In 2014: 12,892 extremists broke into Al-Aqsa Mosque, preventing Muslims from performing the Friday Prayer at Al-Aqsa a total of 17 times; the Martyrdom of 10 Martyrs; and the arrest of 2,250 Jerusalemites
Wadi Hilweh Information Center issued the 2014 yearly report in which the center monitored the Israeli violations in the city of Jerusalem. The center mentioned in the report that the city of Jerusalem witnessed several major incidents in the second half of the year and the situation continued to escalate, especially in Al-Aqsa Mosque and after the operations that were carried out against Israelis, as well as following a wide series of arrests, house demolition and the settlements expansions. In response to the continuous and unprecedented settlers’ assaults, most of the neighborhoods in the city of Jerusalem have witnessed clashes on almost a daily basis since last July. The main violations that the Center concentrated on were the those against Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Martyrs in the city of Jerusalem, arrests, settlers’ assaults, settlements, demolitions, collective punishment against Jerusalemites, deportation from Jerusalem, violations against the right to education and the suppressing of various events in the city. The settlers carried out a crime of “kidnapping and burning” the innocent child, Mohammad Abu Khdeir, in July 2014 and also killed Yousef Rammouni as he was hung to death in West Jerusalem last November; note that these were two among the 10 Martyrs who passed away in the city of Jerusalem. During 2014, more than 12 thousand extremists broke into Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Friday Prayer was prohibited 17 times. Also, armed occupation forces raided the Mosque 17 times and arrested more than 2200 Palestinians from Jerusalem. The occupation authorities also demolished 100 establishments and displaced more than 250 citizens from their houses. Al-Aqsa Mosque Al-Aqsa Mosque witnessed an unprecedented escalation in 2014 as governmental, police and extremist right wing leaders held special meetings in 2014 to discuss “imposing full Israeli sovereignty over the Al-Aqsa Mosque” and withdrawing the Jordanian sovereignty and allocating special places for Jews to pray inside Al-Aqsa and specific days on their holidays (same like the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron). Officials requested all year long to allow religious and unreligious Jews to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque and exercise “freedom of worship.” The Jewish holidays turned into a “season” where most of Al-Aqsa Gates were closed and the occupation forces controlled the entrance of Muslim worshippers to Al-Aqsa. They also imposed restrictions on the people entering Al-Aqsa and only allowed people above a certain age to enter. During last year, Ministers in the right wing extremist government have broken into Al-Aqsa Mosque several times including the Minister of Housing Uri Ariel, Minister of Security Yitzchak Ahranovich, Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Moshe Feiglin, deputy of the Minister of Transportation Tzipi Hotobeli, extremist Rabbi Yehuda Glick and the Mayor of the occupation municipality Nir Barakat and other extremist Rabbis and officials. The number of people who broke into Al-Aqsa during 2014 were 12,892 extremists. The month of June witnesses the largest number (1817) during the holiday of “Revelation of the Torah,” and 1,355 extremists in October during “Sukkot,” and 1,330 extremists in April during “Pesah” and 1,250 in March during the “Purim” holiday. The break-ins happened every day except for Fridays and Saturdays and were usually through Dung Gate which was taken over by the occupation authorities when they occupied East Jerusalem. The Israeli authorities are responsible for this “break-in” program which is refused by the Islamic Awqaf and the Marabouts who continuously confront the extremists by chats of “God is Great” and continuous presence in Al-Aqsa. The most dangerous day in Al-Aqsa Mosque was on 30/10/2014 when the Mosque was completely closed and the occupation authorities prevented Muslims from entering and performing the five Prayers on that day, and only a few number of worshippers from the Islamic Awqaf were able to perform the prayers and only 8 worshippers performed the Dawn Prayer on that day; note that the forces prevented the Imam and “Muezzin” from entering the Mosque and one of Al-Awqaf employees had to take over. On the 5th of November 2014, the Israeli armed forces raided “Al-Qibali Mosque” and this was the first time the forces break-into a Mosque (clashes usually occur in the courtyards) and stepped with their boots on the carpets of the Mosque and were deployed inside it until they reached the platform of Sal Eddin. The forces fired grenades and rubber bullets inside the Mosque and Jordan had to call its ambassador from Israel afterwards. The forces intentionally damaged the facilities of Al-Aqsa Mosque during the break-ins and damaged the windows and the wood furniture of Al-Qibali Mosque using the butts of their guns; they also burnt some of the carpets and the marble due to the large number of grenades and bullets fired inside the Mosque. Closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque The Israeli authorities closed Al-Aqsa Mosque 41 times during 2014 (does not include Fridays) and prevented some prayers. They closed most of Al-Aqsa Gates except for Hutta, Al-Silsileh and Al-Majles Gates and prevented the citizens from freely entering and exiting Al-Aqsa. The prevention was as follows:
- March 11, 16, and 17: the Israeli forces prevented worshippers from entering and imposed restrictions on their entrance.
- April 13, 14, 16, 18, 19, and 20: On the 13th, they prevented the Prayers from Noon until Night and the prevention lasted until the Dawn Prayer on the 14th. On the 16th, they prevented the Dawn and Noon Prayers and the Noon Prayer on the 18th where the Prayers from the Afternoon until Night on the 19th were prevented in addition to the Dawn Prayer on the 20th.
- May 5, 6 and 28: The Evening and Night Prayers were prevented and the forces also prevented the Dawn Prayer of the next day as well as the Dawn Prayer on the 28th.
- June 2 and 3: Prayers from Noon until Night were prevented and the prevention lasted until Noon the next day.
- July 1, 7, 8 and 24: On the 24th, Prayers from Noon until Night were prevented (Laylat Al-Qader), and on the 1st, 7th and 8th the Israeli authorities imposed restrictions on the entrance of women and young men to the Mosque.
- August 3, 4, 5, 13, 14, 17 and 31: Women were not allowed to enter on the 3rd, and on the 4th women and young men were not allowed to perform Prayers from Dawn until Night and the prevention lasted until the next day. The Dawn and Noon prayers were prevented on the 13th, 14th and 31st.
- September 2, 3, 14, 23 and 24: Noon Prayer for women was held at Al-Aqsa Gates on the 2nd and 3rd. Women and young men were prevented from entering the Mosque 7 until 11 a.m. on the 14th. Prayers from Noon until Night were prevented on the 23rd and the Dawn Prayer was prevented on the 24th.
- October 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15 and 30: Prayers from Noon until Night were prevented on the 7th, Dawn Prayer on the 8th, Evening and Night Prayers on the 9th, from Dawn until Night on the 14th, Dawn on the 15th and complete prevention on the 30th.
- November 2, 4, 5 and 16: Restriction before the Noon Prayer on the 2nd, Dawn Prayer on the 4th and 5th, women performed the Noon Prayer at the Gates on the 16th in addition to limitations on the entrance on some young men.