WEST BANK (Middle East Eye) – The Zionist regime has been widely criticized for the overnight demolition of a Palestinian home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Al-Quds.
Palestinian groups and international rights organizations condemned the tearing down of the home of the Salhiya family, which left 18 people homeless including children, as a “war crime”.
The demolition was carried out overnight on Wednesday by a large Zionist operation, which violently raided the home of Mahmoud Salhiya before arresting him with a number of his relatives and supporters.
It followed an eviction order by the municipality which argued that the Salhiyas have no right over the land.
Amid news of the demolition and footage of the aftermath of the house in ruins, Human Rights Watch (HRW) called the expulsion of the Salhiyas and the destruction of their home a “war crime”.
“The Saliyas were expelled from their home in Ein Karem during the Nakba in 1948 & are barred under Israeli law from reclaiming it,” HRW’s Palestine director Omar Shakir said in a statement shared on Twitter.
“These cruel acts turn the Salhiyas into two-time refugees. This is what apartheid and persecution look like.”
Ir Amim, a leading Israeli rights group, called the demolition “an inexcusable act and violation of [international law]”.
“As the world is watching, they [Zionist regime authorities] chose instead to cynically dispossess a Palestinian family to build a special needs school on the ruins of their homes,” the NGO said.
The Norwegian Refugee Council, an independent humanitarian organization, echoed similar criticism.
“The eviction of the family marks a clear violation of international law, which prohibits forcible displacement in occupied territory,” the council said in a tweet.
“As the occupying power in East Jerusalem (Al-Quds), Israeli authorities have a duty to ensure the security and protection of the Palestinian population.”
Since the Zionist regime seized East Al-Quds in the 1967 war, settler organizations have claimed ownership of land in Sheikh Jarrah and have filed multiple lawsuits to force Palestinians from the area.
On Monday morning, the Zionist troops raided the area and attempted to force the Salhiyas out of their home.