On February 13th, tensions erupted between Palestinians and Israeli settlers in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem, as Israeli far-right MK Itamar Ben Gvir set up his parliamentary office in the Palestinian neighborhood, declaring “we are the landlords.” Nearby, settlers erected an outpost on the land of the Salem family, whose eviction is set for March in favor of Israeli settlers.
Israeli police forces arrived February 7th to demolish the Mahrab family's home in the Pardes Snir neighborhood of Al-Lydd (Lod) on the last day of the demolition order. The house, home to nine people, received a demolition order after having been rebuilt and renovated after burning down in 2013. Last week, the father of the family was arrested when he fortified himself with gas balloons and was again arrested during the demolition. Pardes Snir is a neighborhood without an outline plan, preventing residents from building legally with a permit. In 1948, only 1,000 Palestinians managed to remain in Al-Lydd out of 50,000 residents (30,000 of which were refugees from the Jaffa area). Today, the city has almost 78,000 residents, only 30% of whom are Palestinian. All refugees from Al-Lydd living in UNRWA refugee camps are still banned from returning by the Israeli state.
On January 16th, Palestinian families awoke to flooding caused by torrential rains that pounded their homes as they slept in Beit Lahia, Northern Gaza Strip. According to the UN, around 56,000 houses in Gaza were damaged during the 11-day Israeli offensive last May, and more than 2,100 houses were destroyed and are unfit for living. Gaza residents, 73% of whom are refugees from ethnically cleansed villages and towns in southern Palestine/Israel, have been living under a strict Israeli siege since 2006.