Demolition of Salhiya family’s homes is an ethnic cleansing that requires urgent intervention

Europeans for al-Quds strongly condemns the Israeli occupation forces’ demolition of two homes of the Salhiya family in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem, an operation that amounts to a crime of ethnic cleansing.

On Wednesday at dawn, a large force of the occupation army and its intelligence stormed the area and imposed a military siege. They forcibly raided the house of Mahmoud Salhiya and the house of his mother and sister, which are inhabited by 13 people in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied Jerusalem. In addition, 26 citizens of the two houses and the people who were in solidarity with them were arrested after severely beating them.

The occupation bulldozers demolished the two houses, leaving two families with a total of 13 people homeless, two days after destroying 6 of their facilities.

It is noteworthy that the Israeli occupation authorities issued a decision in mid-December to evict the Salihiya family of land with an area of 6 dunums, including two homes and several facilities, until January 25. Thus, the demolition came in anticipation of a court decision to implement the eviction decision.

The occupation forces, last Monday, stormed the land and tried to evict the residents of the two houses by force, but they held a sit-in on the rooftops of the two houses and threatened to set themselves and the two houses on fire if the occupation forces evacuated them by force. The occupation forces were forced to retreat after they destroyed 6 facilities owned by the family.

What has happened amounts to a full-fledged crime of ethnic cleansing, and it comes within an Israeli policy based on racism and discrimination. The occupation forces expropriate Palestinians’ property and displace them to build schools and institutions for settlers, in one of the worst forms of the apartheid regime in the modern era.

What is happening is part of a grand scheme aimed at annihilating entire Palestinian neighborhoods in the Sheikh Jarrah and replacing them with Israeli settlements. It aims at changing the identity of the occupied city and its geographical and demographic features.

Europeans for al-Quds is concerned that dozens of families are waiting for a similar fate. These families have been engaged in a struggle for years through biased occupation courts that lack international standards of justice amid utter silence from the international community.

While Europeans for al-Quds Association condemn this crime, it holds the Israeli occupation fully responsible for it and its repercussions, calling on the international community to take urgent action to stop the massacre of demolition and ethnic cleansing targeting hundreds of homes in Jerusalem.

It also calls the International Criminal Court to investigate this demolition, which amounts to a crime against humanity. The association urges all free people in the world to move in all directions to support the steadfastness of Jerusalemites and thwart the occupation’s plans to displace them and seize their homes and lands in one of the worst forms of ethnic cleansing in modern times.

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