Violence erupts in Sheikh Jarrah area of Jerusalem

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Violence erupts in Sheikh Jarrah area of Jerusalem

Clashes break out in neighbourhood sparked by an alleged firebombing attack on the home of a Jewish family in the area

The neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem (Photo: Reuters)
The neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem (Photo: Reuters)

Violent clashes broke out over the weekend in Sheikh Jarrah, the eastern Jerusalem neighbourhood where violent protests over property ownership helped set off the May 2021 war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

The mostly Palestinian area has become a focus in recent years of Israeli settler groups, who are trying to have Palestinian residents evicted. The ensuing legal battle has turned the neighbourhood into a tinderbox.

The latest violence began with an alleged firebombing attack on the home of a Jewish family in the area Friday. The family was not at home, and no one was injured.

After the alleged firebomb incident, Itamar Ben-Gvir, a far right-wing member of the Israeli Knesset, vowed Saturday to reopen an office in the neighbourhood, a step he had taken in May 2021 to support the settlers. At the time, then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Ben-Gvir to close the makeshift office to reduce tensions in the area.

Ben-Gvir is the head of the Otzmah Yehudit party, the far-right party that is the descendent of Kach, the party formed by the Jewish terrorist Meir Kahane. In a statement Sunday, Ben-Gvir said Jewish Israelis are “the landlords” and claimed the appropriate response to terror was more terror.

“A murderous terror organisation cannot operate in Jerusalem. Vehicles are set ablaze, children are getting hurt. They threaten us and the State of Israel,” he said, according to Haaretz.

In a tweet, Ben-Gvir called on Israeli citizens to gather in the area Sunday afternoon to “strengthen the Jewish residents. We are not afraid of Hamas threats!”

More violence followed Ben-Gvir’s announcement Saturday. In the late hours on Saturday or early hours of Sunday morning, at least two people were wounded and six people arrested. At least one Jewish man was injured and one Arab driver arrested, according to the Times of Israel. Video from the area showed fighting between Jews and Palestinians on the streets.

Also known in Hebrew as Shimon HaTzaddik, the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood was home to Jewish families before Jordan captured it in the 1948 war that resulted in Israel’s independence. Jordan gave the Jewish families’ homes to Palestinians who were displaced from Israel and prohibited from returning. In recent years, an Israeli group that obtained the original Jewish families’ ownership rights has been trying to evict the Palestinian families from the homes.

Protests over the pending evictions helped spark the conflict in May 2021 between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and just last month, Israeli police evicted a Palestinian family in the neighbourhood and knocked down their home to make way for a school in the first eviction in the neighbourhood in several years.

British Ambassador to Israel, Neil Wigan, tweeted: “I am concerned about the violent scenes in Sheikh Jarrah over the weekend. All sides should work to refrain from provocation and violence, and instead seek to reduce tensions and restore calm.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: