A Palestinian family threatened with eviction by Israel is threatening to burn down their home in East Jerusalem rather than be displaced from land where they’ve lived since before Israel occupied the area in 1967. On Monday, scores of Israeli police in riot gear surrounded the home of the Salhiyeh family in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, seeking to demolish the home and clear the site to build a school. Palestinians say it’s the latest in a series of evictions aimed at expropriating land for Israeli settlers — in violation of international law. Resident Mahmoud Salhiyeh stood on the roof of his home clutching a bottle of gasoline and surrounded by gas canisters.
Mahmoud Salhiyeh: “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. I have been in court battles with them for 25 years. They sent me settlers who offered to buy the house, and I did not agree.”
After a tense standoff, an Israeli official agreed to postpone the eviction and will allow the Salhiyeh family to remain in their home, for now.