Sheikh Jarrah resident is threatening to blow up his home rather than leave it!

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Palestinian family determined to blow up their home in occupied Jerusalem rather than be forced out of it

ON MONDAY a Palestinian man carried a gas canister onto the roof of his home in occupied Jerusalem as his family faced eviction.

The Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood resident threatened to blow up his home rather than let his family be forced out.

Mohammed Salhiya threatened to set himself on fire if the eviction order from the Sheikh Jarrah area of Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem was carried out.

Salhiya’s family has been facing an eviction threat since 2017, when the land his home sits on was allocated for school construction.

Israeli Police and the Jerusalem municipality said in a joint statement that delegates went to the home early on Monday to carry out an eviction order after the Salhiyas ignored ‘countless opportunities’ to vacate the land as ordered.

Scores of police in riot gear surrounded the property from early morning during an hours-long stand-off. Roads were sealed off around the area, about one kilometre north of Jerusalem’s Old City walls, where clashes often erupted last year between Palestinians and Jewish settlers.

Jerusalem’s municipality expropriated the land, in an area Israel captured and occupied in the 1967 war, along with the rest of East Jerusalem, and later annexed it, in a move not recognised by the international community.

An Israeli court ruled in favour of the eviction.

‘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 he stood on the roof of the building, surrounded by gas canisters.

‘I’ve been in battle with them for 25 years, they sent me settlers who offered to buy the house and I did not agree.

‘We’ve been in this home since the 1950s,’ said another Salhiya family member, Abdallah Ikermawi, from the roof of the home. ‘We don’t have anywhere to go,’ he said.

The 11-day Gaza war between Israel and the Palestinians erupted last year, fuelled by anger in Sheikh Jarrah where families battle eviction orders.

Police said their ‘negotiators’ were at the Salhiya home when several residents of the house ‘began to fortify themselves with a gas canister and other flammable material’.

Hundreds of Palestinians are facing evictions from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah and other East Jerusalem neighbourhoods.

More than 200,000 Jewish settlers have moved into East Jerusalem since its annexation, fuelling tensions with Palestinians, who claim the area as the capital of their future state.