6 March 2010Thousands attended last Saturday’s demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah, demanding an end to the home evictions which have displaced hundreds of Palestinian residents. Gathering peacefully for speeches and live music in the park opposite the neighborhood, demonstrators chanted and sang before marching in the streets and attempting to pass the police barricades which obstructed demonstrators from reaching the neighborhood itself. Settlers held a small counter-demonstration in a nearby street. Following the demonstration, Palestinian and settler residents returned to the neighborhood. As the street filled with people, a group of several dozen riot police ran down the street towards the gathering crowd. After clearing the crowds to the sidewalk, police began grabbing the International activists who were standing peacefully on the sidewalk. In the minutes that followed, the activists were pushed to the ground, pulled by the hair and repeatedly wrestled out of the arms of those trying to free them from the chaos. Two Internationals were violently kicked in the head while on the ground, later suffering headaches, dizziness and disorientation. No provocation for this violent attack can be discerned.