‘How do they expect my children to grow up and not be full of hatred?’

Lital Salhiyeh, whose family home in Sheikh Jarrah was demolished on Wednesday morning, has no idea where she and her family will go now.

Yuval Abraham, +972 Magazine, January 19, 2022

The remains of the Salhiyeh family home that was demolished by Israeli authorities, in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, January 19, 2022. (Jamal Awad/Flash90)
The remains of the Salhiyeh family home that was demolished by Israeli authorities, in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, January 19, 2022. (Jamal Awad/Flash90)

Israeli security forces demolished the home of the Salhiyeh family and forcibly expelled its residents in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah during the early hours of the morning on Wednesday.

Police raided the house around 3:15 a.m., violently kicking out the family and activists who had arrived to defend the family home. According to Palestinian and Israeli activists who were at the scene, officers cut electricity to the house, before using stun grenades and arresting 18 people, including members of the Salhiyeh family, Palestinian activists, and five Israeli activists. All of the Israeli activists and some of the Palestinians have been released, while others remain in Israeli custody — including Mahmoud, the family’s father.

Following the expulsion, bulldozers entered and destroyed the family home, where Lital Salhiyeh, her husband Mahmoud, their four children, and Mahmoud’s mother lived. The remains of the home and the family’s belongings, which included photo albums and children’s backpacks, laid strewn out in the rubble.

“All of a sudden we heard booms. I jumped out of bed and turned on the light — but there was no electricity in the house,” Lital told me following the demolition. “I lifted my head, and all I saw around me was hundreds of lights from helmets. It was a terrifying sight.”

Lital, an Israeli Jew who is originally from Rishon LeZion, said she had gone to bed half an hour before police forces burst into her home. Once she heard the booms, she jumped out of bed and began to run. “I was looking for my little daughter Aya, who’s nine years old and was sleeping in the other room with her aunt. I wanted to get to her. A policeman caught me and said, ‘What are you doing?’”

Lital Salhiyeh in the Salhiyeh family home, weeks before it was demolished by Israeli forces. (Rachel Shor)

Lital Salhiyeh in the Salhiyeh family home, weeks before it was demolished by Israeli forces. (Rachel Shor)

“Now Aya is with me. It’s me and her in our pajamas. She is traumatized. She does not sleep at night. She is silent, doesn’t utter a word. All I care about right now is that my family comes out of detention — that’s it. I saw Mahmoud and my son Amir being arrested with my own eyes, but I know nothing about Adal and Nur. Nur is 16 years old.”

The Salhiyeh family had lived in Sheikh Jarrah ever since they were expelled from their family home in the Palestinian village of Ayn Karim (today Ein Kerem) in West Jerusalem, during the Nakba. In 1958, the family purchased a six dunam plot of land in the neighborhood. In 2017, the Jerusalem Municipality expropriated it for public purposes in order to establish a school and kindergarten. The family petitioned against the eviction, but the courts upheld the decision.

The family won a last-minute reprieve on Monday when police forces arrived to carry out the demolition, only to find that Mahmoud Salhiyeh, along with several youths, had secured his family’s home with gas canisters and threatened to detonate them if the eviction went ahead. The police eventually backed off, but left only after demolishing other structures on the family’s land — including a plant nursery and a barber shop.

In 2021, the Jerusalem District Court ruled in favor of the municipality and allowed the eviction to proceed. Last week, the attorney representing the Salhiyeh family lodged a request to halt the expulsions, claiming that the eviction order only applies to the parents and not to the other members of the family. While the court asked the municipality for a response to the family’s claims, it did not delay or halt the order.

“I have nowhere to go, I have no home,” Lital said. “What will we do? Will we go live with another family? We are a lot of people. They destroyed the house so we would have nowhere to go back to. How do they expect my children to grow up and not be full of anger and hatred against them? This is no longer my country. After today, this is not my country.”

Watch My Neighbourhood, the story of Sheikh Jarrah

A remarkable, nonviolent struggle against settlement expansion in East Jerusalem

Mohammed El Kurd is a Palestinian boy growing up in the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in the heart of East Jerusalem. When Mohammed turns 11, his family is forced to give up part of their home to Israeli settlers, who are leading a campaign of court-sanctioned evictions to guarantee Jewish control of the area.

Shortly after their displacement, Mohammed’s family and other residents begin holding unarmed protests against the evictions, determined not to lose their homes for good. In a surprising turn, they are quickly joined by scores of Israeli supporters who are horrified to see what is being done in their name. Among them is Jewish West Jerusalem resident Zvi Benninga and his sister Sara, who develop a strong relationship with Mohammed and his family as they take on a leading role in organizing the protests.

Through their personal stories, My Neighbourhood goes beyond the sensational headlines that normally dominate discussions of Jerusalem and captures voices rarely heard, of those striving for a future of equality and pluralism in the city.

My Neighbourhood follows Mohammed as he comes of age in the midst of unrelenting tension and remarkable cooperation in his backyard. Highlighting Mohammed’s own reactions to the highly volatile situation, reflections from family members and other evicted residents, accounts of Israeli protesters and interviews with Israeli settlers, the film chronicles the resolve of a neighbourhood and the support it receives from the most unexpected of places.

My Neighbourhood is directed and produced by Rebekah Wingert-Jabi, who documented Mohammed’s story over two years, and acclaimed filmmaker Julia Bacha. It is the latest production by Just Vision, an award-winning team of Palestinian, Israeli, North and South American filmmakers, journalists and human rights advocates dedicated to telling the stories of Israelis and Palestinians working nonviolently to achieve freedom, dignity, equality and human security in the region.

Israel launches air strikes on Gaza putting fragile ceasefire in jeopardy

Air raids pound Gaza Strip after Palestinians in besieged enclave reportedly sent incendiary balloons into southern Israel

Israeli jets bombed areas across the besieged Palestinian enclave early on 16 June (AFP)

Middle East Eye, 16 June 2021

Israel launched air strikes on the Gaza Strip early on Wednesday in response to incendiary balloons reportedly launched from the besieged Palestinian enclave, Israel’s military said.

Potentially shattering a fragile ceasefire that came into effect last month, the air strikes followed a provocative nationalist march through occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City by Jewish nationalists that had drawn threats of action by Hamas, the Palestinian movement that governs Gaza.

The Israeli military said the strikes, which attacked Hamas compounds in Khan Younis and Gaza City, came in response to the launching of the balloons, which reportedly caused 20 fires in open fields near the Gaza border, Haaretz reported.

The Israeli army added that it was “ready for all scenarios, including renewed fighting in the face of continued terrorist acts emanating from Gaza.”

A Hamas spokesman, confirming the Israeli attacks, said the Palestinians would continue to pursue their “brave resistance and defend their rights and sacred sites” in Jerusalem.

Hours earlier, thousands of Israelis took part in the so-called “Flag March” which marks the anniversary of Israel’s 1967 occupation of East Jerusalem.

Israel, which annexed the city’s eastern part in a move that has not won international recognition, regards the entire city as its capital. Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future state that would include the West Bank and Gaza.

    Beatings, arrests and chants of ‘Death to Arabs’ at far-
    right march in Jerusalem
    Read More »

Tuesday’s rally came as tensions remain high over Israel’s planned expulsion of Palestinian families from the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

Ahead of the march, Israeli police forcibly removed dozens of Palestinians from outside the Old City’s Damascus Gate. At least 27 Palestinians were wounded as Israeli police fired rubber-coated steel bullets and stun grenades in the surrounding areas.

Hundreds of Jewish nationalists participating in the march were heard chanting “Death to Arabs”.

Wednesday’s air strikes mark the first major flare-up since a ceasefire on 21 May ended Israel’s 11-day assault on the territory, which killed 248 Palestinians, including 66 children.

Twelve people in Israel were also killed by rockets fired from the enclave.

End U.S. Tax Dollars for Israel’s Genocide of Palestinians

Leah Muskin-Pierret, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), June 15, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC — 🔥 Statement & Call to Action:

The US Campaign for Palestinian Rights condemns the state-sanctioned, racist, anti-Palestinian flag march on June 15, 2021 in Jerusalem and continuing bombing of Palestinians in Gaza and calls for the U.S. to immediately stop funding Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. USCPR also asks people’s movements and organizations to express their support for Palestinian liberation, in order to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people who, united, defy these Israeli settlers’ attempts to intimidate them.

The flag march is a blatant display of anti-Palestinian racism, in which Israeli settlers chant “Death to Arabs,” a clear call for genocidal violence against the Palestinian people. The United Nations Genocide Convention recognizes that genocide includes the act of killing members of a group “with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”

The Israeli government backs this violence: the reality of state-sanctioned violence was made extremely clear again today when Israeli soldiers beat a Palestinian young man and a Palestinian woman for raising a Palestinian flag in a sea of Israeli flags, while protecting Israeli Jewish demonstrators calling for burning Palestinian homes. According to latest reports, Israeli forces have assaulted and arrested Palestinian people in Jerusalem today, injuring 33 people, while clearing out shops and closing Damascus Gate for the flag march. This brutal violence cannot be separated from the continuous assaults on the Gaza Strip that have massacred generations of Palestinian families, horrific assaults that Israel is resuming as of 6pm ET today.

Especially at this moment, USCPR calls on members of Congress, leaders, and organizations to condemn this anti-Palestinian racism and violence and to hold Israel accountable for the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. The Palestinian people have been loudly and clearly demanding nothing short of an end to all to all U.S. complicity, but many members of Congress have not even taken the most basic action to support Palestinian rights.

At a bare minimum, members of Congress must cosponsor H.R. 2590, The Palestinian Children and Families Act, which insists on the rights to safety, dignity, and freedom for the Palestinian people: the freedom to thrive, free from child detention, home demolitions, continual Israeli annexation and land theft.

The new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has himself bragged about killing Arabs. The root of violence in Israeli policy is Zionism, Israel’s settler colonial project of displacing Palestinians to create an exclusive Jewish homeland in Palestine. Every Israeli government has advanced Israel’s colonialism and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.

People power makes political change possible, so USCPR echoes Palestinian calls for solidarity. The Palestinian people, who are rising up for liberation from Israel’s colonialism, are asking for support through boycott, divestment, and sanctions tactics that pressure Israel to stop violating Palestinian rights. Palestinian people in the U.S. have also outlined five vision and policy demands for justice in “Freedom Is The Future”. Read the demands at: www.freedomfuture.org/demands and take immediate action to advance justice and stop U.S. funding for Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people at: bit.ly/NoFundsForGenocide.

📢 Take action & amplify Palestinian demands for justice right now:

  1. USCPR Statement — End the Flow of U.S. Tax Dollars to Israel’s Genocide of the Palestinian People: https://uscpr.org/nofundsforgenocide
  2. Take action right now with this Twitter action tool: http://bit.ly/NoFundsForGenocide
  3. Linktree with solidarity resources & actions: linktr.ee/uscpr
  4. Twitter lists on
    Jerusalem: https://twitter.com/i/lists/1404904413370667015 (USCPR new list)
    Gaza: https://twitter.com/i/lists/41289860 (thank you IMEU)
  5. Resources, action tools, & statement on social media:
    #NoFundsForGenocide #GazaUnderAttack #SaveSheikhJarrah #SaveSilwan
  6. Twitter: https://twitter.com/USCPR_/status/1404936692759420936
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/CQKKacig98e/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/uscpalrights/posts/10158761772499442

Update: #SaveSheikhJarrah

Middle East Eye, May 2, 2021

‘If I don’t steal it, someone else is going to steal it.’

An Israeli settler’s attempt to justify a forcible takeover of a Palestinian home in Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem has sparked anger online after it was caught on camera.

Update: “Infamous Israeli home thief is federally charged Long Island, NY financial fraudster,” HAMZAH RAZA, The Grayzone, JUNE 9, 2021


Eyewitness Palestine
June 12, 13, or 16
1:00 – 2:30 pm Central

Participants in this Virtual Delegation will see the ways in which Palestinians in Silwan, East Jerusalem, are resisting Israeli occupation and displacement. In Silwan, Israel and its tourist and archeology industries seek to link the bible story of King David to the modern Israeli state. This controversial reading of archeology and history supports the illusion that Jerusalem has an exclusively Jewish history and that therefore Jews are entitled to the city. This delegation is being co-sponsored by Madaa Creative Center and Art Forces.