A video surfaced on social media on Sunday, showing Israeli settlers, under the protection of the regime’s forces, throwing chairs at Palestinians after Itamar Ben Gvir set up his office on a Palestinian-owned land in the restive neighborhood, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported.
Ben Gvir’s provocative move came despite mounting tensions over the forced eviction of Palestinian residents there.
He told reporters in Sheikh Jarrah on Sunday that he would remain there until police looked after what he called the security of the settlers.
Last night, scores of Israeli settlers stormed Sheikh Jarrah, where they attacked and terrified Palestinian families and attempted to evict some of them from their homes.
According to witnesses, Israeli settlers, backed by the regime’s forces, pelted stones at homes during the overnight attack and vandalized a number of Palestinian-owned vehicles.
The settlers also attacked a Palestinian family’s house in the neighborhood and tried to forcibly evict them from their home, hours after they received an eviction order.
Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters and stun grenades at Palestinians who tried to fend off the settlers’ attack, causing some of them to suffocate due to inhaling tear gas.
Sheikh Jarrah has been the scene of frequent crackdowns by Israeli police on Palestinians protesting against the threatened expulsion of dozens of Palestinian families from their homes in favor of extremist Israeli settler groups.
Since Israel seized East al-Quds in the 1967 war, Israeli settler organizations have claimed ownership of land in Sheikh Jarrah and have filed multiple lawsuits to evict Palestinians from the area.
The threatened Sheikh Jarrah expulsions have also drawn international attention and sparked global outrage.
The forced evictions are widely seen as part of Israel’s attempts to change the demographic character of the occupied territories.
‘Ben-Gvir’s move in Sheikh Jarrah could inflame situation’
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has condemned Ben Gvir’s relocation of his office as a “provocative step,” saying the move threatens to inflame an already tense situation in the occupied Palestinian territories.
“What is happening in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood is an official Israeli consolidation of Israelization and Judaization of the Holy City that threatens to change its existing historical, legal and demographic status to serve the narratives of the occupation and its colonial interests,” the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry further held the Israeli regime fully responsible for the escalation of the situation in al-Quds.
It also stressed that the failure of the international community and the UN Security Council to take concrete steps to force Israel to stop its occupation of al-Quds has encouraged Tel Aviv to prrss ahead with the implementation of its colonial Judaization projects in the holy city.
More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.
All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law as they are built on occupied land. The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.
Emboldened by US’s all-out support, Israel has stepped up its illegal settlement construction activities in defiance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which pronounced settlements in the West Bank and East al-Quds “a flagrant violation under international law.”
Much of the international community regards the Israeli settler units in the occupied lands as illegal.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent state with East al-Quds as its capital.