Why Is There Chaos In Sheikh Jarrah Of East Jerusalem?

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East Jerusalem East JerusalemTensions have brewed in an East Jerusalem neighbourhood that has identified itself as an anti-Israeli pro-Palestinian camp. The recent visit of a controversial far-right Jewish lawmaker inflamed tensions in the region leading to riots and violence as well.

Communities living in East Jerusalem are essentially considered illegal under the international law. There are people of Jewish origins living here to the tune of 200,000. Hostility continues to grow because of the efforts of settler groups to expand the Jewish presence in East Jerusalem, which Palestinians claim as their future capital.

Riots erupted as the controversial as Itamar Ben Gvir of the far-right Religious Zionism alliance opened a parliamentary office in Sheikh Jarrah, in what he described as an effort to show support for its Jewish residents. Taking to twitter, this individual who is known for making incendiary comments about Palestinians, is a Jewish nationalist. He accused the police for failing to react to alleged arson attacks on a settler home in Sheikh Jarrah.

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His presence became a bone of contention and the Palestinian Authority based in the Israeli-occupied West Bank did not flinch in condemning Ben Gvir’s visit as a “provocative and escalating move that threatens to ignite … violence that will be difficult to control.”

Sheikh Jarrah has been the bedrock for conflict many times. Last year itself, tensions had erupted here as several Palestinian families faced eviction by settler groups — in part sparked the May conflict between Israel and armed groups in Gaza. Hamas, the Islamists who control Gaza, warned there would “consequences” over Israel’s repeated “attacks” on Sheikh Jarrah.

Palestinians across East Jerusalem accuse Israeli police of using heavy-handed tactics to quell protests. Six people were arrested in the neighborhood during unrest late Saturday. Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed it, in a move not recognized by most of the international community.

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