Israeli police evict Palestinian family

The police raid was launched two days after a member of the Salhiyeh family took to the roof of the house, threatening to blow it up with gas canisters if they were forced out.

Police had withdrawn after the stand-off on Monday (January 17) but returned before dawn on Wednesday, saying in a statement it was enforcing a court-approved eviction order of 'illegal buildings built on grounds designated for a school for children with special needs.'

The video released by police showed security forces arriving at the house before sunrise, removing gas canisters, detaining men and escorting a woman covered with a blanket.

A tree-lined area of sandstone homes, foreign consulates and luxury hotels, Sheikh Jarrah has become an emblem of what Palestinians regard as an Israeli campaign to force them out of East Jerusalem.

In a joint statement with the Jerusalem municipality, police said several people were arrested for questioning on suspicion of violating a court order and disturbing the peace. Witnesses said some 25 Palestinians, including five family members, were detained.

The municipality had expropriated the plot, in an area Israel captured and occupied in a 1967 war, along with the rest of East Jerusalem, and later annexed.

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