Israeli police attack families in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood

By Halime Afra Aksoy

JERUSALEM (AA) – Israeli police attacked Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday.

Police prevented residents from entering a square by using batons, according to eyewitnesses.

They also used force to disperse journalists and Palestinians who were in the area to support families who have been under threat of forcible eviction from their homes.

Israeli security forces also raided a house in the neighborhood and attacked its residents.

On Saturday, Israeli settlers fired tear gas at residents and those standing in solidarity with them in the neighborhood.

Tensions have escalated across the Palestinian territories since April over an Israeli court verdict to evict Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah in favor of Jewish settlers. The situation flared up after Israeli forces raided Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, and assaulted worshippers inside.

The tensions spread to the Gaza Strip, with Israel launching airstrikes that killed at least 290 Palestinians, including women and children, and left behind a trail of destruction. Health centers and media offices as well as schools were among the structures targeted.

On May 21, an Egyptian-brokered truce ended Israel’s 11-day bombardment of Gaza.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz in Ankara