Amnesty International has called for the cessation of the repeated, unwarranted and excessive force used by Israeli forces against Palestinian protesters in occupied East Jerusalem, which is boiling over with anger over the planned expulsions of Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
“Evidence gathered by Amnesty International reveals a chilling pattern of Israeli forces using abusive and wanton force against largely peaceful Palestinian protesters in recent days. Some of those injured in the violence in East Jerusalem (al-Quds) include bystanders or worshippers making Ramadan prayers,” Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, Saleh Higazi, said.
He added, “The latest violence brings into sharp focus Israel’s sustained campaign to expand illegal Israeli settlements and step up forced evictions of Palestinian residents – such as those in Sheikh Jarrah – to make way for Israeli settlers.
These forced evictions are part of a continuing pattern in Sheikh Jarrah, they flagrantly violate international law and would amount to war crimes.”
The senior Amnesty International official further said the Tel Aviv regime must not be allowed to continue its rampage against Palestinians, who are simply defending their right to exist and protesting against their forced displacement.
“Mere expressions of concerns about Israel’s utter disregard for its obligations under international law are not sufficient. There must be clear and strong denunciations of the flagrant violations, including forced displacement, the expansion of illegal settlements and the and the brutal repression of people protesting against such grave violations,” Higazi said.
He called on the United Nations Security Council members to convene an open session to discuss rising tensions in East Jerusalem, and urged UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, to brief member states.
Tensions have escalated in Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank, and Gaza throughout the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, amid the regime’s planned forced expulsions of dozens of Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, where Israeli settlers are looking to take over the properties of Palestinian families.
The tensions reached boiling point on May 7, when more than 170 Palestinians were injured as Israeli forces stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in dispersing worshippers along with protesters.
In the latest escalation, the Israeli military has bombed several targets in Gaza, killing over 20 people, promoting the Palestinian resistance fighters there to fire a barrage of rockets into the occupied territories in retaliation for Israel’s crimes.