East Jerusalem village sealed after clashes with Israeli forces

Published March 4th, 2016 - 08:07 GMT
Israeli forces patrol a street in a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem. (AFP/File)
Israeli forces patrol a street in a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem. (AFP/File)

Israeli forces sealed the village of al-Issawiya in occupied East Jerusalem on Thursday evening, shortly after gunshots were reportedly fired at Israeli police officers, locals said.

Muhammad Abu al-Hummus, a spokesperson for a local popular committee, told Ma'an that following the reported shooting, which did not result in any injuries, large numbers of Israeli forces stormed the village, deploying across its streets and climbing onto rooftops.

Abu al-Hummus said Israeli forces sealed the main entrances, preventing the entry and exit of vehicles and causing heavy traffic.

Clashes broke out in several parts of the village, with Israeli forces firing stun grenades, tear gas canisters, and rubber-coated steel bullets "indiscriminately," Abu al-Hummus said.

An Israeli police spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

Abu al-Hummus said Israeli forces had stormed the village earlier on Thursday morning, accompanied by officials from Jerusalem's municipality and the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority. He said they photographed land threatened with confiscation.

Al-Issawiya is one of a number of Palestinian neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem threatened by Israeli home demolitions and land confiscations, in what activists say reflects the Israeli government's plans to create a Jewish demographic majority in the occupied city.

Last month, on Feb. 17, the Israeli authorities leveled five acres of land in the outskirts of Issawiya, demolishing a number of agricultural structures in the process. A week later, Israeli forces issued nine home demolition orders to residents of the village.

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