Jerusalem24 – Dozens of Israeli settlers on Wednesday night staged a rally in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem.
The settlers chanted anti-Palestinian and anti-Arab slogans such as “Death to Arabs” during the rally, which was organized by right-wing settler groups.
The settler march came in response to an attack against an Israeli settler earlier in the day, Israeli forces arrested a 14-year old girl in relation to that incident.
According to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, the police moved ahead of the settler march, expelling activists present in the area to support Palestinian families. And then sealed the neighborhood to Palestinians.
As the Palestinian residents came out to confront the the settlers, Israeli police scuffled with them violently. According to the times of Israel, a police officer appeared to bash a Palestinian demonstrator’s head into a metal pole.
Tensions in the neighborhood have risen in recent months due to long-simmering court battles over dozens of homes in the neighborhood in which Palestinian families have lived for decades, but which Jewish groups claim legally belong to them.
Last month, the Palestinian families of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood facing forced displacement rejected a proposed “compromise” by Israel’s Supreme Court to stay in their homes as tenants of the Nahalat Shimon settler organization.
In 1956, 28 families settled in Sheikh Jarrah under an agreement with the Jordanian government, which ruled the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, before the Israeli occupation in 1967, and the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
Israeli settlement associations, however, claim that the homes were built on land that was owned by Jews before 1948, a claim vehemently rejected by Palestinians.