January…Hundreds of settlers break into Al-Aqsa Mosque and dozens of arrests in Jerusalem
Wadi Hilweh Information Center issued its monthly report for January 2018 in which it monitored the Israeli violations in the city of Jerusalem as the occupation authorities continued violating the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the forces continued executing daily arrests, raids and demolitions.
Settlers continued breaking into Al-Aqsa Mosque during the daily morning and afternoon break-in sessions except for Fridays and Saturdays. Break-ins are conducted through Dung Gate which is controlled by the occupation authorities since the occupation of the city of Jerusalem.
In January, 1920 settlers broke into Al-Aqsa including 280 Jewish students.
Wadi Hilweh Information Center explained that among the settlers who broke into Al-Aqsa in January was Yehuda Glick, an extremist member of Israeli Knesset. Along with a group of settlers, he broke into Al-Aqsa at the end of the month and performed religious rituals outside of Al-Qataneen Gate – one of Al-Aqsa gates- after exiting the mosque.
In mid January, a group of settlers performed their religious ritual inside Al-Aqsa Mosque near Al-Rahmeh Gate and King Faisal gate. They were confronted by the guards of Al-Aqsa and some worshippers, and were forced to leave Al-Aqsa through Al-Hadeed Gate before finishing their tour inside the courtyards.
Last month, the occupation authorities prevented renovation works in all of Al-Aqsa facilities, and threatened to arrest any employee from the construction employee if renovation works are conducted.
The occupation forces arrested one of Al-Aqsa guards in January, and isolated him from Al-Aqsa for two weeks.
Wadi Hilweh Information Center also monitored the isolation of 10 young men from Al-Aqsa Mosque including 6 foreigners from Turkey and the United States of America; they were arrested after leaving Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Israeli authorities continued executing daily arrests in the city of Jerusalem. The information center monitored 211 cases of arrests in the city including 6 women, 6 children under 12 years old - age of responsibility- and 63 minors.
The geographical distribution of the arrests was as follows: 63 from Esawyeh, 33 from Silwan, 28 from Al-Tur, 20 from the Old City of Jerusalem, 17 from Shu'fat Refugee Camp, Anata and Shu'fat, 8 from Jabal Al-Mukabber, 6 from Wad Al-Joz, 4 from Sur Baher, 2 from Beit Hanina, 2 from Kufor Aqab, and 28 from Al Aqsa courtyards and gates.
The center pointed out that the Israeli occupation authorities targeted the village of Esawyeh during the past month and closed the entrances especially in the evening and prevented locals from entering the village. They also executed a series of arrests in the village and arrested nearly 40 people. The forces also assaulted a family in the village of Esawyeh, and injured them with various bruises. Among the injured was a child who suffered fractures in his finger.
The Israeli occupation authorities continued demolishing residential, agricultural and commercial structures in the city of Jerusalem under the pretext of building without a permit.
The Information Center monitored the demolition of a house and parts of two other houses in Beit Hanina, 2 livestock containers, 2 farms, 6 containers, 2 chicken coops in the village of Esawyeh and one barracks in Silwan.
The center explained that crews from the Nature and Parks authority and occupation municipality targeted the village of Esawyeh late last month, where they swept farms and demolished walls, containers and barracks, especially in the area that is at risk of being confiscated in favor of "national parks."
The occupation authorities also confiscated a warehouse for Abu Hadwan family in the neighborhood of Wadi Hilweh in Silwan under the pretext of “public benefit”. The family closed the warehouse and emptied it out.
Last month, settlers burned a vehicle belonging to a Jerusalemite resident and wrote racist slogans in the village of Beit Safafa, south of Jerusalem.
In Salah al-Din Street in the center of Jerusalem, the Israeli occupation forces suppressed the protest against President Trump's decision to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and assaulted the citizens protesting with sound grenades and beatings.
In addition, the Israeli authorities banned a press conference in January entitled "Isn’t it time for the world to hear the cry of Jerusalem", condemning Trump's decision to declare Jerusalem as the capital of the Israel. They closed Al-Dar Hotel in the city where the press conference was due to be held. They also prevented the organizers from holding the press conference in front of the “American House” in Jerusalem, and arrested three activists.
The occupation municipality is also digging and building a bridge between Al-Thori neighborhood and Nabi Daoud area, passing through Wadi Al-Rababeh in Silwan, under the supervision of the so-called "Development Authority of Jerusalem".