Israeli soldiers have clashed with Palestinians in the East al-Quds (Jerusalem) neighborhood of Silwan, firing stun grenades and rubber bullets at the protesters.
Clashes broke out in Silwan on Sunday when Israeli authorities stormed the al-Bustan area to hand down demolition notices, Ma’an news agency quoted locals as saying.
Fakhri Abu Diab, the head of the committee for defending Silwan homes, said a large force of Israeli border guards overran the area, spraying tear-gas canisters, stun grenades and rubber bullets "in all directions."
He further pointed out that an eight-year-old boy was hit three times by rubber bullets.
Israeli municipality authorities want to carry out a plan — known as ‘Gan HaMelech’ (King’s Garden) in Hebrew — that would involve razing tens of Palestinian homes that Israel labels as having been built without permits.
Thousands of Palestinian houses in East al-Quds have been built without Israeli permits, which residents and rights groups say are almost impossible to get and describe as a screen to destruct Palestinian houses.
Reports from the neighborhood indicate that Israeli forces have launched a tight crackdown on Palestinian protesters in the flashpoint through widespread detentions and tax collections.
Director of the Wad Hilwa Information Center Jawad Siyam said wide-scale raids on stores in Silwan were being carried out.
Armored vehicles patrolled the streets, adding that police, border guards and tax officers were searching cars and "breaking into" many stores, he said.
"The officers in charge of these teams were instructed to continue the campaign and escalate it… until protests carried out by Palestinians against the settlers’ provocation ends," Siyam stated.
Tensions have been high in Silwan following the shooting death of a Palestinian youth by an Israeli settler guard in late September. The neighborhood was locked down for several days and since that time, dozens have been reported arrested.
Earlier in October, a video surfaced of an Israeli settler organization leader hitting stone-hurling Palestinian children. Later, Israeli police were said to have used the footage to detain and question the children — one of whom was seriously traumatized in the incident.