First half of 2022 in the city of Jerusalem
Perhaps the most prominent of the events that occurred in Jerusalem during the first half of the current year 2022, the events that took place in the month of Ramadan, which coincided with the “Jewish Passover” holiday and the incursions and confrontations that took place in Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the news that shocked everyone, which is the martyrdom of the journalist Sherine Abu Akleh, in which grief and anger affected the feelings of thousands of Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank, not to mention millions around the world, who will not forget the scenes of oppression during her funeral and the flutter of the Palestinian flag throughout the city of Jerusalem.
Even the usual events in the city of Jerusalem, bear the nature of repression, arrest, demolition, settlers' assault and restrictions on Jerusalemites, who will not give up their right to live in dignity on their land and city.
Wadi Hilweh Information Center - Jerusalem, documented the events during the first six months of this year:
Four Palestinian martyrs
During the first half of this year, four Palestinianswere martyred, three of them in Al-Aqsa and its gates, and the martyr journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Jenin refugee camp, they are:
On 6/3/2022, 19-year-old Karim Jamal Al-Qawasmi was shot dead by the occupation forces at Hutta Gate - one of the gates of Al-Aqsa from the outside - under the pretext that he had carried out a stabbing attack.
On 7/3/2022, the Palestinian youth, Abd al-Rahman Jamal Qasem, 22, from Ramallah, was shot dead by the occupation forces at al-Qattaneen Gate - one of the gates of al-Aqsa from the outside. Video recordings showed that the young man continued to be shot, even after he fell from the steps of "al-Qattaneen Gate" and was wounded.
On 11/5/2022, the Palestinian journalist Sherine Abu Akleh was shot by the occupation forces, during the storming of Jenin refugee camp, when she was accompanied by a group of fellow journalists, all of whom were wearing helmets and protective jackets bearing the word "PRESS".They were subjected to continuous fire, and her colleague Ali Al-Smoudiwas initially wounded, and moments later, Shireen Abu Akleh was wounded by an explosive bullet in the neck.
On May 14, 2022, Walid Al-Sharif died of wounds he sustained inside the courtyards of Al-Aqsa during the third Friday of the month of Ramadan on “22/4/2022”. He was arrested at that time and was not given immediate treatment. He remained in a coma until his death
Detention of the bodies of the Jerusalemite martyrs
The Information Center said that the occupation authorities continue to detain the bodies of 7 Jerusalem martyrs in refrigerators: the body of the martyr Mesbah Abu Sbeih since October 2016, the body of the martyr Fadi al-Qunbar since January 2017, the body of martyr Aziz Aweisat since May 2018, and the two martyrs Shaher Abu Khadija and Zuhdi al-Tawil since May 2021, the martyr Fadi Abu Shkheidem since November 2021, and the martyr Karim Jamal al-Qawasmi, 19 years old, since March 2022.
The occupation authorities continued the policy of "shooting" at Palestinians, on suspicion of "attempting to carry out an operation". During the current half year, several cases were recorded, most notably:
On March 19, 2022, the police shot Murad Samir Barakat, injuring him moderately, at the entrance to the town of Al-Thori. Recordings showed a settler's assault on him with pushing before he was wounded.
On May 8, 2022, the occupation forces shot a Palestinian youth, Nazir Marzouk, 19 years old, from Abwein village, north of Ramallah, after detaining him inside the control room located at the entrance to Damascus Gate. Eyewitnesses confirmed the forces directly shot the young man and from zero distance resulting in critical injuries.
On May 11, 2022, the occupation forces shot a Palestinian youth, Rami Srour, from Ni’lin village, north of Ramallah, at Al-Qattaneen Gate- one of the gates of Al-Aqsa -. After several sessions in absentia were held “due to his critical health condition”, he was released without restrictions, as the allegations of the police that he tried to carry out a stabbing attack were false, and the young man was wounded by dozens of bullets, which led to the removal of the spleen and part of the stomach, in addition to damage to the limbs and pelvis.
Al-Aqsa Mosque...serious violations with government and judicial support
The Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that various violations and attacks by the occupation authorities took place in Al-Aqsa Mosque, over the past months, represented by closing the mosque and preventing entry to it, siege of worshipers and mosques, beatings and mass arrests, throwing gas bombs from a drone, sound bombs, and rubber bullets.
As for the "alleged temple groups", with the cover and support of the government and the judiciary, they have desecrated Al-Aqsa to a great extent, by massive incursions into the mosque, performing collective public prayers and raising Israeli flags.
Thousands of settlers carried out their storming of Al-Aqsa, including senior rabbis and those responsible for the “alleged temple groups.” They performed prayers along the path of their incursions, which starts from the Dung Gate through the courtyard of Al-Qibli prayer hall, Al-Marwanichapel and the eastern area of the mosque, then walk along the northern wall of the mosque, and south in front of the Al-QattaneenGate and Al-Hadeed Gate and exit from Al-Silsileh Gate. The incursions into Al-Aqsa are carried out daily, except for Fridays and Saturdays of every week, and holidays and religious occasions, within the “program of incursions during the morning and afternoon periods,” through the Dung Gate, whose keys have been controlled by the occupation authorities since the occupation of Jerusalem, and settlers’ incursions have doubled during the Jewish holidays.
The most prominent violations, attacks and intrusions monitored by the information center:
In the month of March, settlers carried out massive incursions on the Purim holiday, and the number of intruders reached 320 settlers.
With the start of the month of April, the month of Ramadan began and coincided with the Jewish Passover holiday, and the violations began in Al-Aqsa on the 15th of April, which is the second Friday of the month of Ramadan,” as Al-Aqsa witnessed violent clashes from dawn until 10 a.m. after the forces stormed it in large numbers and teams, evacuated its courtyards, besieged worshipers in its mosques and prevented them from leaving it, fired sound bombs and rubber bullets indiscriminately, carried out hundreds of arrests from inside the Al-Qibli prayer hall after storming it with weapons, targeting them with poison gas and rubber bullets, severely beating them with the butts of guns and shoes, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the ground, in addition to arrests from the courtyards. Hundreds of injuries were recorded on that day, dozens of them with rubber bullets to the head and neck, and many of them had fractures of the skull and internal bleeding.
On that day, the gates of Al-Aqsa did not calm down from the outside, so it witnessed sporadic confrontations, attacks and arrests.
On April 17, the forces stormed Al-Aqsa in the early morning hours, while the worshipers were performing the Duha prayer, to secure the settlers’ incursions into Al-Aqsa. The forces assaulted the worshippers and evacuated them by force, and besieged hundreds of worshippers inside Al-Qibli prayer hall and fired rubber bullets towards them through the upper windows, and the forces opened Hutta, Al-Majles, and Al-Silsileh gates only, while the rest of the gates were kept closed, and entry to Al-Aqsa was prevented during the settlers’ incursions.
The week of the "Jewish Passover", which came in the second week of Ramadan, during which large-scale incursions were carried out in Al-Aqsa from April 18 to 21, and the number of intrusion reached 3,738 extremists. During that, the Special Forces stormed Al-Aqsa, deliberately evacuating the courtyards of worshipers and besieging the young men inside the Al-Qibli prayer hall and limiting the movement and presence of Muslims, women and the elderly in Al-Aqsa, by spreading teams and removing the worshipers from the wooded areas, during which they assaulted the worshipers by beating and pushing and the besieged young men with bullets and pepper gas, and restrictions were imposed on worshipers entering Al-Aqsa this week by preventing young men from entering and withholding identities.
On 22/4, the third Friday of Ramadan, confrontations erupted after the dawn prayer, following a march that started in Al-Aqsa courtyards. The forces targeted worshipers with rubber bullets, and members of the sniper teams stationed on the roofs of al-Silsileh Gate fired bullets directly at the worshipers.
After the noon prayer, on the same day and during a march that toured the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, a “drone” fired gas bombs at the worshipers in the courtyard of the Dome of the Rock, and dozens of cases of suffocation were recorded among the worshipers, especially women and children.
On 28/4, a "drone" dropped gas bombs at the worshipers in the area of Al-Qibli Square and the Al-Marwani, while Al-Aqsa was crowded with worshipers who celebrated Lailat Al-Qader there.
On 29/4, the fourth and last Friday of the month of Ramadan, confrontations broke out after the dawn prayer, following a march that started in the Al-Aqsa courtyards, and the forces deployed in the squares and wooded areas and at the doors of the chapels. They also targeted worshipers through the "sniper unit" stationed on the roof of al-Silsileh Gate, and the forces pursued the worshipers in the wooded area, and drove hundreds of them outside Al-Aqsa and prevented entry to the mosque until ten in the morning.
The violations continued during the month of May, most notably: On May 3rd, the occupation authorities cut the speaker wires in Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the evening call to prayer was absent, during the celebrations at the Al-Buraq Wall on the so-called "Independence Day".
On May 5th, Al-Aqsa Mosque witnessed massive incursions on the anniversary of the so-called “Independence Day.” The number of intruders reached 792 extremists. The forces stormed Al-Aqsa in the early morning hours, surrounded the worshipers inside the Al-Qibli prayer hall and attacked them with gas and rubber bullets, and spread in the squares and assaulted those present by beating, pushing and arresting them, during the two periods of incursions.
The occupation police prevented entry to Al-Aqsa, especially for young men, who were forced to perform the dawn and noon prayers at the gates of the mosque.
On May 8th, the occupation forces closed the gates of Al-Aqsa in the evening, after shooting a young man in Damascus Gate, and prevented entry to it to perform the evening prayer, so the worshipers were forced to perform it in the streets.
In the middle of May, the occupation forces cut off the water supply to the Bab al-Rahma prayer hall.
On May 29th, the anniversary of the so-called “unification of Jerusalem”, which is the anniversary of the occupation of the city according to the Hebrew calendar, Al-Aqsa witnessed widespread violations, represented by the occupation officers allowing hundreds of settlers to perform collective public prayers in it and raise Israeli flags, amid the repression of the Palestinians in the squares and the besieging of worshipers inside the Al-Qibli prayer hall while executing massive arrests and preventing entry to Al-Aqsa.
On June 5th and 6th, Al-Aqsa Mosque witnessed massive incursions on the anniversary of the so-called "Descent of the Torah –Shavuot. The number of intrusions during the two days reached 1052 settlers. On the fifth of June, the occupation forces surrounded the worshipers inside the Al-Qibli prayer hall and assaulted them and carried out separate arrests.
During the incursions of the occupation forces to Al-Aqsa Mosque during the month of Ramadan, and ascending the roof of the Al-Qibli prayer hall, the occupation forces broke many of the gypsum windows of the Al-Qibli prayer hall, broke the outer doors of the prayer hall, cut the speaker wires, and caused burns to the carpets due to sound bombs.
The occupation authorities continued to impose restrictions on the entry of worshipers of "West Bank ID holders" to Al-Aqsa, especially on Fridays, by arresting some of them and deporting hundreds using police buses and cars to the checkpoints set up at the entrances to Jerusalem.
Sheikh Jarrah... to the front of events
In mid-February, Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood returned to the forefront of events, after extremist Knesset member Itamar Ben Gavir moved his office to the center of the neighborhood, the "western part", calling for permanent police protection for a settler residing inside the neighborhood, and for weeks the occupation turned the area into a military zone by setting up police checkpoints in the vicinity of "Ben Gavir's office", and prevented traffic on the street and suppressed the Palestinian presence in the area.
Over the course of days, the residents of the neighborhood demonstrated with the Palestinians in the area, and the area witnessed sporadic confrontations, the most severe of which were on the day the office was set up. The forces responded with beating, arresting and deporting Palestinians from the neighborhood and preventing them from being or sitting in front of the homes.
Repression and abuse
The occupation forces continued to suppress field activities in the city of Jerusalem, and religious events were not spared such repression, nor were funerals.
On 28/2, the occupation forces suppressed the celebrations of the Palestinians commemorating the Isra and Mi’raj during their gathering and presence in the Damascus Gate area in Jerusalem. The forces threw sound bombs and randomly sprayed waste water and used rubber bullets and beatings with batons, to prevent sitting and being in the place, and carried out field arrests.
In the month of April, Damascus Gate returned to the scene of confrontation "at the beginning of the month of Ramadan" for a week, especially the streets overlooking Damascus Gate "Sultan Suleiman, Al-Musrara, and Nablus Street" by suppressing those present, beating them and carrying out field arrests.
"Saturday of Light"...The occupation authorities forbade Christians to celebrate it freely on the occasion of "Saturday of Light", as barriers were erected in the streets of the Christian Quarter, the roads leading to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and the gates of the Old City, and only allowed a small number to reach the church, and assaulted the people with pushing and beating at the checkpoints.
In May, the occupation forces suppressed the funeral of the martyr Shireen Abu Akleh, by storming the French Hospital as soon as the mourners arrived carrying the coffin on their shoulders to the hospital door, and prevented them from walking, during which the forces stormed the hospital and hit the coffin bearers with batons, and fired bombs and rubber bullets at the participants. They also stormed the emergency department of the hospital, and again, the forces beat those inside the car transporting the body, and determined the path of the car, and the cavalry teams and a police car followed it.
The forces also attacked Palestinians in the streets of Jerusalem to prevent them from reaching the church and participating in the funeral, and closed the roads and the Old City of Jerusalem.
On the day of the martyrdom, the forces stormed the house of the martyr Abu Akleh in Beit Hanina, and demanded not to raise the flags, play songs, or sit in the street. In the afternoon hours, the forces suppressed a march that initiated from Beit Hanina towards the house of the martyr.
In the month of May, the occupation forces also suppressed the funeral and procession of the martyr Walid al-Sharif, by chasing the ambulance transporting the body in al-Tur and attacking it with rubber bullets, as well as attacking the convoy of vehicles with bullets and beatings to prevent cars and pedestrians from heading towards Al-Aqsa.
The forces also set up their barricades in the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem and the surrounding streets, and closed them completely and assaulted those present and evacuated the streets by force. When the body reached the Herods Gate area, they attacked the mourners with beatings and gas and chased them towards Salah al-Din Street, and as soon as they entered the cemetery, the forces stormed the area and violent confrontations erupted, which continued throughout the burial ceremony of the martyr.
On May 29th, the forces attacked the Palestinians in the streets of Jerusalem, "Damascus Gate and the adjacent areas," and violent confrontations broke out in Salah El-Din Street and Sheikh Jarrah, in conjunction with the "flags march" on the anniversary of the occupation of Jerusalem, and turned the city into a military barracks, to secure the settlers' celebrations on this day, amid the suppression of any Palestinian gathering in the streets of the city, and a complete disruption of the lives of Palestinians in general and the residents and merchants of the Old City in particular.
Extensive arrests... half of them are field arrests
The first half of 2022 witnessed daily arrests in the towns and neighborhoods of Jerusalem, and unprecedented mass arrests from Al-Aqsa and the city's streets during the suppression of various activities.
The Information Center explained that, with the beginning of Ramadan, the occupation authorities formed a special investigation unit in the "Al-Maskobyeh" detention center in Jerusalem, especially in the field, and also allocated a section for security detainees in the Al-Maskobyeh detention center.
The Wadi Hilweh Information Center - Jerusalem monitored 1,896 arrests from Jerusalem, including "12 children "less than the age of responsibility/less than 12 years old", 378 minors, 93 females, including 3 girls."
The information center indicated that the month of April recorded the highest number of arrests, with 793 arrests, followed by May with 401 arrests, and January with 214 arrests.
The center explained that field arrests recorded the largest percentage of arrests during the first half of 2022, especially from Al-Aqsa, where the center monitored 640 arrests. As for Jerusalem streets adjacent to the Old City and Al-Aqsa roads, it monitored 469 arrests.
In its semi-annual report, the Information Center indicated that the second Friday of Ramadan witnessed the arrest of 470 people from inside the Al-Qibli prayer hall of Al-Aqsa Mosque, after beating and abusing them. Most of them were released after hours of arrest, abuse, detention, beatings and movement between detention centers, while dozens were transferred to the occupation’s prisons, "Ramla, Ohli Kedar and Eshel". Most of the detainees were released, while indictments were filed for a number of them, noting that a number of young men "who were arrested from Al-Aqsa and released after hours" were re-arrested after days and subjected to harsh investigations.
The center added that among the detainees during the first half of 2022 was the governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith, who was arrested after storming his house in the town of Silwan. After detaining and investigating him, the intelligence service handed him a decision to renew the order banning him from entering the West Bank until the end of July.
As for administrative detentions, the Center monitored the transfer of 24 Jerusalemites to administrative detention, including the two deputies of the Legislative Council, Muhammad Abu Ter and Ahmed Aton.
The Center pointed out that the month of April recorded the highest cases in which "administrative detention" decisions were issued.
The occupation authorities escalated the decisions of deportation from Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa and the Old City. During the first half of this year, the Center monitored 797 decisions of expulsion, including 387 decisions of deportation from the Old City, 375 decisions of expulsion from Al-Aqsa, 15 decisions of deportation from the city of Jerusalem, and two decisions of deportation from the West Bank; entry denied.
The center pointed out that 55 deportation decisions were issued against women and girls.
The center added that the occupation authorities issued hundreds of deportation decisions for field arrests “deportation from the place of detention”, especially from the areas of Damascus Gate, Herods Gate, Sultan Suleiman and Salah Al-Din Street, for periods ranging from 3 days to two months, by the police or by the courts.
Demolition, displacement and seizure of homes
The Israeli municipality continued its demolitions in the city of Jerusalem, under the pretext of building without a permit. The Wadi Hilweh Information Center monitored 80 demolitions in Jerusalem, of which 37 were “self-demolition” carried out by their owners, in order to avoid paying fines and demolition fees to municipal staff and vehicles.
The center added that the demolitions targeted residential facilities, "houses and residential rooms."
The center explained that among the houses that were demolished in February was the house of the martyr Fadi Abu Shkheidem in Shu’fat refugee camp in Jerusalem, and the property of the Salhiya family in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, which was demolished in the first month of this year and includes "residential and commercial facilities", and the land was confiscated in favor of the municipality, and the process of eviction and confiscation took place before the scheduled date for discussing the appeal against the decision, and the two houses were demolished even though they are considered as heritage and were not included in the eviction decision.
The center pointed out that municipality crews stormed the property of the Salhiya family to evict iton January 17, and on that day the family sat on the roof of their house and threatened to detonate gas cylinders if they were removed from the two houses. The crews demolished the commercial facilities and bulldozed the land before withdrawing from the area, and then came back and stormed the area in the early morning hours of January 19, and arrested the young men present, expelled the women and children, demolished the two houses and confiscated the land.
Mosques were not spared from demolition orders. Last January, the Israeli municipality issued a decision to demolish Al-Taqwa Mosque in the village of Issawiya. The occupation municipality also submitted a petition to the “Local Court” to demolish the Golden Dome and one of the floors of Al-Rahman Mosque in Beit Safafa, several weeks after the settlers’ demands to demolish it, on the pretext that its shape matches the dome of the Dome of the Rock, so that Jerusalem, according to their claim, will not become Mecca.
The settlers escalated their attacks against Palestinians, by firing bullets, throwing stones, assaults with sharp objects, pepper spraying, and vandalizing property. The most prominent settler attacks during the first half of 2022 were:
Shooting by a settler towards the brothers Jawad and Muhammad Abu Khadija, one in the leg and the other in the abdomen, after a traffic accident between their vehicle and the settler's vehicle in Hizma Road.
Mrs. Abeer Abu Jamal from Jabal Al-Mukabber village sustained fractures in the jaw and wounds in the face, after being pelted with stones by settlers while she was driving her vehicle on a bypass road from Ramallah towards Jerusalem.
Basel Rashid was wounded in the back after being hit with sharp tools and blades on the back, and Ammar Hijazi sustained hand fractures and various bruises, after dozens of settlers attacked them during their work in Jerusalem.
Arafat al-Tahan suffered fractures in the skull, the left side - the jaw, the eye, the nose, and the cheek, after dozens of settlers attacked him with stones, while he was on his land in the village of Turmus Ayya.
Riyad Sumrein suffered fractures in the jaw and severe swelling in the face, while his son Laith suffered from bleeding in the eye, after dozens of settlers attacked them near their homes in Silwan.
Dozens of settlers stormed the "Al-Sumoud Building" in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, brandished their weapons at the residents, and insulted them.
In February and May, settlers vandalized tires and smashed the windows of dozens of vehicles in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem.
At the end of May, “during the settlers’ celebrations commemorating the occupation of Jerusalem,” they carried out attacks on Palestinians and their property in the Old City of Jerusalem, Silwan, especially in the Batn al-Hawa neighborhood, Wadi Hilweh, and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
Settler associations control real estate
On March 27, 2022, settlers took control of the Petra Hotel in the Old City of Jerusalem, as part of a deal in which hotels, lands, and real estate were leaked to settler associations by the former Greek Orthodox Patriarch Irnius in 2004. The settlement company "Bresford" had claimed that it had purchased the rights to the Petra Hotel, and at the end of June, the "Magistrate's court" had issued a decision to evict the settlers from the ground floor of the Petra Hotel (Little Petra), which is two commercial stores for the citizen Hassan Saeed that were stormed and their owner was prevented from entering them since 27/3/2022.
Settlers seized the land of the Salem family in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem, under the pretext that the land on which the house was built belonged to the settlers before 1948, and an “office/tent of the extremist Knesset member Itamar Ben Gavir” will be built on the land.
On 12/3/2022, settlers took control of an apartment in the Dung Gate neighborhood / Silwan, after it was sold by its owner, Mu’taz Halisi.