September…dangerous escalations at Al-Aqsa Mosque…isolation decisions, arrests and demolitions in Jerusalem
October 4, 2018

Wadi Hilweh Information Center issued its monthly report for the month of September, in which it documented violations by the occupation authorities against the Palestinian population in Jerusalem.

The center confirmed that the occupation authorities and settlers escalated their violations in Jerusalem, with the support of the Israeli government, especially in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, where they broke-in with large numbers, and were allowed to perform prayers. Dozens of people were banned from entering the mosque or were deported from the Old City of Jerusalem following decision made by the occupation authorities which also continued executing daily arrests, raiding houses and tampering with their contents, in addition to the continuing policy of house demolitions.

Martyr in Jerusalem

The information center said in its monthly report that the Israeli occupation forces opened fire on the young Palestinian Mohammad Yousef Alayan, 26, from Qalandia refugee camp north of the city, in Al-Musrara area, north of Damascus Gate, leading to the martyrdom of the young man under the pretext of attempting to stab a settler in the area using a sharp tool. The occupation authorities are holding his body in its refrigerators.

The center explained that the occupation authorities continue to detain the bodies of three Martyrs in the refrigerators: body of Martyr Musbah Abu Sbeih since October 2016, body of Martyr Fadi Qunbar since January 2017, and the body of the Martyr of the prisoners’ movement Aziz Aweisat since last May.

Al-Aqsa Mosque

The Information Center explained that the alleged temple groups have extended their targeting of Al-Aqsa Mosque during September, exploiting the Jewish holidays "the Jewish New Year, Kippur and Sukkot” through incursions during the morning and afternoon break-in sessions, in addition to organizing marches and prayers at its gates.

The center added that 5487 settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque last month, 3009 of them stormed the mosque during the week of Sukkot holiday. He added that among the intruders were the Minister of Agriculture of the Israeli government Uri Ariel, and Members of Knesset Shuli Maalem and Yehuda Glick.

The center added that the settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque wearing their religious clothing. They performed their mass public prayers in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque and received explanations about the alleged temple, with the protection of the Israeli police and its officers and intelligence personnel which were chasing the worshipers in Al-Aqsa courtyards and photographing them. The Israeli police established their presence and installed iron barriers and imposed restrictions on the entry of worshipers to Al-Aqsa during the days of Jewish holidays, where they checked IDs and handed the worshipers summons for interrogation, and taking pictures of their IDs and removing them from the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque by force.

During the past month, the settlers conducted tours and prayers at the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque during the holidays, especially at Al-Hadeed Gate, Al-Qataneen Gate and Al-Silsileh Gate, and they formed dance and singing rings and used musical instruments.

In a flagrant violation of Al-Aqsa Mosque, an occupation officer brought a bottle of alcohol into the mosque and wandered through the courtyards. The guards then confronted him and forced him to take it out.

In September, officers and occupation forces assaulted the Islamic Endowments Department’semployees and worshipers in Al-Aqsa square, severely beating and arresting some of them.

The occupation authorities continued to intervene in the reconstruction work at Al-Aqsa Mosque, arresting the staff of the construction committee and preventing them from carrying out their work. Late last month, they arrested two employees of the constructions committee while trying to erect a scaffold at the mosque of the Dome of the Rock.

Last September, the occupation authorities issued 55 decisions to ban Palestinians from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque. Among them were seven women, including a minor girl and two minor boys. Also, nine Jerusalemites werebanned from entering the Old City of Jerusalem, while one Jerusalemite was deported from the city of Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Arrests

The Israeli occupation authorities continued executing arrests in Jerusalem. The center monitored 104 arrests in the city, including 20 minors / 5 females.

The Center pointed out that most of the arrests during the past month took place inside Al-Aqsa Mosque and at its gates during the settlers' incursions into the mosque.

The geographical distribution was as follows: 14 from Silwan, 18 from Esawyeh, 14 from Old City of Jerusalem, 6 from Kufor Aqab, 11 from Shu'fat Camp, one from Jabal Al-Mukabber, Al-Tur, Beit Hanina, Anata and Sheikh Jarrah; 36 detainees from Al Aqsa and its roads.

Demolitions

Last September, the Israeli occupation authorities demolished 6 structures in the city of Jerusalem under the pretext of building without a permit. One of them was self-demolished following a decision made by the Israeli occupation court. The center documented the demolition of 4 houses, 1 storehouse and 1 retaining wall.

The geographical distribution of the demolition was as follows: 2 in the village of Anata, 3 in Beit Hanina, and 1 in Silwan.

The settlers tried to seize a piece of land in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of the city and removed the surrounding wires. The residents then confronted them and forced them to leave the land.

Settlers’ assaults

Settlers escalated their attacks on Jerusalemites and their property in the city of Jerusalem. Late last month, dozens of settlers attacked shops and houses of Jerusalemites in Al-Musrara Street, Al-Wad and Damascus Gate during their celebrations of the last day of Sukkot holiday.

On the 28th of last month, the settlers attacked and persecuted the Jerusalemites while they were heading to Al-Aqsa mosque to perform the Dawn Prayer. The settlers verbally abused the worshippers and tried to beat them and threatened to kill them.

Settlers also attacked four Jerusalemites in the Qatmoun neighborhood of West Jerusalem, injuring them with various fractures and wounds, as well as assaulting and injuring a Jerusalemite working as a bus driver in an Israeli company.