Two far-right members of the Israeli knesset joined extremist Jewish settlers to raid the homes of prominent Palestinian activists in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah on Tuesday afternoon.
Parliamentarians Bezalel Smotrich and Orit Strock, from the Religious Zionism Party joined the mob as they attempted to intimidate members of the Al Kurd, Qasim and Diab families and force them to leave their homes to make way for the settlers to seize them.
The group were backed up by police officers, who attacked Palestinians attempting to resist the invasion, and sprayed foul-smelling “skunk water” at the homes and deployed stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets.
One of the neighbourhood’s residents, Mohammed el-Kurd, a prominent activist, tweeted that his home had been “invaded” by the director of Nahalat Shimon, a pro-settler group based in the US.
He tweeted: “Tell me again how this is a ‘real estate dispute’ and not systemic colonisation.”
This came after further violence on Monday, when Jewish settlers were escorted by police to the neighbourhood to harass Palestinian residents.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said 21 people had been injured there on Monday, 13 as a result of tear gas, three from pepper-spray, two from rubber-coated steel bullets and another two from beatings. An elderly man was hospitalised with a head injury.
The Palestinian Red Crescent added their own ambulances had come under attack from the settlers, who threw stones at the emergency responders as Israeli forces attacked another ambulance with skunk water.
Several Palestinians were also detained by Israeli occupation forces.
The neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah has become a focus of anti-occupation protests in recent months, as Israeli authorities have attempted to forcibly displace the residents and give their homes to Jewish settlers.
Part of the el-Kurd house has been occupied by settlers for several years.
The continued attempts at forcibly displacing Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem are seen by many as an attempt to ethnically cleanse Arabs from the area.
The process began in the 1967 war, when Israel annexed East Jerusalem in a move seen as illegal under international law.
The settlers claim homes on the land owned by Jews before the 1948 war that resulted in the creation of Israel are legally their right – a position backed up in Israeli law.
However, Palestinians who lost their homes in 1948 do not have the same entitlement.