A Palestinian family facing eviction in Sheikh Jarrah by Israeli police threatened to burn their home rather than be forced out.
Mahmoud Salhiya, whose Palestinian family is one of dozens at risk of imminent eviction in the area, threatened to set off gas canisters from the roof of his house in a standoff on Jan. 17.
“I will burn the house and everything in it. I will not leave here, from here to the grave, because there is no life, no dignity,” Salhiya said, as quoted by Sky News.
After 10 hours, Israeli police forces left the area but threatened to come back around midnight to expel the Salhiya family.
But Salhiya told journalists that he “will sleep next to the gas canister.”
“They can come back whenever they want. I will blow it up if they come again. They think they can scare us but I’m not afraid…this is ethnic cleansing,” Salhiya said, as quoted by Middle East Eye.
According to the Salhiya family, they owned the land since before Israel captured east Jerusalem in 1967.
However, Israeli authorities argued that the family does not have rights to it.
The family has been facing eviction since 2017 when the Jerusalem Municipality formally seized the property and allocated it to build a special needs school.
The family is waiting for a verdict on their appeal against a court ruling in favor of the city, but the judge did not suspend an eviction order.
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