Day 163: Jerusalem during “Al-Aqsa Flood” Operation
March 17, 2024

On the 163rd day of "Al-Aqsa Flood Operation", the Israeli authorities arrested Palestinians that are residents of the West Bank under the pretext of illegal presence in the city of Jerusalem, and worshipers from Jerusalem and the Palestinian 1948 lands continued to flock to the Al-Aqsa Mosque amid the deployment of forces around it and at its gates, and the settlers' incursions continued to the extent that the Minister of Internal Security, Itmar bin Gavir, demanded not to stop "settler incursions during the last ten days of Ramadan".

Arrests of Palestinians from Jerusalem

The Israeli occupation forces stormed the village of Issawiya on Sunday evening, and arrested more than 20 Palestinians under the pretext of "illegal residence" in Jerusalem.

The Israeli authorities issued a decision to close the "Tanour supermarket" in the Wadi al-Joz neighborhood in Jerusalem, under the pretext of "the presence of an employee from the West Bank", and the owners of the store were forced to pay fine of 70 thousand shekels in order not to close the store.

Hussam Hirbawi, the owner of the supermarket, explained that 5 days ago the forces arrested one of the employees who holds a West Bank ID card and has a "medical permit" to be in Jerusalem, and today the decision was issued to close the shop for two weeks, or pay a fine of 70,000 shekels to reopen the shop until the court date.

The Israeli police issued a statement in which they said that during the last week they arrested 254 Palestinians under the pretext of illegal residence in the city, and 30 people suspected of transporting them.

Raids and arrests

The forces continued the incursions into the towns and neighborhoods in Jerusalem. On Sunday morning, they stormed the village of Issawiya, and arrested the young man Adi Abed Alayan.

They also arrested the journalist Bassem Zidani from the Old City, and after his arrest and interrogation he was released on condition of deportation from the Old City of Jerusalem for two weeks.

In the evening hours, the forces heavily fired gas bombs from the observation tower in the streets of the Shu’fat refugee camp.

Al-Aqsa Mosque

The Minister of National Security, Itmar bin Gavir, demanded the withdrawal of the adopted policy, which stipulates "preventing the settlers from breaking into the Al-Aqsa Mosque during the last ten days of Ramadan."

During the month of Ramadan, incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque are carried out during only the "morning" period from 7 a.m. until 11 before noon, while the period of afternoon incursions is canceled, and in the last ten days of the holy month, settlers are not allowed to storm Al-Aqsa Mosque, except for the years that coincided with the Jewish holidays which witnessed confrontations and oppression of the fasting worshipers, to secure the intrusions of the settlers.

On Sunday, 120 settlers stormed al-Aqsa through Dung Gate, guarded by the Israeli occupation forces.

Meanwhile, the worshipers continued to flock to Al-Aqsa to perform the prayers there, and 55 thousand prayers performed the Ishaa and Taraweeh prayers, as reported by the Islamic Endowment Department.

The Israeli forces continued to be stationed and deploy at the gates of Al-Aqsa and its roads, and at the gates of the Old City.

On the other hand, the intelligence service summoned 4 young men from the Palestinian 1948 lands for investigation at the "Al-Qishleh" police station in the Old City of Jerusalem, for the possibility of handing them expulsion orders from Al-Aqsa Mosque.