Image of Sheikh Jarrah sign

JERUSALEM, Tuesday, February 15, 2022 (WAFA) – Commenting on the fast-moving serious developments in the Palestinian Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, Amnesty International (AI) today warned Israel that forcible transfer of Palestinians under its occupation is a war crime.

“For three days, Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah have been holding demonstrations in response to the imminent threat of forced eviction for the Salem family, which is slated for next month,” said AI in a tweet, adding that Israeli security forces have used “unlawful force” to disperse Palestinians demonstrating against the forcible transfer of the Salem family.

It called on the Israeli authorities “to immediately halt forced evictions in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah and end the ongoing forced displacement of Palestinians from East Jerusalem,” warning, “Forcible transfer is a war crime and a pillar of Israel’s system of apartheid.”

Amnesty recently said Israel is implementing a system of apartheid against the Palestinians under its rule, whether they were in the occupied territories or within Israel proper.

Tension started in the neighborhood three days ago after right-wing Israeli lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir, backed by extremist followers, decided to set up an office on land owned by the Salem family in Sheikh Jarrah days after an Israeli court ordered the family to leave its home, where the Salem family had lived for decades, before the end of March and turn it over to extremist Jewish settler groups.

After being removed from the land by the police on the first day, Ben Gvir returned the next day and provoked more violence in the area, mainly in police attacking Palestinians who came out to support the Salem family, which has vowed not to leave its home regardless of the cost, in its battle to stay in its home.

The racist Israeli member of parliament returned again today to the neighborhood, again provoking tension and clashes.

The Israeli prime minister and foreign minister have condemned Ben Gvir for inciting violence in Sheikh Jarrah but have not done anything to stop him.