The violence erupted after Israeli forces began demolishing a Palestinian company by Israeli forces in the al-Bustan area of the occupied Silwan district of East Jerusalem on Tuesday.
Israeli troops escorted by bulldozers entered the Palestinian quarter and destroyed a butcher’s shop in Silwan. Soldiers used tear gas and batons to push Palestinian residents and activists back while they carried out the demolition.
According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, at least four Palestinians were injured in the clashes.
Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett, reporting from Silwan, said Israeli soldiers had arrived in large numbers early Tuesday and that there had been “significant clashes”.
“We spoke to the family [who owned the butcher shop] and they said that Israeli troops had come in and attacked them with tear gas and other means, a violent start to the destruction. But it’s not just about a store. There are 20 other units in this neighborhood that are in the same situation, ”he said.
Israeli forces also fired rubber-coated steel projectiles to disperse angry Palestinians, while loudspeakers at the mosque urged residents to rally to protect their homes, witnesses said.
On June 7, Jerusalem City Council issued a series of demolition orders to residents of the al-Bustan area in Silwan.
The 13 families affected, around 130 people, had 21 days to evacuate and demolish their homes. Otherwise, the community would demolish the homes and the families would have to cover the estimated $ 20,000 demolition cost.
“This is how it works in occupied East Jerusalem,” said Fawcett. “Families will be given a 21-day assignment to demolish their own home once that assignment expires, or we will and then we’ll fine you $ 20,000 for the laborious demolition of your home.”
Since 2005, the residents of al-Bustan have been warned to demolish about 90 houses on the pretext of building without a building permit in favor of an Israeli settler organization that wants to convert the land into a national park and connect it to the archaeological city of David area.
According to Grassroots Jerusalem, a Palestinian NGO, both house demolition and court-ordered forced relocation are tactics used to evict Palestinian residents.
In a statement earlier this month, Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq said that the Palestinians make up the majority of the population in East Jerusalem, but “Israeli zoning laws have allocated 35 percent of the land for illegal settlements by Israeli settlers.” . ”
Another 52 percent of the land area is designated as “green areas” and “unplanned areas” where construction is prohibited, “he said.