August 2019…A dangerous escalation at Al-Aqsa Mosque to change the current status quo…banning 6 activities…dozens of arrests
Wadi Hilweh Information Center issued its monthly report for August 2019 in which it monitored the Israeli violations in the city of Jerusalem.
The Center said that last August witnessed a dangerous precedent in Al-Aqsa Mosque, which was stormed by the Israeli occupation forces and its settlers on the first day of Eid Al-Adha. A child was also martyred at one of its gates, and the Israeli Minister of Internal Security targeted activities in the city of Jerusalem and banned them under the pretext of being sponsored by the Palestinian Authority, while arrests and demolitions continued throughout the city.
A Martyr in Jerusalem, and continuing to detain the bodies of 4 martyrs in refrigerators
In mid-August, 14-year-old Nasim Moukafih Abu Roumi was martyred and 16-year-old Mohammed Khader Al-Sheikh, from Abu Dis village, was shot and wounded at Al-Silsileh Gate –one of Al-Aqsa gates- after stabbing a policeman that was stationed outside Al-Silsileh Gate. The policemen randomly opened fire after the stabbing resulting in the injury of one of Al-Aqsa guards, Emran Rajabi, in the thigh. Videos released by the Israeli police showed that the policemen fired dozens of bullets at the two children as they were thrown to the ground without movement.
The Israeli occupation authorities continue to detain the bodies of 4 Jerusalemite Martyrs: Mesbah Abu Sbeih since October 2016, Fadi Qunbar since January 2017, Aziz Aweisat since May 2018, and the child Nasim Abu Roumi.
The information center said that the occupation authorities turned the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque into a war zone on the first day of Eid Al-Adha (on 11/8/2019), after thousands of worshipers were attacked with sound bombs, rubber bullets, beatings and chased them in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, to secure the settlers' incursions in memory of the so-called "The destruction of the Temple", by a decision of the Prime Minister of the Occupation and the chief of the occupation police in the city.
The center pointed out that the Israeli occupation forces and senior officers and officials of the Israeli police assaulted the worshipers stationed at Dung Gate after the end of Eid Al-Adha prayer. The forces thenassaulted all those present in the mosque and forced them out of all the gates. They besieged worshipers inside Al-Qibali Mosque and closed its doors with iron chains, and executed arrests from the courtyards, and continued to do so from the early morning hours until the afternoon.
The Islamic Waqf Department confirmed that what happened in Al-Aqsa on the first day of Eid Al-Adha was a breach to a previous agreement that bans settlers from storming Al-Aqsa during Islamic holidays, and in another violation also changing the morning incursion period, which usually takes place from 7:30 to 11:00 a.m., while on that day it started at 10:55 a.m. until 11:40 a.m., in addition to the incursion period after the Afternoon Prayer.
On the first day of Eid Al-Adha, 1329 settlers were able to storm Al-Aqsa, and the occupation authorities allocated a special route for the settlers to storm, from Dung Gate to Al-Silsileh Gate; only several meters.
Al-Aqsa Mosque clinics confirmed about 65 people were injured in Al-Aqsa Mosque on the first days of Eid, including injuries of fractures and burns. 15 injuries were transferred to Al-Maqased Hospital, and one injury to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital.
As for the total number of people who stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque last month, it reached 3576 Jewish settlers and students. On August 15, Minister of Agriculture in the Israeli government Uri Ariel led a storming of Al-Aqsa with dozens of settlers.
The occupation forces closed the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque, from the afternoon hours of August 15 until night time, and in the first two hours prevented entry, and then reopened some gates and allowed employees of Islamic Waqf and those over 50 years to enter Al-Aqsa.
Worshipers under the age of 50 years (men and women) performed the Evening and Night Prayers at the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and were stationed at the gates despite the suppression and pursuit by the occupation forces.
On 7/8/2019, members of the Israeli police in Al-Aqsa Mosque severely beat the guard, Mohannad Idris, and injured him in the head while he was on duty; several other guards were also assaulted and pushed.
Bab Al-Rahma chapel in Al-Aqsa Mosque was not spared from the attacks. In August, the forces stormed the chapel and took out the wooden partitions that separate women from men, the shoe closet, confiscated an electronic clock for prayer times, and removed the sign that says “Bab Al-Rahma Chapel”, in addition to the confiscation and tearing of banners congratulating Muslims on Eid Al-Adha.
The Israeli occupation authorities continued the policy of banning Palestinians from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque. The centered monitored 21 decision banning men and women from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque for various durations, one deportation order from the Old City of Jerusalem; among those isolated from Al-Aqsa was Sheikh Najeh Bkeirat, deputy director of the Islamic Waqf Department.
Wadi Hilweh Information Center monitored 162 arrests in Jerusalem, including a child –less than the age of responsibility (under 12 years of age) - 33 minors, and six females.
The Israeli occupation forces arrested 87 Jerusalemites, mainly from the village of Issawiya, as well as arrested from the courtyards and gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque and Silwan, and some arrests from other neighborhoods around the city.
Among the detainees, Mohammed Khader Al-Sheikh, 16, who is still being detained and treated in the hospital.
The Israeli intelligence summoned last August the head of the Supreme Islamic Authority Sheikh Dr. Ekrema Sabri, and the Director-General of the Islamic Waqf in Jerusalem, Sheikh Azzam Khatib, and interrogated them for several hours in Al-Maskobyeh in West Jerusalem.
Suppress and prevent
The Israeli occupation authorities stepped up the targeting of activities and events in the city of Jerusalem, and the Minister of Internal Security in the occupation government Gilad Ardan issued decisions banning six activities in the city.
Wadi Hilweh Information Center monitored the decisions which were as follows: Prevention of a memorial service for the late Dr. Subhi Ghosheh by storming Yabous Center Hall in Jerusalem, prevention of a memorial service for the late athlete Ahmad Adela, storming the YMCA in the city, and preventing the establishment of Jerusalem Families League in the stadium of Burj Al-Laqlaq in the Old City of Jerusalem for two times; first in mid-August and the second on last day of the month, and prevented the organization of a sports championship on the occasion of the Islamic New Year which was scheduled to be held at the stadium of the village of Issawiya, and prevented a legal workshop on "construction problems in Jerusalem," by storming the hall of Burj Al-Laqlaq.
The argument for the ban was similar: "The event is organized under the sponsorship and funding of the Palestinian Authority in Jerusalem, a contrary to the Interim Agreement on the Implementation of the Interim Agreement Concerning the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (1994), which prohibits any possibility of holding any activities or events for the Palestinian Authority in Jerusalem without prior permission.
The occupation authorities continued demolishing commercial and residential establishments in the city of Jerusalem in August. The center monitored the demolition of 8 establishments in which 2 of them were self-demolished by their owners following orders by the occupation municipality.
The center explained that the occupation demolished 6 houses, 1 barracks and 1 wall last month.
The campaign of “aggression and collective punishment” continued in the village of Issawiya, which began last June. Wadi Hilweh Information Center explained that the Israeli occupation authorities continued their assaults on residents of Issawiya, where daily incursions and continuous presence of forces in the streets, and ambushes at the village's entrances and inside the streets, raiding house and searching them, and blowing their front gates at times. Special Forces blew up the door of a house and arrested a child while he was with his siblings who are all children.
The Israeli occupation forces continued to harass the village's merchants by storming the shops, imposing various taxes, and imposing demolition orders and stopping construction in the village.