The West Bank field office of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA) condemned the demolition of the home and eviction of the Salhiya family in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, in a statement released on Thursday.
“Israeli forces violently raided the house of the Palestine refugee family at 3 am on 19 January, while members of the Salhiya family, including an elderly woman and a young child, were sleeping,” the UN agency said in a statement.
Journalist and Australian researcher for Human Rights Watch Sophie McNeill has condemned the tearing down of the Salhiya family home by the Israeli regime forces in Sheikh Jarrah, describing it as a war crime.#SaveSheikhJarrah pic.twitter.com/sxtlxxom1N
— Chris Hutchinson (@ChrisHu34451470) January 20, 2022
“In a matter of hours, the Salhiya’s house and possessions were destroyed, erasing all traces of their nearly 40 years of history in the neighborhood. Having already lost their place of residence as a result of the 1948 conflict, the Salhiya family is now again displaced, seeking refuge one more time,” the statement added.
Visiting the scene this morning, UNRWA observed the total destruction of the house: school bags, clothes and family photos still partially visible under the rubble, according to the statement.
The case of the Salhiya family is not unique. Tens of Palestinian refugee families in different parts of Sheikh Jarrah alone (over 200 persons, many of whom are children) currently face an imminent threat of eviction by the Israeli authorities.
US lawmaker, Rep. Mark Pocan, strongly condemned on Wednesday the Israeli decision to forcefully evict a Palestinian family in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. https://t.co/9SxN6CcCiw pic.twitter.com/RBGdwLy2F1
— The Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) January 20, 2022
According to data collected by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in 2020, an estimated 218 Palestinian households comprising 970 Palestinians – 424 of whom are children – throughout East Jerusalem are at risk of displacement by the Israeli authorities.
UNRWA called upon the Israeli authorities to immediately halt all evictions and demolitions in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
UNRWA urged the Israeli authorities to abide by international laws and, as the occupying power, ensure the protection of Palestine refugees and civilians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)