A lawsuit to close Bab Al-Rahma chapel ... arrests, deportations, and assaulting dozens of worshipers
January 7, 2020

The attacks of the officers and the occupation police, in Bab Al-Rahma chapel and its surroundings, have escalated during the last days, by attacking worshipers, executing arrests, and issuing decisions banning worshippers from entering it, coinciding with the filing of a lawsuit calling for an order to be issued to renew the closure of Bab Al-Rahma, as reported by the Council of Endowments, Islamic Affairs and Holy Places in Jerusalem.

On 7/1/2020, the occupation police and officers attacked two worshipers at Al-Aqsa Mosque, the first was during the settlers' break-ins in the afternoon, and the second was after the Evening prayer. The forces attacked women and their children, boys and young men.

Assault and beating

Eyewitnesses explained to Wadi Hilweh Information Center that the first attack took place on the women present at the upper courtyard of Bab al-Rahma chapel, where one of the officers came and called on them to vacate the site Immediately and then began helping the forces accompanying him by pushing them to force them to leave the area before the arrival of a group of invading settlers to Al-Aqsa.

Witnesses added that a state of tension prevailed in the area at that time, especially after one of the boys was attacked and severely beaten on the ground.

The forces then arrested a young woman and 4 young men.

In the evening hours, especially after evening prayers, the forces chased a young man while he was walking in the corridor of the chapel, which leads to Lions Gate, and severely beat him while he was on the ground while tying his hands and feet, and then arrested him.

The witnesses added that the occupation forces chased the worshipers during their exit through Hutta Gate and Lions Gate, and started beating them indiscriminately, including women and boys, and carried out random arrests, targeting a girl, a woman and 5 young men.

The forces also forced the worshipers in the courtyards to evacuate Al-Aqsa and exit from it.

They confirmed that the occupation forces deliberately beat worshipers on the face, head and back.

The detainees

Among the detainees were Aseel Eid, Noor Mahameed, Mai Asseila, Habib Abu Shusha, Mohammad Abu Shusha, Youssef Abu Shusha, Abdullah Abu Shusha, Yazan Derbas, Islam Ghatit and Majd Kabha.

The occupation authorities attacked the worshipers last Thursday evening, and arrested a number of them, some of whom are still under arrest and investigation.

Deportations from Al-Aqsa

During the past week, the occupation authorities escalated the deportation of young men from Al-Aqsa. Among those banned from entering the Mosque were: Yacoub Dabbagh, Anas Abu Al-Hummos, Imad Abu Sneineh, Ahmed Al-Shawish, Mohammad Zghayyar and Jihad Qos.

Islamic Affairs and Endowments Council

The Islamic Affairs and Endowments Councilsaid in a statement that the occupation authorities had filed a lawsuit calling for an order to be issued to renew the closure of Bab Al-Rahma.

The statement added: "Coinciding with suspicious movements by the occupation police on the ground in the vicinity of the chapel of Bab al-Rahma and the entire eastern area, by attacking the worshipers, beating, arresting and deporting them, with an unprecedented police presence in an attempt to impose a new status quo that paves the way for more dangerous roles threatening the region and Al-Aqsa Mosque in general. And its blatant interference in the overall tasks and functions of the Endowment Department, and involving themselves in everything related to the mosque through the installation of scaffolding and suspicious maintenance work for the outer walls of the mosque.”

The Council held the occupation authorities fully responsible towards any attempt to impose a new reality in the vicinity of Bab al-Rahma chapel and the eastern area, and the responsibility for any architectural damage that occurs to all historical buildings that have become in urgent need for restoration work.