Following warnings of a forceful crackdown by the Israeli police, this week’s protest in Sheikh Jarrah was attended in volume but remained restrained.Starting at 3pm, on Friday, the non-violent demonstration, was attended by approximately 500 Palestinians, internationals and, anti-Zionist Israelis.
One Israeli man, speaking to IMEMC on the condition of anonymity, said that it was his first time at the Sheikh Jarrah protest. He stated that he felt compelled to join the protest due to Israel’s “shameful actions.”
As a show of good will, and to represent the peaceful intentions of the demonstrators, two members of a ollective approached the settlers and police with an offering of flowers and an olive tree.
The gesture was not accepted, and police escorted them back to the site of protest.
Despite this gesture and the peaceful nature of the protest, Michael, a Jewish man living in a nearby neighborhood, stated:
“The demonstrators are violent and they hate the soldiers… This land is ours.”
After 2 hours of energetic protest, the crowd dispersed, with nobody being arrested. Recent weeks have seen an increase in arrests and more force employed by police, 22 protesters were arrested just last week.
For the past four weeks neither protesters nor journalists have been permitted access to the street outside the settled homes. Protests have been forced to occur at the nearby junction by Nablus Street.
The neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah & al-Bustan have been under dispute for a number of years. 3 homes have been settled in Sheikh Jarrah and 1,200 demolition orders were served against Palestinian families in occupied Jerusalem.