Palestinians evicted from East Jerusalem home

Israeli police have evicted a Palestinian family and demolished their house in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
Officers raided the Salhiya family home before dawn, arresting several people before a bulldozer moved in.
There had been a two-day stand-off after the head of the family threatened to blow up his house rather than move.
Israeli officials said the building was illegal – something the family denied – and the land was needed for a school.
The case had drawn international attention, with the European Union and UK warning that evictions in occupied territory were illegal under international law and fuelled tensions on the ground in Jerusalem.
Both Israel and the Palestinians hold competing claims to the ancient city.
Israel – which occupied the formerly Jordanian-held eastern part in 1967, and effectively annexed it in 1980 in a move not recognised internationally – regards the whole of Jerusalem as its capital.
Palestinian leaders want East Jerusalem – which is home to about 350,000 Palestinians and 200,000 Jewish settlers – to be the capital of a future Palestinian state.
The BBC’s Yolande Knell in Jerusalem says this was the first eviction in Sheikh Jarrah since 2017. However, unlike other local cases, it did not involve a takeover by Jewish settler groups.
Instead, the Jerusalem Municipality said the Salhiya’s house was built illegally in recent years on land designated for a school for Palestinian children with special needs.
“The evacuation of the area has been approved by all the courts, including the Jerusalem District Court,” the municipality and the Israel Police said in a joint statement.
“Since the evacuation order was issued in 2017, members of the family living in the illegal buildings were given countless opportunities to hand over the land with consent, but unfortunately they refused to do so, even after meetings and repeated dialogue attempts by the Jerusalem Municipality.”
Israeli activists opposed to the eviction pointed out that a nearby plot, which remains empty, was previously taken to build a school and then given to an ultra-Orthodox Jewish organisation for a seminary.
The Salhiya family disputed that their home was built illegally and said that they had lived there since the 1950s. -BBC

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