Hundreds of Palestinians have taken to the streets of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) to protest the expansion of Jewish settlements.
Holding banners reading, "Free Sheikh Jarrah" and "Stop Stealing Our Land," demonstrators on Friday condemned the Israeli occupation of their lands and Tel Aviv’s tough policy towards Palestinians.
The demonstration also marked the first anniversary of protests against the eviction of several Palestinian families to make way for the expansion of Jewish settlements in the neighborhood.
Last year, an Israeli Supreme Court issued a demolition order for several Palestinian homes in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood based on what Palestinians called "fake documents" for homes that they had been living in for decades.
Last month former US president Jimmy Carter joined hundreds of protesters in the weekly anti-settlement demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and called Israel’s takeover of Palestinian homes in the area as an obstacle to peace.
"I don’t think anyone would ever claim that the demolition of someone’s home or the confiscation a home in which a family has lived for many generations is fair, or just, or peaceful," said Carter.
The former US president, who has been an outspoken critic of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories, also declared East al-Quds as the capital of the future Palestinian state.
Palestinians believe that expansion of Jewish settlements on their occupied lands will make the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip impossible.
Israel captured East al-Quds during the Six-Day War in 1967 and later annexed it in a move not recognized by the international community. Constructing settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories is illegal under international law and violates three UN Security Council resolutions.