Wadi Hilweh's Information Centre: During February 151 Jerusalemites Arrested, Including 11 Women, 50 Children & 1Parliament member of PNC
March 5, 2013

Wadi Hilweh’s Information Centre-Silwan documented violations by the Israeli military against Palestinians in Jerusalem during February 2013. This included arrests, assaults, demolitions and confiscations. The centre also found that arrest operations were carried out across East Jerusalem as well as raids on houses and stores. Religious rights for Christians and Muslims were violated along with freedom of movement and expression. Many people had their homes demolished and received various fines and tickets from the authority. Furthermore, residents also faced attacks by settlers, simply for being ‘Arab’. Arrest of Omar al Awar: the Youngest Prisoner Of the 50 children arrested, the youngest was 5 and half year old Omar al Awar from Silwan. He was chased by Israeli forces before being arrested on accusation of throwing a stone at the forces. Reporter Jamil al Kadmani was also arrested. The top three areas the arrestees are from are Silwan, al Essawiye and the Old City. The Israeli courts extended the arrests of more than 20 people from Jerusalem and one woman from al Tur. Most are children and have been refused bail release, claiming they are a risk to national security. The Magistrate Court sentenced prisoner Samer al Essawi who has been on hunger strike since last November. He has spent eight months in prison but is not guaranteed to be released on 6th March. He is currently being held in the military court of Ofer. A child from al Essawiye was sentenced to five months by the Magistrate Court. The Main Court, however, had sentenced him to serve between 16 and 22 months. The Israeli Intelligence and Israeli Police delivered investigation orders to a few Fatah leaders in Jerusalem as well as citizens. Expulsions from al-Aqsa and houses; raiding al-Aqsa and polluting its holiness Many expulsions were documented in the last month. Seven women were expelled from al-Aqsa for two weeks; they were arrested from its grounds. Ten men and children also received bans ranging from two weeks to two months. The violations on al-Aqsa continued as the police raided it last Friday using rubber bullets, bombs and pepper spray againstworshipers. It was also raided daily by settlers, Knesset members and army generals with the Police’s cooperation. Israeli forces also deported an activist from al Essawiye from his house for a week. In another case, an old man was deported from the Old City. Demolitions and Evacuating Families Assaulting the history and culture in Jerusalem, Israeli bulldozers demolished old arched buildings on the northern side of the Buraq wall. The Israeli authorities are preparing to build structures for the Jewish central religious known as "Bet Strauss". The Israeli bulldozers also demolished seven houses in Beit Hanina, north Jerusalem. Four, which housed 40 people, belonged to Kastiro's family. Abu Safa’s family house which was home to 12 members of two families was also demolished. The Kaswanis family had their caravan demolished; it had six members living in it. Two rooms in Bet Eksa un West-North Jerusalem were also demolished. On top of this, the Municipality of Jerusalem delivered demolition orders, claiming homes were built without permits in Silwan,Anata al Tur and al Sawane. This included and was not limited to populated houses as well as those under construction and even stores. For the second time the Israeli forces also demolished the solidarity tent in front of the Shamasne's family home in Sheikh Jarrah. In addition, the solidarity tent in al Essawiye was demolished over 25 times. Ongoing Assaults on the Citizens and Their Prophets Assaults by extremist Israelis increased in the last month. Palestinians were attacked whilst in East Jerusalem. Those attacked included three taxi drivers; on separate occasions, two were pepper-sprayed and the third was attacked with a sharp tool, resulting in a broken jaw. In another incident an old lady was attacked at a train station. She had her hijab ( head cover ) removed by her attacking with the Israeli security guard allowing it to take place. A woman took photos with her mobile, sending it various media outlets. Moreover, many citizens were attacked during their children’s court hearings. 58-year-old Zeyad Zidani and his 29-year-old son from Silwan were scarred and left with broken bones following an attack by the Nahshon unit (special unit in Israeli Jails) in the Main Court. The Nahshon unit also attacked dozens of people during the hearings of Samer al Essawi. In fact, many took place in al Essawiye, Shoufat's camp, Bab Hatta (lion Gate) and Anata. The dozens of injuries were caused by suffocation due to tear gas inhalations, rubber bullets and pepper spray. The forces targeted media staff; Wadi Hilweh’s photographer, Ahmad Siyam, was injured twice whilst covering the incidents of al Essawiye. He was injured by a sound bomb and rubber bullets to his neck and feet on another occasion. The photographer Majd Gaith for Wadi Hilweh Information Centre was injured when a sound bomb hit his leg. Many entryways to homes were wrecked due to the forced entry carried out during searches, arrests and handing out of warrants.During these times, many Palestinians were injured, including women, old people and children. One such example is Ruba Ouda from Silwan whose jaw was broken and cheek was injured by a rubber bullet. Majority of the raids took place in Silwan and al Essawiye with many houses and stores being raided as a result. The schools Ras al Amoud and Dar al Aytam were also raided. As for properties, the Israeli forces bulldozed lands, uprooted plants and trees belonging to various families. This included the Shuqar and Al Zeer families in Silwan and the Arden family in al Tur. A family in Shoufat also had their home bulldozed to clear the pathway for the continued building of  settlement Road #21. On top of this, the construction for Road #4 carried on in Beit Safafa despite the demonstrations against it. Cemeteries were not excused from these attacks; the cemetery of Ma'man Allah was damaged with racist statements on graves such as cursing the prophet Muhammad and the Arab Muslims. Freedom of expression was also prevented by the Israeli forces as many marches were oppressed. Some marches were in support of Palestinian prisoners, whilst others were against the construction of settlements' roads. The Israeli authorities also prevented Palestinians from organising activities in protest of the Israeli Marathon. Al Quds sport Club was also forcibly closed during a lecture. Operations in Silwan al Essawiye The operation of collective punishment against the locals of Silwan and al Essawiye started on 29th February 2013 and 18thDecember 2012 respectively. The operation was carried out by a special unit called Sapir. The Israeli forces set borders at entrances of both villages Silwan and Essawiye which were then manned by police. Furthermore hundreds of thousands of shekels worth of fines were handed out by the so-called tax and social insurance workers in the form of tickets. Further aggravating the situation, the Israeli forces began an operation of mostly random arrests of youth, women and children. Many were released after a few days. As well as handing out tickets, demolition orders were also given. On top of this dozens of houses had their water supply shut down, making their day-to-day struggle more pronounced.