March 2018…Hundreds of settlers break into Al-Aqsa Mosque and dozens of arrests in Jerusalem
April 3, 2018

Wadi Hilweh Information Center- Silwan issued its monthly report for March 2018 in which it monitored the most significant Israeli violations in the city of Jerusalem as the alleged temple groups and occupation authorities continued violating the sanctity of Al-Aqsa in addition to daily arrests, raids and demolitions.

Al-Aqsa Mosque

Settlers increased their break-ins into the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque during the morning and afternoon break-in sessions except for Fridays and Saturdays. Break-ins are conducted through Dung Gate which has been controlled by the occupation authorities since the occupation of Jerusalem. During March, 2124 settlers and Jewish students broke into Al-Aqsa. 

In the last days of last month, the alleged temple groups called on settlers to carry out mass incursions into Al Aqsa during the "Passover" holiday, and to hold prayers on its gates and to offer Easter offerings. They hung banners on the gates calling to empty Al-Aqsa Mosque on the last Friday of the month to offer offerings. Prior to that, Passover rituals and training on slaughtering offerings were conducted at the southern wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque, implemented and supported by the “Biblical Temple Institute” inside the Old City of Jerusalem.

Last month, the occupation forces arrested two of Al-Aqsa Mosque’s guards and isolated one of them from the mosque for two weeks.

Martyr

The 28-year old Abdelrahman Bani Fadel from the village of Aqraba near the city of Nablus was martyred in Al-Wad Street in the Old City of Jerusalem after being shot by the occupation forces under the pretext of stabbing and killing an Israeli guard.

The center explained that the forces closed the area of the incident and placed metal barriers in the streets of the Old City. They prevented anyone from entering or leaving the Old City for nearly two hours while the Martyr’s body remained on the ground. They prevented many Jerusalemites from reaching Al-Aqsa Mosque to perform the Evening Prayer at Al-Aqsa.

The center also added that the forces executed multiple arrests against Jerusalemites (mostly merchants) under the pretext of “not preventing the stabbing”.

Arrests

The Israeli authorities continued executing arrests in the city of Jerusalem, and the center monitored 155 cases of arrests. Among the detainees were "5 children under the age of 12 – age of responsibility", 33 minors and 8 females, including one girl.

The geographical distribution of arrests was as follows: 61 from Esawyeh, 51 from Shu'fat Refugee Camp, 16 from Old City of Jerusalem, 5 from Silwan, 5 from Beit Hanina, 4 from Shu'fat, 3 from Al-Tur, 2 from Sur Baher, 1 from Wadi Al-Joz and 7 from Al-Aqsa Mosque and its gates.

The center said that among the detainees was a boy who was injured by burns and was arrested from inside Al-Maqased hospital. He was transferred to Hadassah hospital and remained under arrest while receiving treatment. He was interrogated in the hospital and the Israeli authorities extended his arrest several times during absentia sessions until he was released on condition of house-arrest.

Last month, the Israeli authorities deported a Jerusalemite woman from Jerusalem after being arrested under the pretext of illegal presence in the city. It is noteworthy that she has been living in the village of Esawyeh for 16 years and has 3 children. Also, a young man was deported from Jerusalem for 6 months, and a Jerusalemite was banned from entering the West Bank for one month.

Demolition

The occupation municipality continued to demolish houses and commercial establishments in the city of Jerusalem under the pretext of building without a permit. The Information Center monitored the demolition of 5 structures in the city last March, two of which were self-demolished by their owners in order to avoid paying fines. The demolitions were: 2 residential houses, 2 commercial establishments and a wall. The geographical distribution of demolition was as follows: 3 in Silwan, 1 in Jabal Al-Mukabber and 1 in Beit Hanina. As a result, the occupation authorities displaced 7 individuals from their homes including 4 children.

The occupation forces also demolished the gravestone of the Jerusalemite Martyrs buried in Al-Mujahedeen Cemetery in Salah Al-Din Street in the last two years. They also demolished a stone with a verse from the Holy Quran on it.

Suppressing events

In early March, the Israeli occupation forces suppressed a Palestinian marathon in Jerusalem that was organized against the Israeli marathon which was organized by the occupation’s municipality and ministries. One of the officers stormed a vehicle in Nablus Street carrying a group of young men and women. They confiscated the Palestinian flags, Palestinian "Kufiyas" and shirts of the Palestinian marathon. They arrested two Jerusalemite activists and confiscated one of their vehicles.

The occupation authorities also prevented an activity from taking place in the city of Jerusalem on March 8th- International Women’s Day.

Late last month, the occupation authorities suppressed a sit-in in the area of Damascus Gate on the anniversary of Earth Day, and assaulted the participants and confiscated the Palestinian flags.

Settlers also wrote racist slogans on the walls of a house in the village of Hizma north of Jerusalem, and slashed the tires of 3 vehicles.

The Israeli occupation forces also attacked participants during the march of "Palm Sunday" in Jerusalem while lifting the Palestinian flag. The forces prevented the participants from raising the flag and confiscated it by force and beat some of them.