PFLP calls for resistance against Israel after Sheikh Jarrah demolitions

“This crime falls within the framework of many crimes committed by the occupation authorities, militias and settlers in Jerusalem with the aim of completing its Israelization and Judaization."

Israeli security forces detain a Palestinian man during clashes in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, December 17, 2021. (photo credit: REUTERS/AMMAR AWAD)
Israeli security forces detain a Palestinian man during clashes in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, December 17, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/AMMAR AWAD)

The PLO’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine called for escalating “all forms of resistance” against Israel in the aftermath of two home demolitions in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah on Wednesday.

The PFLP warned Israel against proceeding with its alleged plan to “Judaize” Sheikh Jarrah and Jerusalem.

The two homes were taken down amid a legal property dispute with the city, which confiscated the land decades ago for public space and now plans to build a school there for Arab children with special needs.

Palestinians and the international community believe that Israel is working to decrease the Palestinian presence in the city by evicting Palestinian residents to make way for public projects and the construction of Jewish homes.

There are hundreds of Palestinian families, including in Sheikh Jarrah, that face such evictions.

 Left Wing Activist protest against evacuation of Palestinian families from their home in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, December 10, 2021 (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) Left Wing Activist protest against evacuation of Palestinian families from their home in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, December 10, 2021 (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

The PA Foreign Affairs Ministry said that it “condemns in the strongest terms the heinous crime committed by the occupation forces and police at dawn today in the demolition of two homes for the Salhia family Sheikh Jarrah, amid brutal measures and collective punishment imposed on the area, where they used extreme violence and sound bombs, and arrested all the solidarity activists present in the place.

“This crime falls within the framework of many crimes committed by the occupation authorities, militias and settlers in Jerusalem with the aim of completing its Israelization and Judaization and changing its existing historical, legal and demographic reality,” the ministry charged.

The PA ministry held the Israeli government fully and directly responsible for the “crimes,” warning that they would have “catastrophic repercussions” on the two-state solution and undermine any prospects of launching peace negotiations.

“The ministry calls on the US administration to fulfill its commitments and pledges that it announced toward the defenseless Palestinian civilians, and toward the homes of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and Jerusalem in general,” it stated.

The PA’s “Jerusalem Governorate” condemned the demolition as a “war crime,” and urged the international community to immediately intervene to halt Israeli measures.

Other Palestinian factions echoed that call.

Ahmad Ruweidi, a senior adviser for Jerusalem affairs to the PA president, called on the international community and the International Criminal Court to “end their silence and assume their responsibilities regarding the ongoing demolitions of Palestinians’ houses.”

Denouncing the demolitions as “massacres,” Ruweidi said the Palestinians will not leave their homes and lands despite Israeli practices and measures. He added that more houses were being targeted for demolition in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan.

The PA and its Foreign Ministry also called on the US to fulfill its pledge to reopen the former US Consulate General in Jerusalem, which had acted as a de facto embassy for the Palestinians and which the former Trump administration had closed in 2019.