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'Israeli settlers want to take over Palestinian homes in Jerusalem'

11 May 2021 9:26 AM
Tags:
Gaza
Israel

Na'eem Jennah, Executive Director at the Afro-Middle East Centre explains the roots of clashes in East Jerusalem.

On Monday, Israel launched airstrikes in Gaza after Hamas militants fired dozens of rockets towards Jerusalem from Gaza.

Tensions have been mounting in Jerusalem in the past few days as clashes have been taking place at the site of the Al-Aqsa mosque. What has led up to these clashes?

The flare-up has been triggered by attempts to evict Palestinian families from East Jerusalem to make way for Jewish settlers, evictions that Palestinians argue have been happening for several decades.

There have been rulings regarding these evictions in the Israeli courts but the removals continue.

The international community is calling for all sides to de-escalate, reports Deutsche Welle, but the violence continued late into the night.

Refilwe Moloto speaks to Na'eem Jennah, the Executive Director at the Afro-Middle East Centre

We are in a very dangerous time, as escalated last night saw the shelling of Gaza and about 27 people is the latest I have heard that were killed, including 9 children. So deescalating from that is not going to be easy.

Na'eem Jennah, the Executive Director at the Afro-Middle East Centre

He says de-escalation of violence must happen but it will not be easy.

Regarding the roots of the current protest, Jennah says the situation in East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah, as well as other neighbourhoods, goes back many decades.

The Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood is partly people for whom the homes have been in the families for many, many generations, and others who were removed by the Israeli State in 1967 when Israel took over Jerusalem.

Na'eem Jennah, the Executive Director at the Afro-Middle East Centre

The families removed in 1967 ended up in areas such as Sheikh Jarrah, he explains.

In a sense, they ended up as refugees in Sheikh Jarrah and have been living there for 40 to 50 years.

Na'eem Jennah, the Executive Director at the Afro-Middle East Centre

The Israeli settlers have decided they want to take over these homes, which is part of a broader Israeli policy in a sense, to ethnically cleanse Jerusalem of its Palestinian and to resettle it with only Jews.

Na'eem Jennah, the Executive Director at the Afro-Middle East Centre

In terms of International Law, all of these Israeli settlements are illegal, including the 2000 settlers in Jerusalem.

Na'eem Jennah, the Executive Director at the Afro-Middle East Centre

Israeli settlers would move into these neighbourhoods and take over these houses and kick out the residents.

Na'eem Jennah, the Executive Director at the Afro-Middle East Centre

Jennbah says these evictions began again two weeks ago and Israeli security forces moved in to suppress the protests that followed.

That suppression of protests expanded this weekend into the Al-Aqsa mosque.

Na'eem Jennah, the Executive Director at the Afro-Middle East Centre

Listen to a Deutsche Welle recap of events and the interview with Na'eem Jennah in the audio below:




11 May 2021 9:26 AM
Tags:
Gaza
Israel

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