A demonstrator is arrested by Israeli soldiers while protesting the looming eviction of a Palestinian family from their home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem. (Photo credit: AFP)
On 17 February the Israeli army deployed hundreds of troops to the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem, as over recent days the flashpoint neighborhood been the scene of fierce clashes between Palestinians and Israeli settlers.
The occupation forces also set up several checkpoints that have severely restricted movement in and out of the neighborhood, effectively placing it under a near complete lockdown.
Local media reports have accused the Israeli forces of assaulting a group of Palestinians who had gathered outside the home of Palestinian family that is facing imminent forced displacement. The group of residents gathered outside the Salem family home to protect it from Israeli settler mobs that have been attacking the family for days.
The clashes between the Palestinians and Israeli settlers escalated on 13 February when an Israeli member of parliament, Itamar Ben Gvir set up a makeshift office outside the Salem home. The MP, who is infamous for his racist views against Palestinians, said his provocative move came in response to the “failure of police to protect Jewish residents.”
Dozens of Palestinians have been injured in the ensuing clashes.
Tel Aviv claims they deployed troops to the area to protect Palestinians from the settler mobs. Palestinians, however, have accused the forces of attacking them and siding with the violent settlers. They say the soldiers have failed to take any action against the settlers who have gone on a rampage vandalizing Palestinian homes and cars.
Right now in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem, Israeli occupation forces assault the local residents. The Salim family, who have been the subject of abuses by settlers and settler officials, are facing imminent expulsion in March. #SaveSheikhJarrah #EthnicCleansing pic.twitter.com/VZTERi2Eoj
— Mohammed El-Kurd (@m7mdkurd) February 14, 2022
Hundreds of Palestinians from across the occupied territories are expected to march to the neighborhood on 18 February to offer solidarity to the Salem family and the residents of the neighborhood.
On 12 February, Palestinian resistance group Hamas warned that the conduct of the Israeli settlers and security forces in Sheikh Jarrah amounted to “playing with fire.”