Save Sheikh Jarrah: Palestinians subject to forced evictions as Israeli forces use violence


Lina Bhatti

Date published: Sat, 8 May 21


Palestinians are currently protesting forced evictions of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Tensions are escalating as more than 200 Palestinians were wounded in Al-Aqsa during Friday prayers. 

On Friday May 8, thousands of worshippers at Al-Aqsa mosque protested Israeli plans to evict Palestinian families from their homes. This land is being claimed by Israeli settlers in the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem. Palestinians are staging sit-ins in public areas to protest the decree by Israeli officials to vacate their homes. Israeli forces have attacked the protests using tear gas, rubber bullets, and shock grenades. 

Today, Israeli forces are storming Palestinian protest camps in Sheikh Jarrah. Protesters are shown in videos as being beaten and arrested by security forces. 

The United Nations has urged Israel to call off forced evictions. It has warned Israel that its actions could be considered war crimes. 

The forced evictions in Sheikh Jarrah follow a long history of apartheid and settler colonialism/occupation in Palestine by Israel. Middle East Eye reports that the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah comprises of around 3,000 refugees who were forcibly displaced from their homes in other parts of Palestine in 1948. 

Although Palestinian civil activists have called on the International Criminal Court to include the evictions in Sheikh Jarrah as part of its investigation on Israel, there is little impact when the US backs Israeli crimes. The US government has refused to condemn the state-sponsored actions of Israeli settlers in Sheikh Jarrah. 

Rights groups and activists have also raised concerns that their posts on social media platforms are being banned and suspended. Dozens of people have shared screenshots showing that their accounts have been suspended and banned after they shared posts of the forced evictions. It is necessary to share posts of Palestinians who are speaking on these evictions, and to amplify Palestinian voices. 

To help hold Israel accountable, attend the rally at the State Department on Tuesday, May 11 at 4 pm.

Sign this petition as well to stop Jerusalem expulsions, and raise your voice on social media using the hashtag #SaveSheikhJarrah.