Sunday, March 18, 2018

East Jerusalem: Settler violence and demolition orders on the rise

By Tadas Blinda - June 11, 2013
Section: [Main News] [Life under Occupation]
Tags: [demolition] [Issawiya] [Settlers attacks] [settler violence]

A house recently demolished in East Jerusalem's Bet Hanina neighborhoodPhoto by Lazar Simeonov.

 Last week Palestinians in East Jerusalem witnessed a sharp escalation in settler violence. Israeli Settlers burn a vehicle in Sheikh Jarrah, damaged vehicles in the neighborhood of al-Tur and attacked a Palestinian taxi driver in the Pisgat Zeev settlement. Additionally, demolition orders were issued by Israeli authorities on buildings in Beit Hanina, al-Isawyia and Abu Dis, the latter of which escalated into clashes between youth and the Israeli army.

Israeli settlers are suspected of torching a car in Sheikh Jarrah  early Friday morning, 7 June 2013. Yasser Najeeb saw five settlers near his burning car at around 3 AM, just an hour after a glass bottle was thrown at his house by settlers.
"We were sleeping and I smelt smoke and when I looked from my bedroom window I saw my car burning. I went outside and called the police and fire brigades,"  Yasser told Ma’an News Agency on Friday. 
Tuesday evening, 4 June 2013, in the al-Tur neighborhood of East Jerusalem, settlers from the Beit Orot settlement on the Mount of Olives attacked Palestinian vehicles with rocks. Israeli police officers arrived on the scene but no measures were taken against settlers causing damage to Palestinian cars. Instead, they arrested 3 Palestinians who confronted the settlers in order to stop them from throwing rocks at vehicles. 
"This is systematic support by the occupation government of the settlers, and state terror aimed at evicting the indigenous residents in order to keep a firm grip on the city," local al-Tur committee head Mufeed Abu Ghannam told Ma'an News Agency on 5 June. This was the fourth attack in five days by Beit Orot settlers on Palestinians and their property, he added.
Early that day, 62 year-old Palestinian taxi driver Naim Yousef Elayan was attacked by two settlers after driving them from Gilo to Pisgat Zeev settlement at around 3 AM on Tuesday. 
“They told me that they want to pick up their friend and when they found out I was Palestinian, they attacked me with a 20-centimeter knife. They pointed the knife toward my neck but I held it with my hand and started screaming. They fled,” the driver told Ma’an on 4 June. After the incident, the taxi driver called Israeli police and was taken to the hospital where a serious hand injury caused by the knife was treated.
The day before, Palestinian youth clashed with Israeli forces in Abu Dis when Israeli Civil Administration officers posted a demolition order on a building in the village on Monday, 3 June 2013. Students from Al-Quds University were showered with teargas while youth confronted Israeli soldiers near the capmus. Israeli forces closed all streets in the neighbourhood, preventing students from reaching university campus where final exams were being held. Teargas was also shot at a nearby mosque, disrupting prayers and affecting passersby.
Demolition orders were also issued for buildings in Beit Hanina and al-Isawiya early in the week. One 10-year old building, home to 20 Palestinians, is up for demolition in Beit Hanina. Several families in al-Isawiya also received demolition orders on their homes, due to their lack of the required Israeli-provided building permits. 
According to the UN, one third of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem don’t have construction permits issued by Israel, accordingly more than 93,000 Palestinians living in East Jerusalem can potentially be displaced in the case of demolition of their homes.

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