RAMALLAH, Mar. 6 (JMCC) - Thousands of left-wing protesters marched in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem on Saturday.
In nearby Shufat refugee camp, an Israeli soldier was lightly injured in clashes between Palestinians and soldiers and police, said a police spokesperson. Also Saturday night, clashes broke out in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiyah.
The mass rally in Sheikh Jarrah attracted a number of Israeli right-wing and ultra-orthodox activists set on opposing them and holding prayer sessions in a nearby shrine.
The demonstration was being held in protest of continued settlement of the predominantly Arab neighborhood by Jewish settlers.Two Palestinian families were evicted from their homes in the neighborhood last summer when an Israel court found that the homes were Jewish-owned.
Sheikh Jarrah has been the site of weekly non-violent protests from Palestinians, Israelis and international activists against Jewish settlement, as well as house demolitions and evictions of Arab residents.
Occasionally the protests are met with harsh opposition from Israeli police, resulting in injuries and arrests.
Palestinians say the Israeli municipal authorities are targeting them in a campaign to alter the demographics in Jerusalem in favor of its Jewish residents.
UPDATE: Waving Palestinian flags and yelling “Free Sheikh Jarrah!” thousands of left-wing activists and Palestinians gathered in Sheikh Jarrah on Saturday night, in what turned out to be the largest such demonstration against home evictions in the northeast Jerusalem neighborhood to date.
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