After a two-day standoff, Israeli authorities on Wednesday forcefully evicted the Salhia family from their home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem and demolished it, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
According to WAFA, staff from the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem, backed by a large police force, broke into Mahmoud Salhia’s house, beat and detained all family members, along with other supporters, before demolishing two houses.
13 people, most of them children, are now homeless, WAFA reported.
Eyewitnesses said the Israeli forces cordoned off the entire Sheikh Jarrah area starting at 3:00 am, preventing anyone from reaching the house. Then, they into the Salhia houses, beating everyone in their way and forcing them to leave the houses on a rainy and cold morning before Israeli municipality bulldozers levelled the two houses.
Israeli municipality has been trying to evict the Palestinian families from their homes claiming it wants to use the land for public service, such as building a school. The families accused the municipality of seeking to use the land to expand a nearby Jewish settlement at their expense.
On Monday, an attempt by Israeli municipality and police to evict the families had failed after the homeowners vowed to blow themselves up and destroy the houses.