A Jerusalem court has delayed a hearing over the evictions of Palestinian families in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah as tensions in the city have soared in recent days.
At least 90 Palestinians were injured on Saturday evening in an Israeli police crackdown on protesters outside the Old City of Jerusalem as tens of thousands of Muslim worshippers prayed at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, on the holy night of Laylat al-Qadr.
The violence came after Israeli forces stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque and injured more than 200 Palestinians on Friday night. Israeli forces said 17 of their officers were wounded over the past two days.
Tensions have escalated in Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank and Gaza throughout the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, amid growing anger about potential evictions of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah, on land claimed by illegal Jewish settlers.
Israeli security forces were on high alert on Sunday, bracing for a further escalation ahead of what Israelis call Jerusalem Day on Monday. Many Israelis mark the day East Jerusalem was occupied in 1967 – and later annexed by Israel – with marches throughout Jerusalem each year.
Here are all the latest updates:
‘An expansionist colonial policy’ – Sheikh Jarrah resident
A Sheikh Jarrah resident says Israeli settlers who took over one section his house in 2009 and are now not only looking to take over the other half, but seven other homes in the neighborhood, adding that such instance were “nothing new”.
“It’s a expansionist colonial policy that has taken place since the inception of Israel in 1948.
“What happened to my sister and everybody in the neighborhood is continued confrontations with these Israeli settlers who agitate us not only by stealing our properties but by continuing to make the claim that they are going to continue to steal the land, all of the houses and the entirety of Jerusalem,” Mohamed al-Kurd told Al Jazeera.
A dialogue between Mohamed’s sister Mona was captured on video last week, showing the 22-year-old confronting the settler in the garden of her family home.
This doesn’t describe the Israeli occupier’s logic only; it also describes the rudeness of those who support the Israeli colonial policies of expropriating the Palestinian occupied lands. pic.twitter.com/OSB0QejwCT
— Ramy Abdu| رامي عبده (@RamAbdu) May 1, 2021
Netanyahu: Israel ‘rejects’ pressure not to build in Jerusalem
Israel ‘firmly rejects’ pressure not to build in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said following days of unrest and growing international condemnation of planned evictions of Palestinians from homes in the city claimed by illegal Jewish settlers.
Netanyahu’s comments came on Sunday as Israel’s justice ministry said it was delaying a key Monday hearing on the case of Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.
Rad more here.
Hope Netanyahu government ‘disappear politically’ – former Israeli minister
Former Israeli Minister of Justice Yossi Beilin says he hoped the Netanyahu government in the next few days will “disappear politically”, and that a new, more sensitive government will emerge.
“I really hope that the majorities on both sides, which are reasonable, the last thing that they need is the Israeli police entering the Haram al-Sharif,” Beilin said.
“Maybe the new government in Israel will contribute to ending these idiotic confrontations which have gone on for thousands years.”
Sheikh Jarrah families condemn court delay
Families in Sheikh Jarrah condemned the decision of the Israeli Supreme Court that delayed Monday’s hearings on evictions in the East Jerusalem neighborhood, while calling for more solidarity with the families on the ground, and also on social media.
In a press release sent to Al Jazeera, the families said they expected this decision and this decision doesn’t mean the case was ended. On the contrary, they will need the support of everyone as the occupation violence against them didn’t stop, the statement read.
‘Will not allow violent disturbances’: Israeli PM
Addressing a cabinet meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel “will not allow any extremists to destabilise the calm in Jerusalem. We will enforce law and order decisively and responsibly.”
“We will continue to maintain freedom of worship for all faiths, but we will not allow violent disturbances,” he said.
‘Enough of the clashes’: Pope
Pope Francis on Sunday expressed concern over the violence in Jerusalem and invited all “to find shared solutions so that the multireligious and multicultural identity of the Holy City is respected”.
“I pray that it be a place of encounter and not of clashes, a place of prayer and peace,” Francis told the public gathered in St Peter’s Square for his traditional Sunday noon remarks.
“Violence only generates violence. Enough of the clashes!” the pontiff added.
Jerusalem court delays Sheikh Jarrah evictions hearing
Israel’s justice ministry said it would delay a key Monday hearing in a case that could see Palestinian families evicted from their East Jerusalem homes to make way for illegal Jewish settlers.
“In all the circumstances and in light of the attorney general’s request, the regular hearing for tomorrow, May 10, 2021 [is] cancelled,” it said in a statement, adding it would schedule a new hearing within 30 days.
Dozens of Palestinians and several Israeli police officers have been wounded in clashes in recent days in occupied East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, the scene of a long-running land dispute and located a short walk from flashpoint holy sites.
Jordan warns Israel against ‘barbaric’ attacks on mosque: Statement
Jordan urged Israel on Sunday to stop what it described as “barbaric” attacks on worshippers in Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque and said it would step up international pressure.
“What the Israeli police and special forces are doing, from violations against the mosque to attacks on worshippers, is barbaric [behaviour] that is rejected and condemned,” the government said in a statement.
Jordan, which has custodianship of Muslim and Christian sites in Jerusalem, said Israel should respect worshippers and international law safeguarding Arab rights.
Israeli forces stormed Al-Aqsa and fired rubber-coated bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at protesters on Friday evening, injuring more than 200 Palestinians.