06/22/2021, 16.51
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Some 20 Palestinians injured in fresh violence in disputed Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood

Heavy clashes broke out overnight between police-backed Jewish settlers and Palestinian residents. A woman was hit in back with a stone. Some Palestinians were arrested. For B'Tselem: “Settler violence and vandalism take place with full backing by the Israeli authorities.”

Jerusalem (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Tensions are rising again in East Jerusalem’s disputed Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of between Jewish settlers, supported by Israeli police, and Palestinian residents.

During overnight clashes, several Palestinians were injured, as Israelis threw stun grenades and skunk water while Palestinians threw stones and rocks.

Ownership over some houses in the area is one of the causes that triggered the recent fighting in Gaza  between Israel and Hamas, supported by Islamic Jihad.

According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, at least 20 people had to seek medical care. Israeli security forces have also reportedly made several arrests among Palestinians.

Witnesses report that police broke into one house and threw a stun grenade at residents.

Jewish settler groups have long sought to take over Palestinian homes in this neighbourhood. A legal battle is underway.

An intervention by Israel's attorney general at the height of the unrest has put the most imminent evictions on hold. But rights groups say evictions could still proceed in the coming months as international attention wanes, potentially setting off another round of bloodshed.

What sparked last night’s clashes remains unclear. One woman was reportedly injured when she was hit in the back by a stone, while an elderly man was hit in the head.

For Israel, the dispute is one of legal ownership, while for the Palestinians it is over the Jewish state’s attempt to drive them out of Jerusalem.

Such a view is backed by human rights group B'Tselem, for whom “Settler violence and vandalism take place with full backing by the Israeli authorities.”

In fact, “Sometimes soldiers take part in the assault; at other times, they stand idly by. The police makes no substantial effort to investigate the incidents, nor takes measures to prevent them or stop them in real-time”.

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