JERUSALEM — A building in Jerusalem's Muslim Quarter was reportedly taken over by Jewish settlers on Thursday, evicting dozens of Palestinian tenants, residents and police said, prompting a sharp protest by the top regional UN envoy.
Before dawn Thursday, more than two dozen settlers from the Ateret Cohanim settlement group entered the building in the Muslim Quarter, said one of the evicted tenants. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said authorities were trying to determine whether the settlers held a proper eviction order.
UN envoy Robert Serry said in a statement that he deplored "today's unacceptable action by armed Israeli settlers who forcibly took over a building, which is home to nine Palestinian families."
He urged the Israeli authorities to remove the settlers from the property and allow the Palestinian tenants to return.
In the statement, Serry called on Israel to "refrain from provocative actions in east Jerusalem."