Israel demolishes Bedouin homes east of Jerusalem

Israeli forces on Feb. 17 bulldozed five steel structures belonging to a Palestinian community in the East Jerusalem town of al-Eizariya, locals said. A large group of Israeli forces raided the town after midnight and surrounded steel structures belonging to the Bedouin al-Jahalin community. Israeli soldiers forcibly evicted five families from the structures, leaving 55 people homeless, Sami Abu Ghaliya, a spokesman of the al-Jahalin tribe council, told Ma'an News Agency. The demolitions took place without giving residents time to gather their belongings. The structures housed a greengrocers and a car wash which provided the main source of income for the community. "They want to displace us and leave us homeless as they did to us in the Nakba of 1948 and the Naksa of 1967," Abu Ghaliya said. "We have been living on this land since more than 60 years."

Israel is planning to displace the al-Jahalin tribe to build part of its separation wall in the area, a spokesman of the Palestinian youth movement in East Jerusalem, Hani Halabiyya, told Ma'an. In the 1950s, the al-Jahalin community was forcibly displaced from its ancestral home in the Negev desert and resettled east of Jerusalem. Israeli forces displaced groups of the community in the 1990s to make way for the Maale Adumim settlement.

From Ma'an News Agency, Feb. 17

  1. West Bank clashes as troops attack Palestinian funeral

    Israeli forces opened fire on protesters near Birzeit on Feb. 28, injuring five; dozens more suffered from tear-gas inhalation. The clashes broke out following the funeral of Muatazz Washaha, a 24-year-old man killed after Israeli forces shelled his home during a stand off the previous day.  Clashes also broke out between Palestinian youths and Israeli soldiers around Rachel's Tomb near the northern entrance to Bethlehem, as locals protested the killing. (Ma'an)

    Also Feb. 27, Israeli settlers bulldozed private Palestinian lands near the northern West Bank village of Jalud south of Nablus in order to expand an illegal settlement outpost, a Palestinian Authority official said. Ghassan Daghlas, a PA official who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma'an that settlers from the Shvut Rachel outpost had decided to expand their illegal settlement at the expense of nearby private Palestinian landowners. (Ma'an)

    Israeli police meanwhile announced they will limit access for Muslim men to Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound during Friday prayers to prevent possible clashes following services.The decision comes after police clashed with Palestinians at the compound on Feb. 25, hours ahead of a debate in the Israeli parliament over a plan to place the holy site under full Israeli jurisdiction. (AFP)

  2. Amid rage, thousands lay Jenin men to rest

    Over 10,000 Palestinian mourners on March 22 marched behind the coffins of three militants who were shot dead by Israeli forces overnight in Jenin refugee camp. After the funeral prayer, mourners marched to Jenin camp's cemetery, led by officials of the PLO, the Palestinian Authority, Fatah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad. During the procession, mourners shouted slogans urging Palestinian militants to take revenge and calling on the PA to immediately end peace negotiations with Israel and focus instead on reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. In a joint statement, Hamas' military wing al-Qassam Brigades, Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, and Islamic Jihad's al-Quds Brigades threatened a "painful" retaliation against Israel. (Maan)