2019 report… An escalation in the size and severity of violations by the occupation authorities in Jerusalem
A report issued by Wadi Hilweh Information Center in occupied Jerusalem indicates that the violations committed by the Israeli occupation authorities against the Jerusalemites increased during the past year.
The report refers in many of its details to the escalation of violations during the past year and on more than one level, in terms of home demolitions, assaults on holy sites and the perpetration of intentional and cold-blooded killings that led to the death of martyrs and multiple injuries.
The occupation authorities continued the field executions of Palestinians on the pretext of suspicion or attempted stabbing attacks, and the "use of weapons to kill Palestinians" was the first choice for the occupation soldiers.
In 2019, 7 Palestinian were martyred, they are: (in chronological order)
26/1/2019 Riyad Mohammad Shamasneh, was shot dead by the occupation forces in the area of Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, after the forces opened fire at his vehicle, claiming that it posed threat to the forces present in the place.
30/1/2019 Samah Zuhair Mubarak, 16, was shot dead by the occupation forces at Al-Z’ayem military checkpoint east of Jerusalem, on the pretext of "trying to carry out a stabbing attack."
31/5/2019 Yousef Wajih, 18 years old, was shot dead in the Old City of Jerusalem, from Abwein village, Ramallah and Al-Bireh District, under the pretext of two stabbing attacks.
19/6/2019 The elderly martyr, Musa Abu Mayaleh, from Shu’fat refugee camp, north of occupied Jerusalem, was martyred, as a result of an attack by the Musta’ribeen unit (undercover police) inside the camp.
27/6/2019 The freed prisoner Mohammad Samir Obaid, 20 years old, was shot dead by the occupation forces while storming his hometown in the village of Issawiya.
08/15/2019 Nasim Moukafih Abu Rumi, 14 years old, was shot dead at Al-Silsileh Gate- one of Al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates - after carrying out a stabbing attack against a police officer stationed at the gate from the outside. He is from Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem.
17/11/2019 Faris Abu Nab from Silwan was shot dead near the tunnel checkpoint, south of Jerusalem, on the pretext of "suspecting his vehicle”.
Detaining the martyrs’ bodies and the decision of the Supreme Court permits the "detention for the purpose of exchange"!
The Center stated that the occupation authorities continue to detain the bodies of three Jerusalemite martyrs in their refrigerators, namely: Martyr Mesbah Abu Sbeih since October 2016, Martyr Fadi Al-Qunbar since January 2017, and Martyr Aziz Aweisat since May 2018. This comes with a decision made by the Israeli Supreme Court, which was issued in September 2019 and allows the occupation army to detain the bodies of the martyrs for exchange with the captured soldiers in Gaza Strip.
At the end of October 2019, the occupation prosecution announced its intention to bury the two martyrs Abu Sbeih and Al-Qunbar in the number cemeteries, based on the Supreme Court decision.
The occupation authorities, with their various institutions and with government support, worked to impose their sovereignty and control over the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque during 2019, by closing it and preventing entry at times, allowing unprecedented numbers of settlers to storm it and perform public prayer, and detaining the ID cards of worshippers and preventing those listed in their lists from entering Al-Aqsa during the settlers’ incursions in an attempt to timely divide Al-Aqsa, not to mention the attempts of the occupation to divide it spatially by prohibiting the presence and prayers in the chapel of Bab al-Rahma during times of incursions.
The Information Center monitored Israeli violations in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the most notable of which were:
On14/1/2019 The occupation forces surrounded the Dome of the Rock Mosque for about 6 hours, and imposed a military cordon around it, after the guards of the mosque confronted a member of the police who tried to storm the dome wearing a “hat” - "a symbol of Jewish rituals". During the closure and siege of the Dome of the Rock Mosque, the forces assaulted the Jerusalemites, who were protesting at its gates.
In mid-February 2019 ... the "Bab al-Rahma”uprising was launched after the occupation authorities closed the iron door leading to Bab al-Rahma chapel and put locks and steel chains on it. The response to that was by announcing the open sit-in in the upper courtyard of the chapel on 18/2/2019, and continued until 21/2/2019, when the members of the Islamic Endowments Council opened the door of the closed building, before the Noon prayer, on the last Friday of February.
On 18/2/2019 The Israeli occupation forces stormed Al-Aqsa and assaulted the worshipers and students of Al-Aqsa Islamic Schools and arrested some of them.
On 19/2/2019 The occupation forces stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque after the Evening prayer, and severely beat dozens of worshipers, girls and young men, who were present in Bab Al-Rahma area, imposed a siege on the mosque and prevented entry to it and evacuated its courtyards by force and arrested 22 young men.
It is noteworthy that the building of Al-Rahma Gate has been closed since 2003 by a decision of the police inspector general on the pretext of the existence of a terrorist organization called "Heritage Committee". The police continued to renew the closure order, until 2017 when the case was transferred to the Israeli court and a lawsuit was filed against the Islamic Awqaf department and Heritage Committee. A judicial decision to close Al-Rahma Gate indefinitely was issued without specifying the date. At the end of February, it was revealed that the order to close the building is illegal and not effective, where it ended in late 2017, and was never renewed. Since it was reopened, the occupation authorities have been trying to close it and not open it for prayers. The Islamic Endowments confirmed that the occupation courts do not have jurisdiction over Al-Aqsa and Bab Al-Rahma will remain opened.
The occupation authorities are trying to interfere with the affairs of Bab Al-Rahma and provoke the guards and worshipers. To begin with, they prevented the carpets from being entered and chased every “guard or worshipper” who opened the door of the chapel in the morning by arresting and deporting them from Al-Aqsa Mosque, or from the area of Bab al-Rahma, in addition to storming the chapel with their shoes on a daily basis, confiscation of wooden partitions, shoe lockers, and prayers’ clock.
On 12/3/2019, the Israeli occupation forces closed Al-Aqsa Mosque from the afternoon hours until the following day, and imposed a strict siege on it following an order by the so-called “chief of police in Jerusalem”, and prevented prayers from being held as well as preventing the “Mo’azen” from entering the mosque under the pretext of setting the police station inside Al-Aqsa on fire with a Molotov cocktail and firecrackers.
On 2/6/2019, the 28th of Ramadan, the occupation forces along with hundreds of settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque in commemoration of the so-called "Jerusalem Day", the anniversary of the occupation of the eastern part of the city of Jerusalem according to the Jewish calendar. The occupation authorities, with its various elements, stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque through Dung and Al-Silsileh Gates in the presence of dozens of worshipers in the courtyards where many of them stayed overnight and others were reciting the holy Quran. The forces assaulted them and surrounded many inside Al-Qibali Mosque. After storming it with their weapons, they closed its gates with chains and metal poles, during which they fired grenades, rubber bullets and pepper gas towards those besieged inside the mosque.
On 11/8/2019, which coincided with the first day of Eid Al-Adha, in an unprecedented move since the occupation of Jerusalem, the occupation forces turned the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque into a battlefield after attacking thousands of worshippers with rubber bullets and grenades to secure the settlers’ invasions on the anniversary of the so-called “Destruction of the Temple” following a decision by the Prime Minister of the occupation government and the chief the occupation police in the city. On the same day, the times of the invasions periods were changes, and the Islamic Endowments considered that a breach to previous resolutions regarding Al-Aqsa.
On 8/15/2019, the gates ofAl-Aqsa Mosque were closed from afternoon hours until the evening prayer. In the first two hours, the occupation authorities prevented entry to it, then reopened some gates and allowed Islamic Endowment employees and those over 50 to enter. The Jerusalemites protested at Al-Aqsa gates and performed the Evening and Night prayers at the gates.
On 26/9/2019, the occupation authorities closed Al-Aqsa Mosque for more than an hour, under the pretext of an attempted stabbing of a female soldier at one its gates. That coincided with the Afternoon prayer, so hundreds of Palestinians had to perform the prayers at the gates of Al-Aqsa until they were reopened.
Storming Al-Aqsa Mosque
The alleged Temple groups mobilized their members to organize large-scale incursions during the "morning and afternoon" break-in sessions into Al-Aqsa Mosque, which take place throughout the week except for Fridays and Saturdays, through Dung Gate, which has been controlled by the occupation authorities since the occupation of Jerusalem in 1967. The number of settler intruders has increased during Jewish occasions and holidays. More than 34,000 extremist settlers and Jewish students stormed Al-Aqsa in 2019.
The information center added that the monthwith the most number of settler invaders was October where 6,338 settlers stormed Al-Aqsa coinciding with the “Jewish New Year”, “Kippur” and “Sukkot” holidays followed by April, 3658 settlers, coinciding with “Easter”; August, 3576 settlers, coinciding with the "Destruction of the Temple"; June, 3318 settlers, coinciding with the "occupation of Jerusalem", and December, 3107 settlers, coinciding with the “Lights Festival”.
Among the intruders into Al-Aqsa during the storming periods was the Minister of Agriculture of the occupation government, Uri Ariel, who intentionally stormed the mosque on a monthly basis and during "Jewish holidays", the Chairman of the Foreign and Security Committee of the Knesset Avi Dichter, rabbis and officials of the alleged temple groups, senior officers, the chief of police in Jerusalem and Knesset members.
The center clarified that the number of settlers that stormed Al-Aqsa multiplied during the Jewish holidays, and they intentionally wore special holiday clothes and performed "secret and public" prayers and special rituals inside Al-Aqsa courtyards, in addition to prayers and marches at the gates of Al-Aqsa from the outside.
During the Jewish holidays, the occupation authorities tightened restrictions on Muslims entering Al-Aqsa, by detaining their ID cards at the gates of Al-Aqsa and preventing some from entering until the end of the two incursion periods, in addition to the extensive deployment of occupation intelligence in Al-Aqsa courtyards, photographing worshipers with cell phones and video cameras, and handing random summons to women and men.
The occupation authorities also continued to interfere and obstruct projects and restoration work in Al-Aqsa Mosque, whether inside the mosque's chapels or in its courtyards, and imposed restrictions on the entry of necessary materials for projects.
No day in the past year was free of detention in Jerusalem, whether through storming homes or from the city’s streets, or from Al-Aqsa Mosque. Wadi Hilweh Information Center monitored 2078 cases of arrest in Jerusalem, including 94 females (9 of which are minors), 33 minor boys -less than 12 years old- under the age of responsibility, and 489 minors.
Issawiya city witnessed the highest number of arrests with 775 detainees, followed by 363 detainees from Al-Aqsa Mosque, 300 from Silwan, 182 from Old City of Jerusalem, 124 from Shu’fat refugee camp, Anata and Hizma, and the neighborhoods of Beit Hanina and Shu’fat, 91 from Al-Tur, 46 from Wadi Al-Joz, Al-Sowaneh, and Sheikh Jarrah, 40 From Jabal Al-Mukabber, 24 from Sur Baher, 5 from Kufor Aqab, in addition to multiple arrests from the streets of Jerusalem.
Wadi Hilweh Information Center mentioned that among the detainees last year was Sheikh Abdul Azim Salhab, head of the Endowments Council, who was arrested after the opening of “Bab al-Rahma chapel" and was deported from the mosque for 40 days.The director of the Jerusalem Endowments Sheikh Azzam Al-Khatib, the head of the Supreme Islamic Authority Sheikh Ekrema Sabri and the deputy director of the Jerusalem Endowments were summoned for investigation. The director of the Education Directorate, Professor Samir Jibreel was arrested, and Sheikh Ismail Nawahda, Imam and preacher of Al-Aqsa Mosque, was arrested and deported from Al-Aqsa while the governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith, was arrested 5 times, and the Minister of Jerusalem Fadi Al-Hidmiwas arrested 3 times.
The injured Ali Bilal Taha, 15 years old, from Shu’fat refugee camp, was also arrested last year. He was wounded by live ammunition in the lower limbs, and his treatment was delayed while he was being held near the military checkpoint at the entrance to the camp. He was also severely beaten during detention and inside the ambulance. The wounded Mohammad Khaled Al-Sabah, 16, who was shot in the area of Bab Hutta in the Old City of Jerusalem, on the pretext of trying to carry out a stabbing attack was also arrested. He was hit with three bullets in the back and the hand. Mohammed Issam Al-Qawasmi, 15, from Shu’fat camp, who was shot with live bullets in the back and arrested while being treated. Also, Firas Mahmoud Al-Hallaq, 26, was arrested after the forces opened fire towards him on the pretext of "attempting a run over attack," and he was critically wounded and released about two weeks after the injury and arrest, after the false claims of the occupation army were revealed. Ms. Hayat Zaghal was also arrested after suffering fractures and a dislocated shoulder during her detention from Silwan.
Among the detainees were 21 boys who were arrested while they were going to their schools in the morning or after their school hours ended while they were going to their homes. A student was arrested from inside his school in the village of Issawiya.
Also, nearly 60 cases of arrests took place against employees of the Islamic Endowment (Awqaf department), most of whom have been forced to be expelled from Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Suspending IDs (residency)
The Minister of Interior in the occupation’sgovernment issued a decision to suspend the residency of two Jerusalemite prisoners, Ishaq Arafeh, who is sentenced to life imprisonment and 60 years, and Munir Al-Rajabi, who is sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The occupation authorities issued 355 decisions to expel Palestinian from Al-Aqsa Mosque, 44 decisions deportation orders from the Old City, 10 deportation orders from the city of Jerusalem, in addition to travel-ban orders for several young men, and several orders banning the entry to the West Bank. The deportation decisions ranged between 3 days - 6 months.
The deportation decisions included the Chairman of the Endowment and Islamic Affairs Council, members of the Islamic Council and the Deputy Director of the Endowments of Jerusalem.
The occupation municipality continued imposing its policy of demolishing homes and commercial and agricultural establishments in the city of Jerusalem, under the pretext of building without a permit, at a time when the municipality imposes impossible conditions and huge amounts of licensing procedures that extend for many years.
The occupation municipality also forced the Jerusalemites to implement the orders and decisions of demolition themselves, "self-demolition", after threatening them with actual imprisonment and imposing heavy fines, in addition to forcing them to pay the demolition fare to the municipal staff and municipal forces and the accompanying occupation forces.
Jerusalem witnessed one of the largest mass demolitions and displacements on the 22nd of July, in the neighborhood of Wadi Al-Hummos in Sur Baher village, by demolishing and destroying 11 residential establishments, "most of them are buildings" on the pretext of "their proximity to the security fence / security street" located on the lands of the locals. Most of the residential structures that were demolished are located in an area classified “A” subject to the Palestinian Authority according to the signed agreements, and they have licenses from the Ministry of Local Government, but the occupation army issued its decision to demolish them and the Israeli Supreme Court approved it, on the pretext that it was near the “security street” which is a street surrounded by barbed wire and sensors. Occupation regulations require the prohibition and prevention of construction within a distance of 250-300 meters from it, which threatens dozens of residential and commercial establishments in the neighborhood.
Wadi Hilweh Information Center monitored the demolition of 173 establishments in the city of Jerusalem, including 51 self-demolished facilities by their owners, and facilities under construction. The demolitions included: 21 residential buildings, 67 houses, 1 residential barracks, 41 barracks used for livestock, 6 stores, 5 apartment rooms, 3 walls, 19 commercial establishments, 2 home foundations, 2 balconies, 2 garages, 1 container and 3 rooms.
The village of Jabal Al-Mukabber witnessed the highest number of demolitions, where 47 structures were demolished, followed by Silwan 42, Sur Baher 29, Beit Hanina, Shu’fat and Shu’fat refugee camp 23, in addition to demolitions in most of the Jerusalemite neighborhoods.
The occupation authorities confiscated, at the end of last July, a plot of land in Al-Qaysan neighborhood in Sur Baher, south of Jerusalem, on the pretext of "utility and public facilities", with an area of 5200 square meters.
A member of the Jerusalem Municipal Council, Arieh King, suggested that at the beginning of last year, demolishing parts of the historic wall of the city of Jerusalem, on the pretext of security and facilitating the lives of the residents inside the Old City, claiming that removing the Jerusalem wall is not a violation, it is not a religious site, but rather it is an "urban danger" in the heart of Jerusalem.
Last year, the occupation authorities issued a decision to demolish the neighborhood of Wadi Yasoul in Silwan, which includes 84 facilities and houses about 400 people. Indeed, the occupation bulldozers demolished several residential, agricultural and animal facilities in it, and the occupation municipality and the courts refuse to change the classification of the lands of Wadi Yasoul neighborhood to areas where housing is permitted. The lands are classified as green areas intended to be public and open areas, natural areas and bushes.
At the end of June, the occupation authorities opened a tunnel under the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood of Silwan, while excavations are continuing under the residents’ homes in the neighborhood and cracks and landslides in the area are increasing due to the excavation works.
The occupation authorities, with their various institutions, carried out a "campaign of punishment, assaults and abuse" in the village of Issawiya, which began since the beginning of last June and escalated afterwards, after the martyrdom of Mohammad Samir Obeid, who is a resident of the village after being shot by an Israeli police officer.
Issawiya witnessed since the second half of last year, daily raids around the clock to the neighborhoods and streets, establishing checkpoints by the police and special forces at the entrances to the village and inside the streets, checking and inspecting vehicles, issuing violations and suspending the license the vehicle or the bus for random reasons, storming and searching residential homes, and blowing their doors to implement arrests, the delivery of summonses, or to check if a certain person is in compliance with the house-arrest conditions imposed on him/her.
The occupation authorities also targeted the shops with daily raids, searches and imposing various taxes, in addition to being stationed on their doors and harassing customers. The occupation municipality's staff continued to issue demolition orders and stop construction in the village in addition to issuing demolition decisions for the facilities.
The health centers were not spared from storming or stationing their doors and blocking entry and exit from them, and the schools in the village were included in the punishment campaign, by storming them, arresting one of the students, and attacking the administrative and teaching staff in addition to the almost daily presence in the morning and afternoon in Al-Madares Street (Schools Street).
The occupation authorities also carried out weekly campaigns to remove Palestinian flags and banners of the factions and erase the slogans and names of martyrs and prisoners, and also destroyed the memorial that was placed in the location where Martyr Mohammad Samir Obeid was shot several times.
The occupation authorities used, during the storming of Issawiyavillage, live bullets, rubber bullets, sound and gas grenades, and pepper gas. The center explained that the bullets penetrated the windows of several residential houses, causing damage to internal walls and furniture.
Medical personnel were also part of the assault. One of the paramedics of the Red Crescent was hit with a rubber bullet in the abdomen, while he was trying to transport one of the injured in the village, not to mention obstructing their work and their field movements inside.
At the end of last year, the occupation authorities handed 9 young men from Issawiya notices signed by the "Internal Front Command in the occupation army", informing them of his intention to issue them nightly house detention orders for several months in accordance with emergency regulations established by the British mandate, on the pretext of the existence of "sensitive and confidential information reviewed by Security agencies, and indicates that "your activity would pose a threat to the security of the state and the public."
Also, the occupation authorities arrested more than 14 Jerusalemites from Issawiya, between 35-60, and were threatened by the occupation intelligence to transfer their files to the Israeli Ministry of Interior to suspend their residency, in the event that they continue to throw stones and participate in confrontations.
The occupation authorities deported dozens of young Jerusalemites from their place of residence in the village of Issawiya for varying periods ranging from 3 days to a month. Several people were deported outside the village while others were ordered to be deported outside the borders of Jerusalem.
In 2019, settler assaults on Jerusalemites and their property continued in the city of Jerusalem, and the information center monitored the writing of racist slogans calling for killing and deporting Arabs from the city and sabotaging vehicle tires and smashing their windows, the most prominent of which was the end of last year by sabotaging the tires of more than 150 vehicles and trucks in the neighborhood of Shu’fat, north of Jerusalem, in addition to similar attacks “Ard Al-Simar” area and Beit Hanina.
Last year, the settlers took control of the house of the Abu Asab family in the Old City of Jerusalem, as well as two residential buildings in the Old City, and a property consisting of "an apartment, land and storehouse" for Siam family in Silwan, and a building in Al-Sowaneh neighborhood.
The reasons for controlling real estate differed, some of which were leaked from the owners, others lost the "right to protection", and some belonged to the "custodian of the absentees' property."
The settlement groups also delivered eviction and judicial notices to families in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah,and in Batn Al-Hawa and Wadi Hilweh neighborhoods in Silwan, to control their properties under the pretext of "ownership of the land on which houses are built”, or ownership by the Jewish National Fund.
Closing the offices of the Directorate of Education and Palestine TV
At the end of November, the occupation authorities closed the office of the Directorate of Education and Palestine TV and Al-Rasasi Mosque in the city of Jerusalem, by a decision of the Minister of Internal Security for a period of 6 months, on the pretext of "carrying out activities for the Palestinian Authority or on its behalf or under its auspices within the scope of the State of Israel without a permit in accordance with the law," according to the decision.
Suppression of sporting and social activities and events
The occupation authorities continued to suppress cultural and social activities in the city of Jerusalem under the pretexts of being organized by the Palestinian Authority, or by terrorist entities.
The Information Center monitored the suppression and prevention of several activities, most notably: A ceremony entitled "Fifty Years of Excellence and Development on the Land of Jerusalem" for Al-Maqased Hospital on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of its establishment; the "Mother's Day Event" at the French Institute, a sports event entitled "the first tournament for the Jerusalem People Forum in the village of Beit Safafa, a memorial service of the late Dr. Subhi Ghosheh in Yabous Center, a memorial service for the late athlete Ahmed Adela at the YMCA, the establishment of the Jerusalem Families League at Burj Al-Laqlaq Stadium, a sports championship on the occasion of the Islamic New Year in Issawiya Stadium , a legal workshop on "Construction Problems in the City of Jerusalem" in Burj Al-Laqlaq, a seminar on "Palestinian civilization and its combating" in Al-Dar Hotel, a literary poetry event at the Dar Al-Aytam school, the suppression of a solidarity stand for the Palestinian prisoner Samer Al-Arbid, the suppression of a sit-in in Salah Al-Din Street in solidarity with the prisoners on hunger strike, and a sit-in in support of the people of Gaza Strip.
The occupation forces also stormed Al-Maqased Hospital and Augusta Victoria Hospital in Jerusalem several times during the past year.