August 2017: Hundreds of settlers break into Al-Aqsa Mosque…arresting 193 Palestinians from Jerusalem…demolishing 13 establishments
September 7, 2017

Wadi Hilweh Information Center issued its monthly report for August 2017 in which it monitored the Israeli violations in the city of Jerusalem as the occupation forces’ escalation continued in Al-Aqsa Mosque in addition to arrests and demolitions.

Al-Aqsa Mosque

During August, 3617 settlers broke into Al-Aqsa Mosque through Dung Gate which is controlled by the occupation authorities since the occupation of Jerusalem. Break-ins are conducted in two sessions, morning and afternoon, except for Fridays and Saturdays. Among those that broke into Al-Aqsa were two members of the Israeli Knesset after the Israeli Prime Minister issued a decision allowing them to enter Al-Aqsa under the protection of occupation forces.

Wadi Hilweh Information Center was informed that the extremist right-wing member of Knesset, Yehuda Glick, and member of Knesset Shuli M’alem from the Jewish House party along with dozens of settlers broke into the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque through Dung Gate on the 29th of August after the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allowed members of Knesset to enter Al-Aqsa; they were prevented from entering for the last year and a half. If the visit passes smoothly, the next steps will be considered, Netanyahu said.

The information center added that more than a thousand settlers broke into the Aqsa Mosque early last August, in memory of the so-called "destruction of the Temple," in which the settlers performed their rituals during the intrusion as they tried to steal stones and break trees.

During the month of August, the Israeli occupation police harassed worshippers heading to Al-Aqsa Mosque coming from the 1948 lands and prevented them from entering several times and searched them especially on the 8th of August as dozens of worshipers from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque under the pretext of " the existence of higher decisions to prevent them from entering". The forces harassed them in several axes in the city, especially in the area of Damascus Gate, Wad Al-Joz, Lions Gate and Al-Sowaneh. Some were prevented from getting off the buses while those who managed to pass the first barrier were stopped at the gates of the Old City or Al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates and were prevented from entering to pray. Police vehicles accompanied the buses until they left the vicinity of the Old City.

Last month, the extremist Yehuda Glick moved his office for one day to the area of Lions Gate in protest against the continued ban on the Knesset members from entering Al-Aqsa following the decision of the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

At the beginning of the school-year, the occupation authorities attempted to obstruct the education process at Al-Aqsa Schools that are inside Al-Aqsa Mosque by preventing books from being delivered inside the Mosque to be distributed to students under the pretext of being issued by the Palestinian Authority and having the Palestinian slogan and flag printed on them. The schools were forced to give out the books to the students in the parking lot outside the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque. The administration of Al-Aqsa Boys School also gave out the books to the students outside Al-Aqsa gates but the occupation forces prevented students from entering Al-Aqsa with their books and arrested the director of religious education at the Islamic Awqaf as well as the school’s secretary; they also requested the school’s director for interrogation.

The occupation authorities isolated 12 citizens from Al-Aqsa Mosque in August and deported 5 from the Old City of Jerusalem and 3 from Jerusalem. Among them were two females and three children.

Arrests

The occupation authorities continued executing arrests in the city of Jerusalem and arrested 193 Palestinians from Jerusalem in August including 7 women and a minor girl, 10 children under the age of responsibility (12 years old), 58 minors and 5 elderly.

The geographical distribution of arrests was as follows: Silwan (54), Old City of Jerusalem (36), Al-Aqsa gates (33), Al-Tur (26), Esawyeh (13), Shu’fat Refugee Camp (11), Wad Al-Joz (6), Kufor Aqab (6), Sur Baher (5), Sheikh Jarrah (2), Shu’fat (1) and Jabal Al-Mukabber (1).  

Among the detainees were two students from Dar Al-Aytam School in the Old City of Jerusalem; they were arrested on the second day of the new school-year.

The occupation authorities also continue to detain the body of Martyr Musbah Abu Sbeih since last October, and the body of Martyr Fadi Qunbar since last January.

Demolition

The occupation municipality continued its policy of demolishing Jerusalemites property in Jerusalem under the pretext of building without a permit. Wadi Hilweh Information Center monitored the demolition of 13 establishments in the city of Jerusalem, they are: 4 residential houses, 3 commercial establishments, 3 barracks used for agriculture, a residential room and storage in addition to a residential apartment and two commercial stores.

The geographical distribution of demolitions was as follows: 5 establishments in Beit Hanina, 4 in Silwan, 3 in Esawyeh and one in Jabal Al-Mukabber. 

The occupation authorities displaced 18 individuals including 8 children (under the age of 18) due to the demolitions.

The occupation municipality also continued to distribute demolition orders to residential, commercial and agricultural establishments under the pretext of building without a permit especially in the villages of Esawyeh and Silwan.

Cemeteries were also subject to assaults in August as an occupation’s bulldozers attempted to demolish the western part of the wall of Martyr’s Cemetery. This cemetery, which is an extension of the Yusufiya cemetery in the area of Lions Gate, in preparation to form a garden and special paths for settlers and tourists, in addition to an area overlooking the western slopes of Mount of Olives. The bulldozer was prevented from entering the cemetery, while it demolished parts of the nearby "Friday Market" fence close to the cemetery.

Violation of cultural events


Last month, the occupation authorities prevented a cultural symposium from being organized at the Yabous Cultural Center in Jerusalem to discuss the research article "Custody of Al-Aqsa Mosque under the management of the agreements" under the pretext of being organized by Hamas movement.