2 July 2011 | International Solidarity Movement
Two international activists were assaulted by 4 Israeli police officers in an unprovoked attack in Sheikh Jarrah this morning.
The two Danish activists were part of a group of five internationals staying at a home which has been partially occupied by settlers. With the support of the Israeli military in an ongoing dispute over property rights in East Jerusalem, a number of Palestinian families have been evicted from their homes and have been left homeless.
Police arrived for no reported reasons at approximately 8:30am and approached one of the activists who was sitting and reading at the gate of the home. Police demanded that he showed them his passport. He and the other Danish activist presented their passports which were then snatched by the police officers . The officers then proceeded to push the activists to the ground and punch and kick them while on the floor. The police took the details of the passports despite having no legal reason for doing so and eventually gave them back after the other activists intervened and told them their actions were illegal. The police continued to patrol the area for the next few hours despite the situation being peaceful.
This is part of an ongoing campaign by the Israeli police and army who are deliberately targeting and violently harassing activists showing solidarity with displaced Palestinians in the East Jerusalem area.
The ultimate aim of the Zionist organizations is to convert Sheikh Jarrah into a new Jewish settlement and to create a Jewish continuum that will effectively cut off the Old City from the northern Palestinian neighborhoods. On 28 August 2008, Nahalat Shimon International filed a plan to build a series of five and six-story apartment blocks – Town Plan Scheme (TPS) 12705 – in the Jerusalem Local Planning Commission. If TPS 12705 comes to pass, the existing Palestinian houses in this key area would be demolished, about 500 Palestinians would be evicted, and 200 new settler units would be built for a new settlement: Shimon HaTzadik.