The director of the Maps Department in Jerusalem, Khalil al-Tafakji, said that the goal of the Israeli occupation in expropriating the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood is to disperse Arabs into Israeli settlements.
He added in an intervention on Al-Jazeera Mubasher, “I am one of those who went to Turkey to get official documents that this is an Arab property and not a Jewish property, and I am one of those who have been defending this region since 1994.”
He said, “The issue is not the ownership of land, but rather a clear Israeli program that aims to encircle, penetrate and disperse, meaning encircling the Palestinian Arab neighborhoods with Israeli colonies, then penetration by establishing settlement outposts inside Palestinian neighborhoods, and then dispersing these neighborhoods into Jewish neighborhoods.”
The head of the Maps Department in # Jerusalem reveals the Israeli occupation’s goal of controlling the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood pic.twitter.com/BwaBg5a5ef
– Al Jazeera Mubasher (@ajmubasher) May 18, 2021
“This program was placed in 1990 within the so-called 26 gates around the city of Jerusalem, on a proposal from Ariel Sharon, former prime minister of Israel, which is the establishment of outposts for strategic goals, including linking West Jerusalem with East Jerusalem,” he said.
“Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood is one of the richest Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem, which includes many consulates, embassies and Arab missions until 1967, as well as many institutions, palaces and hospitals,” he said.
He added, “If this neighborhood is fragmented, Israel will be able to control the northern part of Jerusalem, and thus Palestinian communities will be homes within the Israeli neighborhoods.”
“From here, the focus is on Sheikh Jarrah, not just Sheikh Jarrah, but on other villages, which have been divided and divided into the streets and the settlements that surround them, and when you go to them, you do not find a village, but you find a group of houses inside an Israeli colony.”
Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood
The Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, which during the past few days has become the scene of violent confrontations between the Israeli occupation army and the Palestinians, was established in Jerusalem in 1956 according to an agreement signed between the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) and the Jordanian government. The neighborhood at that time accommodated 28 Palestinian families who were displaced from their lands in 1948 .
The neighborhood in East Jerusalem came under the control of Israel after the 1967 setback, and was named after Prince Hussam al-Din bin Sharaf al-Din Issa al-Jarahi, Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi’s physician.
The Sheikh al-Jarrah neighborhood has become the center of events after the announcement of an Israeli plan that includes evacuating Palestinian homes and building 200 housing units to house Jewish settlers in the middle of this Arab neighborhood.
Since April 13, the situation in the Palestinian territories has exploded, as a result of brutal attacks committed by the Israeli police and settlers in the occupied city of Jerusalem, especially the Al-Aqsa Mosque and its surroundings and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood (center), following Israeli efforts to evacuate 12 Palestinian families and hand them over to settlers.