Tension in East Jerusalem over possible eviction of Palestinian families

Tension in East Jerusalem over possible eviction of Palestinian families

Scuffles between Israeli forces and Palestinians took place in an East Jerusalem neighbourhood on Thursday night (May 6) over the possible eviction of Palestinian families.

Israeli police said they had arrested nine people for disorderly conduct or assault as settlers faced off with Palestinian protesters in what have become nightly clashes.

A Reuters reporter saw a car ablaze near a home taken over by settlers. It was not immediately clear who torched the car.

Israel’s Supreme Court is due to hear challenges next week to the evictions of Palestinians ordered by a lower court that found in favour of settlers’ claims. Human rights groups say if the ruling is upheld, a precedent could be set for dozens more homes.

A far-right Israeli lawmaker, Itamar Ben-Gvir, said he was setting up an office in the neighbourhood – known to some Jews as “Simon the Just,” after an ancient high priest buried there.

“I came here because children and women are being attacked every evening, who are afraid to leave the house. Unfortunately, the police are not receiving the right orders,” Ben-Gvir said.

France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Britain urged Israel on Thursday to halt settlement-building in the West Bank.

The joint statement came as tensions simmered around East Jerusalem, another territory Palestinians seek for a future state, where Jewish settlers backed by an Israeli court have taken over some homes in the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

Israel captured East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in a 1967 war. It deems all of Jerusalem its capital, a status that has not won international support.

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