Twenty Palestinians Injured, Firebomb Lobbed at Jewish Home in Sheikh Jarrah Skirmish

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Police in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, this month
Police in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, this monthCredit: Emil Salman

Twenty Palestinians were injured and a firebomb was hurled at a Jewish home amid renewed clashes between Jewish settlers, Palestinians and police on Monday in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. 

Two 14-year-old Palestinians were arrested on suspicion of throwing a firebomb at a Jewish home, which appeared to set off the violence.

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Following the firebombing, which did not cause significant damage, a settler pepper sprayed Palestinian residents. Jews and Palestinians then threw chairs and stones at each other, and Palestinians shot off firecrackers at settler homes. 

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Police officers forcibly dispersed the Palestinians with batons, tear gas and stun grenades, arresting another two Palestinians for their participation in the clashes. 

Some 20 Palestinians were injured – two by rubber bullets and most by tear gas, the Palestinian Red Crescent reported.

A Jewish woman sustained a back injury from a stone and required medical treatment, according to the police.  

Tensions in the neighborhood have been running even higher recently following the installation of a police checkpoint that prevents entry to Palestinians who do not live in the neighborhood. 

At the same time, Palestinians allege that the police allow Jews who don’t live in the neighborhood to enter, ostensibly to pray at the tomb of Shimon the Righteous, but actually to bolster a Jewish presence near settler homes. 

Dozens of Palestinian residents of the neighborhood are in danger of being evicted from their homes, claiming that these were built on land owned by Jews before 1948.

In October last year, an Israeli court ruled in favor of Jewish settlers who say some eight Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah are living on land that used to belong to Jews. Two weeks ago, Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit informed the Supreme Court he would not intervene in the high-profile eviction case, in a move officials say bodes ill for the chances of stopping their slated eviction.

In May, tensions over the case became a flash point in Jerusalem between Jews and Arabs, in Sheikh Jarrah as well as the Temple Mount. Hamas fired rockets at Jerusalem last month purportedly in support of Palestinians in the two areas of the city. That was followed by the recent military confrontation between Israel and Hamas.

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