August 2018- Violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque and worshippers…continuing to execute arrests and demolitions in Jerusalem
September 3, 2018

Wadi Hilweh Information Center issued its monthly report for August 2018 in which it monitored the Israeli violations in the city of Jerusalem.

Last month, a Palestinian youth was shot dead by the occupation in the Old City of Jerusalem. The occupation authorities escalated their violations in Al-Aqsa Mosque by closing it and evicting the worshipers from it. They prevented the Evening and Night Prayers on August 17, as well as intervening in the renovation works and harassing worshipers. The alleged temple groups also continued their incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Israeli occupation authorities demolished residential, commercial and agricultural facilities under the pretext of "building without a permit".

Martyr

On 17 August, Ahmed Mahameed, a Palestinian from the city of Umm al-Fahem, was shot dead by the Israeli occupation forces allegedly for attempting to carry out a stabbing attack in the Old City of Jerusalem. The forces imposed a cordon on Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Old City, and completely the closed the area of the incident “Al-Majles Gate", and prevented access to it and forced merchants to close their shops. They beat citizens, assaulted and pushed them to evacuate the area where the Martyrs was shot dead.

Al-Aqsa Mosque

After the martyrdom of Mahameed, the occupation forces closed Al-Aqsa Mosque from the afternoon until the dawn hours, and prevented the Evening and Night Prayers from being held in it, and forcibly evacuated the worshipers from Al-Aqsa, and began to search the chapels and squares, and the guards of Al-Aqsa were the only ones that remained in the mosque. After that, a sit-in was announced at Al-Aqsa gates refusing to close it. Hundreds of worshipers prayed the Evening and Night Prayers at its gates. The protesters were surprised by the beatings and the evacuation of the area of Lions Gate (outside and inside the wall of the Old City) after finishing the Night Prayer. The forces assaulted them with batons, pushed and kicked them from one place to another.

On the other hand, 2437 settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque through Dung Gate the past month, guarded by the Israeli police. The raids are carried out every day except on Friday and Saturday of each week during the morning break-in session and after the Noon Prayer.

During the past month, the occupation authorities escalated their harassment against worshipers coming to Al-Aqsa, especially those who pray and sit at Al-Rahmeh Gate area, "the eastern side of Al-Aqsa" where they are photographed and subjected to interrogation eitheron field or detention or expulsion from al-Aqsa. The center monitored several cases mostly women.

Late last month, the Israeli police prevented restoration works for “Qasim Pasha” water fountain in Al-Aqsa Mosque. Four employees of the Islamic Awqaf Department were arrested as soon as they started the renovations. The police issued a decision to expel them from the mosque for 15 days. Several days later, the restoration works continued and the expulsion orders were cancelled after the interventions of the Jordanian government officials and the Islamic Awqaf Department.

Wadi Hilweh Information Center monitored the expulsion of 20 Palestinians from Al-Aqsa Mosque in August, including 13 women for periods that varied between 15 days and 6 months.

Arrests

The Israeli authorities continued to execute arrests in the city of Jerusalem. The center monitored 118 cases of arrests, including 4 children (under 12 years, age of responsibility), 19 minors and 15 females.

The geographical distribution of the arrests was as follows: 27 from Silwan, 21 from Esawyeh, 17 from Old City of Jerusalem, 9 from Shu'fat Refugee Camp, 8 from Al-Tur, 32 from the Al Aqsa Mosque’s gates and the Old City; and one from each of Kufor Aqab, Wad Al-Joz, Beit Hanina and Sur Baher.

Demolition

The Israeli occupation authorities continued to demolish residential, commercial and agricultural structures on the pretext of building without a permit. Wadi Hilweh Information Center monitored the demolition of 12 facilities in the neighborhoods of Jerusalem; one of the facilities was self-demolished by its owner.

The facilities were as follows: 5 residential houses, 3 containers, 2 commercial facilities, 1 barracksfor livestock and 1 retaining wall.

The geographical distribution was as follows: 4 Jabal Al-Mukabber, 3 Shu'fat, 1 in each of Silwan, Umm Tuba, Esawyeh, Beit Hanina and Al-Tur.

The Israeli bulldozers also bulldozed roads in the eastern area of the village of Esawyeh, leading to agricultural lands. The area is under threat of confiscation in favor of the "National Park" project.

Settlement projects

The municipality decided to confiscate dozens of acres from the lands of Silwan, south of Al-Aqsa Mosque, under the cover of "gardening / planting and installing irrigation canals and roads for walking." The confiscation decision threatens tens of acres of the village’s lands in Wadi Al-Rababeh and Wadi Hilweh neighborhoods, and the area of Prophet David.All the lands are owned by the families of the village who have all the documents and papers, and parts of them belong to the Greek Orthodox Church.

In early August, the settlement project "Center for the Heritage of the Jews of Yemen" opened in the neighborhood of Batn Al-Hawa / Central Neighborhood in Silwan, with the support of the Ministry of Jerusalem and the Ministry of Culture in the Israeli government. Nearly 4.5 million shekels (equivalent to $1.2 million) were allocated for the project which was establishedinside the property of Abu Nab family, located on an area of about 700 square meters, which was seized in 2015.

Settlers’ assaults

The settlers carried out attacks last month on the property of Jerusalemites, where they wrote racist slogans and slashed the tires of vehicles in Esawyeh and Shu’fat areas in Jerusalem.