Details - With grenades, gas canisters, pushing and arrests...the forces assaulted the residents of the Batn al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan
July 23, 2022

The residents of Batn al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan did not enjoy a quiet night. The sounds of grenades and the provocations of the occupation soldiers and settlers broke the calm of the neighborhood and led to the children’s panic and fear, and dozens of people suffocated due to the smell of gas.

The people of the Batn al-Hawa neighborhood explained to the staff of the Wadi Hilweh Information Center – Jerusalem what happened and said: “A group of settlers were wandering in the neighborhood, under the protection of the soldiers, during which a soldiers pushed one of the young men and chased him. The head of Batn Al-Hawa committee, Zuhair al-Rajabi, attempted to inquire about what was going on, and one of the soldiers sprayed him with pepper gas on his face; Zuhair was in front of his house."

The residents continued: "The indiscriminate attacks on the residents continued, with pushing, chasing, and trying to evacuate the area from the people, targeting houses with gas bombs, and spraying pepper gas at them."

The head of the Batn al-Hawa neighborhood committee, Zuhair al-Rajabi, left his house with his wife, daughter and son Hamza for treatment after suffering from suffocation, so the soldiers stopped their vehicle and sprayed pepper gas at them while they were inside the vehicle. They also attacked Zuhair and his son Hamza and pointed their guns towards them, in addition to verbally insulting them.”

The child, Dareen al-Rajabi - Zuhair's daughter - pointed out that she was in the vehicle with her family on their way to treatment, and after stopping their vehicle, the forces sprayed them with gas in a random manner, pointing out that her mother called her brother Hamza to come to the house and take them for treatment after the first attack on them in front of their house, but the forces stopped them while they were in the vehicle and assaulted them and arrested her father and her brother Hamza.

Louay al-Haddad, a resident of the Batn al-Hawa neighborhood, said: "The forces terrified the residents with gas bombs, sound bombs, and rubber bullets. They threw bombs directly at houses and towards vehicles. They attacked Zuhair al-Rajabi and his family while they were inside their vehicle. Dozens of people suffocated."

Al-Haddad said: "Daily suffering with the settlers, their numbers in the neighborhood are constantly increasing, they attack us and then they complain to the police that the residents are the ones who attacked them, while the police storm the neighborhood and houses and carry out various attacks."

Abu Khader al-Rajabi explained that he came to the Batn al-Hawa neighborhood to visit his relatives, but was surprised by the forces' assault, targeting residents and homes with bombs, pursuit and beatings, and the arrest of his brother Zuhair and his son Hamza after the attack on them.

He said: "After the arrest of my brother and his son, his wife and daughter were left inside the vehicle alone and the forces surrounded the entire area, then they stormed the house of Zuhair and Jadallah and searched them completely, and no family members were present at the time.”

He added: "The forces stormed Zuhair's house after smashing its outer door using "hand tools." We told the forces that we had the keys to the house but they insisted on smashing the door and prevented the family members from entering the house during the search operation.” He pointed out that after they were done destroying Zuhair’s house, they went to his brother’shouse, Jadallah al-Rajabi, also destroyed its door in the same way and searched the entire house.”