The Stream

#SaveSheikhJarrah: how are Palestinians defying forced expulsion?

On Wednesday, January 26 at 19:30 GMT:
A family in occupied East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood is now homeless and faces an uncertain future after being forcibly expelled from their home by Israeli authorities.

Police removed the Salhiyeh family from their home during an armed raid in the early hours of January 19, acting on an expropriation order issued by Jerusalem municipality. The family’s property was demolished soon after they were forcibly expelled. One family members said several of his relatives were beaten by Israeli forces during the raid.

The municipality says that the land it expropriated is for a special education school for the immediate neighbourhood. But human rights groups say that the proposed school could be built elsewhere, and that the expulsion of the Saliyeh family is yet another example of abuse against Palestinians by Israeli authorities and forces. Israel captured East Jerusalem during a war in 1967 and has occupied the land ever since.

Other families in Sheikh Jarrah remain at risk of expulsion by Israeli authorities. They are among at least 218 Palestinian households in occupied east Jerusalem that are at risk of forced displacement, according to a 2020 survey by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA). The hashtag #SaveSheikhJarrah trended on social media soon after the Israeli police raid dispossessed the Salhiyehs.

The EU is among international bodies expressing concern about Israeli authorities’ treatment of the Salhiyehs, as well as continued Israeli settlement building activity in occupied east Jerusalem, which is illegal under international law. France, Germany, Spain and Italy recently issued a statement that Israeli plans to build 1,450 new homes as part of the ‘Lower Aqueduct’ project “would further disconnect the West Bank from East Jerusalem and constitute an additional obstacle to the two-state solution.”

In this episode of The Stream, we will look at the impact of forced expulsion on the Salhiyeh family in Sheikh Jarrah and what lies ahead for Palestinian families in occupied East Jerusalem that are at risk of displacement.

In this episode of The Stream, we are joined by:
Yara Hawari, @yarahawari
Senior Analyst, Al-Shabaka

Zena Al Tahhan, @zenatahhan
Jerusalem Correspondent,

Mohammed El-Kurd, @m7mdkurd
Palestine Correspondent, The Nation