Large numbers of Israeli occupation forces swarmed the al-Bustan area of al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem) neighbourhood of Silwan earlier today (June 29).
The heavily-armed troops came with bulldozers. Their target? A butcher’s shop in Silwan.
When Palestinians tried to resist the demolition, soldiers attacked them with batons and used tear gas to push them back.
The Palestine Red Crescent reported that at least four Palestinians were injured in the Israeli assault.
The family that owned the butcher shop told Al Jazeera, “Israeli forces came in and attacked them using tear gas and other means – a violent start to these demolitions.”
The owners of the shop understood Zionist motives. “But this is not just about one shop. There are 20 other units that are in the same situation in this neighbourhood,” they told Al Jazeera.
Calls over mosque loudspeakers urged people to come out and protect their properties.
Hundreds of Palestinians rushed out.
They were met by a hail of Israeli gunfire in what is euphemistically referred to as rubber bullets.
These are rubber-coated steel bullets. If they strike a sensitive part of the body, they can kill.
Zionist occupation forces usually aim their bullets to the upper part of the body.
Many Palestinians have been blinded when struck in the eyes.
The Zionists are making a determined push to evict Palestinians from al-Quds.
Silwan, Sheikh Jarrah and the Damascus Gate outside Masjid al Aqsa are their special targets.
These are important for the Zionists’ complete occupation of al-Quds (East Jerusalem) in order to maintain a stranglehold on the holy city that houses the Aqsa Compound, the noble sanctuary.
Contrary to international law and international humanitarian law, the Zionists continue to ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their homes and neighborhoods.
Take the case of al-Bustan area of Silwan.
On June 7, the Jerusalem municipality issued a series of demolition orders to residents of al-Bustan area in Silwan.
The 13 families that would be evicted comprise some 130 people.
They were given 21 days to evacuate and demolish their houses themselves.
While the order is completely illegal, the Zionists are never constrained by legal niceties.
If Palestinians do not demolish their homes, (where else can they go?) then the municipality sends in the bulldozers accompanied by a large number of soldiers to destroy the targeted houses.
Adding insult to injury, the families are charged demolition costs amounting to some US$6,000. Already in dire straits, most families cannot afford such costs.
Israeli laws are framed in such a way as to make it difficult for Palestinian families to appeal the demolition orders before the courts.
In Sheikh Jarrah, eight families of 19 households affecting 87 Palestinians, are at imminent risk of forcible eviction.
A separate case has been filed against them in Israeli courts by the settler organisation Nahalat Shimon International.
These Zionist thugs successfully evicted, through the same kangaroo courts, three Palestinian families comprising some 67 Palestinians from the aforementioned neighbourhood in 2008 and 2009.
The Israeli Supreme Court was supposed to hold a hearing on May 10, 2021 on the forced eviction of eight Palestinian families living in Sheikh Jarrah.
It was postponed at the last minute because of ongoing protests in and around Masjid al Aqsa.
Waiting for the Court’s decision, residents of Sheikh Jarrah have been leading a campaign, raising awareness about the situation, and calling for solidarity activities in support of their struggle and in resistance to Israel’s oppression.
These efforts have been met with further oppression.
Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) and Zionist settlers, most of them heavily armed, have been suppressing and attacking Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah, including raiding and damaging their houses, firing tear gas canisters, sound bombs and skunk water, and arbitrarily arresting them.
There are no limits to Zionist cruelty and barbarism.