With violence against Palestinians escalating in East Jerusalem, the US expressed “concerns” over the situation and the planned evictions in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. According to multiple media reports, the Israelis didn’t want to hear these concerns and told the US not to meddle in the crisis.
The “concerns” were expressed in a Sunday phone call between National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart, Meir Ben-Shabbat. According to Hebrew media reports, Ben-Shabbat told Sullivan that the US and other countries should stay out of the conflict. He said international pressure on Israel to halt the evictions or stop the violence would be “a prize for the rioters and those sending them who hoped to put pressure on Israel.”
Ben-Shabbat also said Israel was handling the situation “out of a position of sovereignty, responsibly, and with common sense despite the provocations.”
About 40 Palestinians face eviction in Sheikh Jarrah. Palestinian protesters have faced attacks from Israeli security forces and Jewish settlers. Israeli police also stormed al-Aqsa mosque and fired rubber bullets and tear gas, injuring 215, including 153 who were hospitalized.
Amid the Israeli violence, rockets were fired and incendiary balloons were sent from Gaza, which did little damage as usual. While Sullivan only expressed concerns over the Israeli violence, he agreed with Ben-Shabbat that “the launching of rocket attacks and incendiary balloons from Gaza towards Israel is unacceptable and must be condemned.”
On Monday, Israel pounded Gaza with airstrikes, killing at least 27, including nine children. The situation could escalate further as the Israeli military deployed reinforcements to the Gaza border.