Wadi Hilweh Information Center Monthly Report: Serious violations in Al-Aqsa Mosque and arresting 120 Jerusalemites
Wadi Hilweh Information Center- Silwan monitored the Israeli violations against Jerusalemites in the city of Jerusalem during the month of March where the assaults of various Israeli organizations on the citizens and their properties and sanctities continued. Violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque… The Information Center pointed out that the violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque continued where more than 1250 extremists, Israeli soldiers and students of Jewish institutions broke into Al-Aqsa and carried out various tours in its courtyards while some of them tried to practice their religious rituals in some areas inside Al-Aqsa but the guards confronted them and prevented them from doing so. Among the extremists that broke in were the Israeli Minister of Housing, Uri Ariel, and Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, Moshe Feiglin, in addition to the extremist Rabbi, Yehuda Galbek who led several groups but was isolated from Al-Aqsa at the end of the month after he verbally abused Al-Aqsa guards. The Special Forces broke into the courtyards of Al-Aqsa on 16/03/2014 on the same day when Uri Ariel broke in resulting in violent clashes where the worshippers were attacked by sound grenades, rubber bullets, and pepper gas and led to the injury of 4 Jerusalemites with wounds. The forces also broke into Al-Aqsa on 20/3 (when Feiglin broke in) and violent clashes broke out where the Marabouts were assaulted including the women. The Israeli forces closed the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque several time during last month and prevented the worshippers and Al-Aqsa students (Masateb) and around 500 students from Al-Aqsa schools from entering on the 11th, 16th and 17th of the month; they also restricted the entrance of worshippers on two Fridays (14th and 21st of March). The occupation authorities isolated nearly 20 Palestinians including four women and two children from Al-Aqsa Mosque for various periods. Arrests and detentions… The Information Center monitored the arrest of 120 Jerusalemites during the month of March from all areas and neighbourhoods of the city of Jerusalem (Old City, Esawyeh, Silwan, Al-Tur, Sur Baher, Wad Al-Joz, Beit Hanina and Shu’fat refugee camp). Among the people arrested were 40 minors aged between 13 and 17 years. The Israeli police also violated the Israeli and international laws for arresting people while executing an arrest and interrogating the detainees. The arrests were done after raiding the home of detainees in the early morning hours or from the streets of Jerusalem (without informing their families) or from the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Information Center followed up with the detainees and was informed that the interrogators in all detention and police centers (Salah Eddin Street, Al-Maskobyeh and Al-Qishleh) and also interrogated the children without the presence of their parents under the pretext of “obstructing the interrogation” and also handcuffed the children during the arrest and interrogation. Among the detainees were four Jerusalemite women who were arrested while attempting to enter Al-Aqsa, they are: Um Tarek Hashlamon, Aida Sidawi, Majida Hawwash and Sameeha Shahin. They were all released after detaining them for several hours and on condition of isolation from Al-Aqsa Mosque. Also, five lawyers were arrested, they are: Shireen Essawi, Amjad Safadi, Amor Iskafi, Nadim Ghrayeb and Mohammad Abu Sneineh and were interrogated in Al-Maskobyeh cells under the charges of transferring money and messages to Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements. Demolition processes… During last month, the occupation municipality’s crews protected by the Israeli forces demolished a residential building and three residential barracks in Al-Tur and Beit Hanina, and one Jerusalemite self-demolished parts of his house in Jabal Al-Mukabber while another self-demolished two residential barracks. At the end of March, the occupation bulldozers demolished a residential building in Khallet Al-Ein in Al-Tur east of the Old City owned by Ghadeer Ajram Abu Ghalyeh. The building consists of “Al-Rahmeh” Mosque that is 100 square meters, a 200-square meters medical center, storages and two residential apartments with an area of 300 square meters; note that 11 individuals live in the two apartments. The owner pointed out that the building has been established for three years and he was able to obtain an order on Wednesday to stop the demolition; note that the District court was supposed to hold a session regarding the demolition of the building at the beginning of May. Abu Ghalyeh confirmed that the demolition was done without prior notice and the forces surrounded the building and evacuated the residents then carried out the demolition on top of the furniture. He also noted that the second time the building gets demolished as it was previously demolished in 2007. The bulldozers also demolished three residential mobile homes (caravans) for Salaymeh and Samara families in Beit Hanina; note that the caravans were established on top of the ruins of the demolished houses of both families after they were demolished last years. Salaymeh built the 70-square meters caravan last June on top of his demolished home. The bulldozers had demolished two houses on 29/05/2013 for Badwan Salaymeh and his sons; note that the houses have been established since 2000 and the municipality confiscated the family’s land for “public facilities”. The bulldozers also demolished two caravans for Mohammad Samara and his son Shadi in the neighbourhood of Ashqarya in Beit Hanina under the pretext of building without a permit. Mohammad Samara explained that the occupation forces raided the two caravans after breaking the main doors as nobody was inside. They took some of the furniture outside the caravans and then carried out the demolition process without prior notice; note that each caravan is 40 square meters where 8 individuals live in both of them. The Maslamani family self-demolished last month two residential barracks located in the neighbourhood of “Al-Hardoub” in Al-Tur east of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem that were built in April 2013; note that 8 individuals live in the two barracks including two children and a disabled girl and are 100 square meters. The municipality has been trying to confiscate the land that is one Dunom in order to open a main street through the land; note that the blueprint of the street was proposed to the Knesset in 2000 but was not ratified then Naeem Rabay’a was forced to self demolish part of his home at the beginning of last March in the neighbourhood of Jabal Al-Mukabber to avoid actual imprisonment for six months and paying high fines. The part that was added to the establishment in 2000 was 75 square meters (two rooms and facilities), and it was expanded in order to accommodate 9 individuals. Rabay’a tried to obtain a building permit throughout the past years but to no avail. Suppression of events … The occupation authorities continued violating the right of freedom of speech by suppressing eight events in the city of Jerusalem (national, sports and cultural events) in addition to preventing a press conference about the “National Service”. They also closed Yabous Cultural Center where the press conference was supposed to be held. Wadi Hilweh Information Center monitored that occupation authorities’ suppression of marches and sit-ins carried out in Jerusalem to condemn the massacres committed in the West bank and Gaza Strip, and others to support Al-Aqsa and another on occasion of “Earth Day”. They also suppressed a sports marathon and an event for the “longest series of book readers” and assaulted the participants using sound grenades and rubber bullets in addition to spraying them with pepper gas; note that several participants were arrested. During last month, the forces broke into “Elia” organization and confiscated equipment and devices (computers and recording devices) in addition to raiding houses of employees in Esawyeh and Bab Hutta. The settlers and their guards also assaulted the families in Al-Qirmi neighbourhood in the Old City of Jerusalem and sprayed them with pepper gas and attacked them using their batons. The police intervened and only protected the settlers and assaulted the young men with the butts of their guns resulting in the injury of several residents with suffocations and burns. The 19-year old Tarek Idris and 20-year old Louai Sub Laban were injured with wounds in the chest, face and limbs. Idris was transferred to the hospital for treatment while Sub Laban was detained for several hours. Assault on journalists… The Israeli forces targeted Jerusalemite journalists and photographers since the beginning of the year while they were in the field covering and monitoring the events. Several were injured with rubber bullets and shrapnel of sound grenades. Among those were journalist photographer Ahmad Gharableh, Jamil Qadamani, Suleiman Khader, Mohammad Asho, Afif Amira and Sinan Abu Meizar. Several other journalists were assaulted with batons and some were forced to leave the location of the event. Since the beginning of the year, it was obvious that the Israeli forces are deliberately targeting the journalists. Amir Abed Rabbo was called for investigation because of what he published on his “Facebook” account as he had put a picture of “Nir Barakat”, the Mayor of occupation municipality, while breaking in the Community center in the town of Sur Baher, south of Jerusalem. The interrogators considered the writing of “Mayor of occupation municipality” to be an incitement against Barakat. The Musta’ribeen unit also targeted journalists and photographers who work with local and international agencies by directing the electric gun towards them to prevent them from recording the kidnapping and detention of citizens during clashes in the neighborhood of Ras Al-Amoud. Assault on paramedics… The occupation authorities also targeted the paramedics while they were providing medical services for citizens during marches and sit-ins in Jerusalem and injured many of them with rubber bullets and shrapnel of grenades during the month of March. In an assault on the individual's right to be provided with appropriate and immediate treatment, the guards of Shaare Zedek Hospital prevented a Palestinian Red-Crescent ambulance from transferring an elderly sick woman from Shu’fat refugee camp and detained the paramedics crew along with the sick woman nearly half an hour; she was then allowed to go in on stretcher despite the cold weather and for no reason or justification.