Israeli forces stand by the ruins of the Palestinian house they demolished in Sheikh Jarrah on Wednesday. Photograph: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images
The Israeli District Court in Jerusalem rejected a petition by the Salhiya family to rebuild their home, demolished last week by the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
The Salhiya family lawyer, Walid Abu Tayeh, said that, after the rejection by the District Court, he is going to petition the Israeli High Court, on the ground that the demolition was illegal.
According to Abu Tayeh, the Salhiya family never received a demolition order for the house and, therefore, the family can legally return to its land and rebuild its home.
UN data indicates that Israeli forces violently raided the house of the Palestine refugee family at 3 am on 19 January, while members of the Salhiya family, including an elderly woman and a young child, were sleeping. In a matter of hours, the Salhiya’s house and possessions were destroyed, erasing all traces of their nearly 40 years of history in the neighborhood. Having already lost their place of residence as a result of the 1948 conflict, the Salhiya family is now again displaced, seeking refuge one more time.
In the course of the operations aimed at evicting the family, the Israeli forces injured several family members. In addition, the Israeli forces arrested, among others, Mahmoud Salhiyya, the head of the family, who had threatened self-immolation two days ago, when Israeli forces demolished his commercial activity and source of livelihood next to the house.