April 2018- Hundreds of settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque…dozens of arrests…suspending residency…sweeps
May 6, 2018

Wadi Hilweh Information Center issued its monthly report for the month of April, in which it monitored Israeli violations in Jerusalem.

Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that the occupation authorities and the "alleged temple" groups continued their violations in Al-Aqsa Mosque and arrests continued in the city's neighborhoods. The occupation authorities carried out excavations in the cemetery of Bab Al-Rahmeh adjacent to the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Al Aqsa Mosque

Settlers intensified their incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque during the break-in sessions that are conducted on a daily basis except for Fridays and Saturdays and are carried out through Dung Gate, which has been controlled by the occupation authorities since the occupation of Jerusalem. In April, 3899 settlers and Jewish students stormed Al-Aqsa especially on the first week (Jewish Passover) and the middle of the month (the so-called "Israel’s Independence Day".

During the past month, the occupation authorities pursued the employees of the Islamic Awqaf Department including guards and the reconstruction committee. Several employees were arrestedwhile others received summonses for interrogation, and some were isolated from Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Wadi Hilweh Information Center monitored the isolation of 16 Palestinians from Al-Aqsa Mosque for varying periods between two weeks and six months, including employees of the Islamic Awqaf Department. The occupation authorities also deported a citizen from the Old City of Jerusalem for two weeks.

Violation of the sanctity of the dead

During the last week of April, the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority crews carried out excavation works and digging in the cemetery of Bab Al-Rahmeh under the pretext of placing iron fences in the place. The center monitored the excavation of some graves in the part known as the “Salawneh Cemetery”, and several gravestones were damaged. The locals of Silwan demonstrated in the cemetery and prevented the placing of the walls on the graves; they were placed several meters away.

In the village of Sur Baher south of Jerusalem, in April, the Israeli occupation forces bulldozed and uprooted dozens of perennial olive trees in preparation for building a complex for"retired army and police personnel". The 56 Dunoms (52000 square meters) of land are owned by several families from the village (Nimer, Dwayyat, Awwad and Amira). Families try to maintain their lands through the Israeli courts.

A Jerusalemite was forced to self-demolish his parking lot in Silwan following an order issued by the occupation municipality under the pretext of “building without a permit”, and to avoid paying high fines.

Arrests

The Israeli occupation authorities continued executing arrests in Jerusalem. Wadi Hilweh Information Center monitored 162 cases of arrests in the city, including 6 women, 56 minors and 2 children "less than 12 years of old- age of responsibility". The arrests were mostly from the village of Esawyeh.

The geographical distribution of the arrests is: 73 Esawyeh, 31 Shu'fat refugee camp and Anata village, 16 Old City of Jerusalem, 9 Al-Tur, 7 Silwan, 4 Kufor Aqab, 4 Sur Baher, as well as arrests from Al-Aqsa Mosque and its gates and the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem.

The center said that the Israeli authorities deliberately stormed Shu'fat refugee camp in Jerusalem and executed arrests against women and youths under the pretext of "illegal presence in the city" because they carry West Bank IDs.

Suspending the residency of the Jerusalemite representatives on the Palestinian Legislative Council and the mother of a Martyr

Israeli Interior Minister, Aryeh Deri, decided last month to withdraw the residency of the three Jerusalemite representatives on the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC)Ahmed Attoun, Mohammad Totah and Khaled Abu Arafeh, and former Minister Mohammed Abu Terunder the pretext of "disloyalty to Israel and their membership in Hamas." This action came after the modification that has been made in the Knesset last March, which authorizes the Minister of Interior to suspend the residency of Jerusalemites.

The Minister of Interioralso decided to suspend the residency of the mother of Martyr Baha'Alayan, which allows her to live in the city of Jerusalem, because of "the attack carried out by her son Baha’ in 2015 and the promotion of the family for what he did and trying to glorify him through stances and seminars" - he claimed.

The occupation intelligence prevented a ceremony to honor the families of Martyrs and prisoners in Al-Salam Hall in the village of Esawyeh.

Last month, Elad settlement association seized three houses belonging to Rweidi family in Al-Ein Street in Silwan, south of Al-Aqsa Mosque, where 13 people live.