East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah turns into emblem of Palestinian battle By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Folks maintain Hamas flags as Palestinians collect after performing the final Friday of Ramadan to protest over the doable eviction of a number of Palestinian households from properties on land claimed by Jewish settlers within the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood,

By Rami Ayyub, Zainah El-Haroun and Stephen Farrell

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A putrid stench hangs over Sheikh Jarrah, a tiny neighbourhood of East Jerusalem the place protesters try to stop Israel evicting eight Palestinian households and letting Jews transfer in.

Over the previous week, Israeli police have repeatedly fired a foul-smelling liquid generally known as skunk water that lingers by the evening to attempt to disperse the demonstrators.

The standoff has seen violent clashes across the walled Previous Metropolis and on Monday led to rocket hearth by Gaza militants, drawing Israeli airstrikes on Gaza that well being officers there mentioned killed 9 Palestinians.

It has additionally made Sheikh Jarrah an emblem of what Palestinians see as an Israeli marketing campaign to power them out of East Jerusalem.

A tree-lined space of sandstone properties, overseas consulates and luxurious resorts, Sheikh Jarrah lies about 500 metres (550 yards) from the Previous Metropolis’s Damascus Gate.

It’s named after a private doctor to Saladin, the Muslim conqueror who seized Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187.

Israel seized the Previous Metropolis, and the remainder of East Jerusalem and the adjoining West Financial institution, in a 1967 conflict. It sees all Jerusalem as its capital, together with Sheikh Jarrah, which accommodates a website revered by spiritual Jews because the tomb of an historical excessive priest.

Palestinians stay in most of Sheikh Jarrah’s properties, however Israeli settlers have moved in to a few of its properties, saying they have been owned by Jews earlier than the 1948 Israeli-Arab conflict that adopted the top of the British Mandate for Palestine.

Nabil al-Kurd, 77, is among the many Palestinians going through eviction from the neighbourhood’s Othman Ibn Affan road after an extended authorized battle.

“Israel won’t be happy till it kicks me out of the home I’ve lived in nearly my whole life,” he mentioned.

Half of his home taken over by Israeli settlers after a authorized battle in 2009. A wall now divides him and his household from the settlers, and his hopes of staying are pinned on Israel’s Supreme Court docket.

Israel’s authorities has performed down any state involvement, portraying it as an actual property dispute between personal events.


On Monday, Arab Israeli lawmakers have been amongst protesters, a few of them chanting “Settlers out!”, who confronted off with a number of ultra-nationalist Israeli politicians alongside Othman Ibn Affan road. Police stored them aside.

The Palestinians have lived in Sheikh Jarrah since they have been re-housed there within the Nineteen Fifties by Jordan after fleeing or being pressured to desert their properties in West Jerusalem and Haifa throughout the preventing round Israel’s creation in 1948.

The settlers who filed the lawsuit over Othman Ibn Affan road mentioned they purchased the land from two Jewish associations that bought it on the finish of the nineteenth century.

A decrease Israeli court docket present in favour of the settlers beneath an Israeli regulation that enables Jews to reclaim possession of property misplaced in 1948. No such regulation entitles Palestinians to do the identical in West Jerusalem or different components of Israel.

“Our households got here right here as refugees. It is occurring another time,” mentioned Sheikh Jarrah resident Khaled Hamad, 30.

At a settlers’ home throughout the road, an Israeli mentioned the Supreme Court docket had rewarded Palestinians by delaying a listening to on the case as tensions rose.

“If something they need to have moved the ruling up,” mentioned the settler, who gave his title solely as Yaakov.

The USA is amongst critics of the evictions, elevating the prospect of them changing into a diplomatic legal responsibility for Israel.

Anti-eviction protests have been held in Palestinian cities throughout the West Financial institution and by Arab Israelis in Haifa and Nazareth.

Arab lawmaker Ahmad Tibi confirmed his help by coming to Othman Ibn Affan road. Assist has poured out on social media.

Salem Barahmeh, a member of the Palestinian youth motion Technology for Democratic Renewal, mentioned Sheikh Jarrah was “mobilising younger Palestinians in Palestine and everywhere in the world.”

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