Footage: Israeli forces beat elderly man, family ahead of home demolition

The contents of the video footage above may be triggering. Viewer discretion is advised.

Israeli forces violently assaulted a family today as it prepared their home for demolition.

In this short video captured on a cellular phone, a team of highly-equipped Israeli police officers descend on a home in Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem and begin to forcefully beat its occupants. The family that owns the building, the Abu Khalid family, apparently refuses to vacate their property.

Unprovoked, the video shows one Israeli officer dragging and tossing an elderly Palestinian man to the floor, kicking him, and then punching him in the face with such force that you can hear the clap of skin-to-skin contact amidst all of the shouting. The man, who is unarmed and who clearly does not pose a threat to any of the officers, is then harassed by more of the Israeli forces later in the footage.

Also seen in the footage is another Palestinian man laying still on the ground. The footage does not show what caused him to fall to the ground, but considering his proximity to the door, it is possible that he was one of the first to be assaulted by the Israeli forces storming the home. Someone is heard calling for an ambulance at the end of the footage.

The footage was broadcast by the Quds News Network after the assault took place on June 2, 2015, the day three Palestinian-owned residential apartments in East Jerusalem were slated for demolition.

Silwan is home to upwards of nearly 50,000 Palestinians. Israeli Jewish settlers have begun moving into the village in the past two decades, mostly by defrauding Palestinian land owners or, more commonly, by physically ousting Palestinians from their own homes and claiming the empty property as their own. In cases where Palestinians are evicted from their homes or are otherwise harassed, the settlers are supported by the Israeli police stationed in the village.

Outside of forced home evictions and regular abuse, the Israeli government has carried out a series of home demolitions over the validity of building permits of Palestinian-owned buildings. The Abu Khaled family’s home was likely slated for demolition for similar reasons, although legal experts and even Israel’s own municipal courts have determined in the past that many of the targeted structures do in fact have valid building permits.

In addition, the residents of Silwan are frequently subjected to harassment and intimidation through arrest raids carried out at night by Israeli soldiers, land annexations for “military purposes”, and arbitrary refusals to allow dozens of villagers access to the Aqsa mosque.

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