Israeli police evict Palestinian family in East Jerusalem neighborhood

Police say Salhiyeh family has been evicted after standoff and that their Sheikh Jarrah home has been demolished as per court order; five family members detained after refusing eviction
Israeli police evicted a Palestinian family from their home in the flashpoint East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah on Wednesday, demolishing the dwelling in a case that has drawn international attention.
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    הריסת מבנים בשייח ג'ראח
    הריסת מבנים בשייח ג'ראח
    The demolished building in Sheikh Jarrah
    (Photo: AFP)
    Police had withdrawn after the standoff on Monday but returned before dawn on Wednesday, saying in a statement it was enforcing a court-approved eviction order of "illegal buildings built on grounds designated for a school for children with special needs".
    In a joint statement with the Jerusalem municipality, police said several people were arrested for questioning on suspicion of violating a court order and disturbing the peace. Witnesses said some 25 Palestinians, including five family members, were detained.
    At the site, about a dozen police officers removed gas canisters, with a mechanical digger used in the demolition leaving behind a mound of concrete and twisted metal.
    The home was located about 1 kilometre (one-half mile) north of Jerusalem's Old City walls, where clashes erupted last year between Palestinians and Jewish settlers.
    2 View gallery
    פלסטינים מתבצרים על גג בשייח ג'ראח
    פלסטינים מתבצרים על גג בשייח ג'ראח
    Salhiya with a gas canister on the roof of the house
    (Photo: AFP)
    "I am devastated. You see livelihoods being destroyed in front of your eyes, and now the house is gone," said one of the activists, who asked not to be identified, and was part of a group that held an overnight vigil in the home and its garden.
    The home had stood across from the British Consulate in East Jerusalem, which said on Monday that evictions in occupied territory, in all but the most exceptional circumstances, were against international humanitarian law.
    It urged the Israeli government to "cease such practices which only serve to increase tensions on the ground".
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