eviction – when the mob attacked, in an attempt to forcibly evict the family from their home.
Israel occupation forces failed to take any action against the mob of settlers, but they did react when Palestinian neighbors moved in to defend the Salem family.
The police arrested at least 12 Palestinians for “public disorder.”
Palestinians across the West Bank have held rallies in solidarity with the residents of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and to protest against the rising levels of violence by Israeli settlers in the occupied territories.
On 12 February, the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas said the violence by settlers in Sheikh Jarrah amounted to playing with fire.
The spokesperson of Hamas in the occupied East Jerusalem, Muhammad Hamadeh, said “we warn the occupation of the consequences of continuing these attacks, which are similar to playing with explosives that will only explode in their own face.”
An Israeli media outlet reported late last year that between December 2020 and December 2021, the number of attacks against Palestinians by Israeli settlers in the occupied territories increased by more than 50 percent.
The report also revealed that Israeli authorities have emboldened settlers due to the fact they rarely take action against their attacks on Palestinians.