February 2018…Occupation authorities target Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher…arrests…and demolishing 19 facilities
Wadi Hilweh Information Center (WHIC) issued its monthly report for February 2018 in which it monitored the Israeli violations in the city of Jerusalem.
WHIC explained that the Israeli occupation authorities and settlers continued their violations in the city of Jerusalem, where they stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque and executed arrests and demolitions under the pretext of "building without a permit," in addition to assaults against Jerusalemites and their property especially in the village of Esawyeh.
The Center added that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher was closed for three consecutive days on February 25-27 by a decision by the patriarchs and heads of the churches to protest the intention and steps of the Jerusalem Municipality to collect the property tax “Arnona” on the properties belonging to the churches. The patriarchs reopened the church after the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and head of the occupation municipality, Nir Barkat, issued a decision to freeze the imposition of the tax.
Settlers continued their incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque during the morning and afternoon sessions on a daily basis except on Fridays and Saturdays, through Dung Gate, which has been controlled by the Israeli authorities since the occupation of the city of Jerusalem in 1967.
The center added that 2127 settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque, where the last week of the month witnessed massive incursions in line with calls by the alleged temple groups to break into Al-Aqsa on the occasion of the Jewish holiday of Purim.
In mid February, the occupation authorities began implementing the upper floors of the project "House of Haliba / Beit Al-Jawhar” in Al-Buraq Square, about 200 meters west of Al-Aqsa Mosque. Israeli companies in cooperation with the occupation’s government, established construction cranes within the limits of the space allocated for the project which includes two floors above ground, and one floor underground.
Last month, settlers attacked Mustafa Ibrahim Al-Mughrabi, 19, while he was near his house in Al-Silsileh Gate road in the Old City of Jerusalem. He was injured with a broken nose and various bruises.
The center said that the Israeli police arrested three young men who provided first aid to Mustafa, and ordered the deportation of two of them outside the city of Jerusalem while the third was deported from the Old City. They were also placed under house arrest and prevented from using cell phones and social media. Several days after the assault, Mustafa was requested for interrogation and was also placed under house-arrest.
A number of settlers assaulted Salah Abu Jamal from the village of Jabal Al-Mukabber while driving an Egged bus from Jerusalem towards the settlement of Kiryat Arba, causing injuries and bruises.
Last month, settlers sprayed racist slogans on a vehicle and slashed the tires of several vehicles in the area of Dung Gate of Silwan.
170 arrests in the city of Jerusalem
The Israeli occupation authorities continued to hold daily arrests in Jerusalem. The information center monitored 170 cases of arrests in the city. Among the detainees were two women, one minor girl, four children under the age of responsibility - under 12 years old, 69 minors and an elderly person.
The geographical distribution of the arrests was as follows: 49 Esawyeh, 31 Shu'fat Refugee Camp, 31 Old City of Jerusalem, 27 Silwan, 10 Tur, 4 Beit Hanina, 3 Sur Baher, 3 Jabal Al-Mukabber, 2 Shu'fat, 1 from each of Al-Sowaneh and Kufor Aqab, in addition to 8 arrests from the streets of the Old City and Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The center said that among the detainees were 6 youths arrested while returning to their homes after leaving their schools.
The Information Center monitored the deportation of 4 Jerusalemites from the city of Jerusalem, two from the Old City of Jerusalem and one from Al-Aqsa Mosque for varying periods ranging from 3 to 15 days.
Demolishing 19 establishments
The Israeli occupation authorities continued to demolish 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 19 facilities in the city of Jerusalem during the past month: 2 houses, 5 commercial facilities, 2 sheep barracks, a farm, 7 containers including 5 of which used for storing food, a security guards’ room and a bus used as a residential house for a woman; the land was razed and emptied.
The geographical distribution of the demolitions: 9 Beit Safafa, 3 Esawyeh, 3 Silwan, 2 Beit Hanina and 2 in Shu'fat.
The demolition of residential structures resulted in the displacement of 13 persons, including 5 children.
The occupation authorities continued to suppress activities in the city of Jerusalem, by a decision of the Minister of Internal Security under the pretext of being sponsored or organized by the Palestinian Authority or "terrorist organizations".
The center said that the Israeli intelligence prevented a ceremony honoring the principals and teachers of the Jerusalem schools. The forces stormed the Muslim Youths School where the ceremony was supposed to be held, and prevented the Minister of Education, Mr. Sabri Seidam, from approaching the school.
Late last month, the Israeli occupation authorities prevented the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Rula Ma’ayah, and the Minister of Education, Sabri Sidem, from entering the Old City and participating in the opening ceremony of the Terra Santa School after the restoration. The occupation intelligence personnel were stationed on the gate of the school and checked the identities of some of the arrivals.
Last month, the occupation authorities also banned a dinner party for journalists in Jerusalem at the Philadelphia restaurant in the city. The restaurant owner was arrested and closed for about 15 hours.
The Israeli occupation forces continued daily incursions into the village of Esawyeh and carried out collective punishment campaigns. They closed the entrances to the village, executed arrests, distributed demolition notices and carried out demolitions of various establishments. One of the youths was hit by a rubber-coated metal bullet while he was in front of his restaurant. Despite the injury, the forces seized the ID of the injured young man before allowing the ambulance to transfer him to the hospital. The Israeli authorities deported last month the freed prisoner Hamzeh Dirbas from Jerusalem for a week after he spent 16 years in Israeli prisons. He also removed Majd Darwish from Jerusalem for a week after spending a year in prison. Also, prisoner Majd Darwish was deported from Jerusalem for one week after spending a year in prison. A group of young men from the village of Esawyeh were deported from the village for varying periods ranging from three to ten days.
Meanwhile, the locals of the village continued popular events weekly to reject the policies of the occupation authorities in the village. Institutions, committees and national and Islamic forces in Esawyeh performed the Friday Noon Prayer at the entrance of the village over the past month.