Rula Salameh | Why So Much Rests on the Fate of a Tiny Neighborhood Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem – The New York Times

Ms. Salameh is a Palestinian community organizer and film producer from Jerusalem.

“JERUSALEM — I watched the wailing ambulances bring the injured, the medical staff carry them on stretchers and the nurses guide them into the emergency ward. I saw blood-soaked clothes and gauze-wrapped necks and faces.

On Monday more than 330 Palestinians were wounded by the Israeli police at Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Many of those needing medical attention were taken to Al Makassed hospital, about a mile and a half from the mosque, in East Jerusalem.

Tensions had been rising as Israel blocked access for Palestinians from outside Jerusalem headed to the mosque for prayers during the last days of Ramadan, the sacred Muslim month of fasting. Serious violence erupted on Jerusalem Day, an annual event to celebrate Israel’s capture of East Jerusalem in 1967. Early Monday, Israeli police officers stormed the mosque compound and began firing rubber-tipped bullets and stun grenades at Palestinians who were throwing stones.

I am a Palestinian community organizer and film producer and live in Beit Hanina, less than five miles from Al Aqsa Mosque and Al Makassed hospital. I have been part of the Palestinian struggle against Israeli occupation for years.  . . . “

“My phone rang relentlessly. Friends and colleagues from all over the world were calling and asking what they could do for Sheikh Jarrah, a tiny East Jerusalem neighborhood about two miles from the Aqsa compound. The events unfolding at Sheikh Jarrah were the context of the escalation of violence between Palestinians and Israeli forces at Al Aqsa Mosque and elsewhere in the territories.

Palestinian residents of the neighborhood have been protesting for weeks to prevent the eviction of Palestinian families sought by Israeli settlers. The protests underscore that the expulsions in Sheikh Jarrah are part of the broader expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland — a process that started during the establishment of Israel in 1948 and turned about 750,000 Palestinians into refugees. . . . “

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