Day 77: Al-Aqsa Flood Operation in the city of Jerusalem
December 22, 2023

On the 77th day of “Al-Aqsa Flood Operation”, the occupation forces suppressed worshipers in the streets of Jerusalem, continued their tight siege of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and carried out separate arrests in the city.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center - Jerusalem explained that the occupation forces, for the 11th Friday in a row, prevented worshipers from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque, and erected iron barriers in the streets of the city and spread at the gates of the Old City and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The center added that the occupation forces stopped those arriving to Al-Aqsa Mosque, at the checkpoints set up in the streets of the city, or the gates of the Old City and Al-Aqsa, and prevented most of them from passing through, and some were over 70 years old and were prevented from reaching Al-Aqsa.

The occupation forces used sound bombs, gas bombs, and waste water to forcefully disperse the worshipers from the streets of Jerusalem and keep them away from the vicinity of Al-Aqsa, and to prevent them from praying in the streets of the city. Cavalry teams also dispersed the worshipers, in addition to assaulting them by beating and pushing them.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center monitored suppression of worshipers at the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque, at the gates of the Old City, the streets of Wadi Al-Joz (several areas and streets), Lions Gate Road, and the street leading to Herods Gate.

Despite the repression and persecution, prayers were held in the streets of Jerusalem, in the roads and alleys, in rejection of the restrictions and the prevention of access to Al-Aqsa.

Many worshipers suffered from suffocation as a result of the tear gas bombs being thrown, and some suffered various bruises, while the Red Crescent said that its crews dealt with two injuries in “Damascus Gate and Lions Gate areas,” and they were transferred for treatment in the hospital,

As for Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Islamic Endowments Department estimated the number of worshipers there at 12,000 worshipers.

Al-Aqsa prayer halls, courtyards, and corridors were almost empty of worshippers, due to the severe restrictions that prevented worshipers from entering Al-Aqsa, in a measure followed by the occupation authorities since the seventh of last October.

In interviews conducted by the staff of the Hilweh Information Center - Jerusalem, with worshipers “from Jerusalem and the Palestinian 1948 lands,” many of them explained that they were prevented from reaching Al-Aqsa, despite their attempts to enter through several gates, pointing out that whoever was able to enter the Old City towards Al-Aqsa was stopped at the gates of Al-Aqsa and forcefully removed from it.”

Worshipers pointed out that the ban affected all ages: children, youth, women, and the elderly.

Whoever was able to pray and reach Al-Aqsa explained that entering Al-Aqsa was after many attempts through several gates, and the entry procedures consisted of searches, ID checks, and an attempt to intimidate “by shouting and asking questions.”

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center monitored several arrests from the Old City of Jerusalem, Silwan, and Issawiya.

In the village of Issawiya, the occupation forces stormed the village in the evening hours, arrested two children and referred them for investigation.