During January and February…one Martyr, the arrest of 170 citizens and demolition of 10 houses
Wadi Hilweh Information Center monitored the Israeli violations against Jerusalemites since the beginning of the current year (January and February) as the Israeli assaults on Al-Aqsa Mosque continued in terms of Israeli Knesset and extremist Jewish groups. The arrests of minors, young men and women also continued in addition to the demolition of residential establishments and displacement of dozens of individuals. A Jerusalemite Martyr in the prison of Beer Sheva Last month, the 47-year old Jerusalemite Jihad Abdulrahman Tawil passed away due to injuries he suffered from as he was assaulted while being in Beer Sheva prison. The occupation forces assaulted and severely beat him while being in prison in addition to spraying his with pepper spray which caused him to lose consciousness for two weeks and then passed away in “Soroka” hospital in Beer Sheva. Al-Aqsa Mosque The Israeli Knesset discussed for the first time in a special session a proposal that would impose the Israeli occupation’s sovereignty on Al-Aqsa Mosque and withdraw the Jordanian sovereignty as requested by Moshe Feiglin, deputy speaker of the Knesset, who said that the occupation authorities gave up all their sovereignty on Al-Aqsa Mosque without the knowledge of their people and every “terrorist” organization is able to raise their flag inside it but the Israelis and the police individuals recommended that Israelis would take off their “kippa” when entering the Mosque while several Knesset members requested to allow people from all religions to enter Al-Aqsa and perform their prayers. Since the beginning of the year, more than 1600 extremists broke into Al-Aqsa led by Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel and the deputy speaker of the Knesset, Moshe Feiglin who said in a provocative way and openly during his ascent to the Dome of the Rock: “Al-Aqsa is for Jewish people and Arabs should move to Saudi Arabia which is their original place, and the golden dome is a Jewish temple and not for Muslims”. He also gave explanations about the alleged temple to a TV camera. On the last Friday of February, the police prevented thousands of Muslims under the age of 50 from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque to perform the Friday prayer. The Israeli forces broke into Al-Aqsa twice in February (7th and 25th) and attacked the worshippers and Marabouts with rubber bullets, sound grenades and pepper gas which led to the injury of dozens (broken bones, burns and suffocation). The occupation authorities isolated around 30 people from Jerusalem and the 1948 lands from Al-Aqsa Mosque for periods that varied between one day and six months that included men and women of different ages. Arresting 170 citizens including 75 minors Wadi Hilweh Information Center monitored the arrest of 170 Jerusalemites since the beginning of the current year (50 in January and 120 in February). Most of the arrests occurred in the Old City followed by the village of Esawyeh and other areas in the city; note that most of the arrests came as a result of the Israeli break-ins of Al-Aqsa Mosque. Among the detainees were 75 minors and the youngest was a child from Al-Smood camp in Sheikh Jarrah who was 10 years old. An 11-year old from Al-Tur and a 12-year old from the Old City of Jerusalem were also arrested. The Israeli courts isolated more than 20 children from their homes in the month of February in which more than half were from the village of Esawyeh. Among the detainees were also five women, a girl and a young woman. They were all arrested near Al-Aqsa Gates while trying to go through and they are: Um Tarek Hashlamon, Hiba Tawil, Njood Mteir, Samira Idris and Suha Eid. The girl, Dima Qunbar, from the neighbourhood of Jabal Al-Mukabber was arrested under the pretext of stabbing an Israeli soldier and the young woman, Haneen Abu Hummus, was arrested during violent clashes in the village of Esawyeh. The demolition of 10 houses, a residential barracks, a building under construction and a trailer During the last two months, demolition operations escalated in the neighbourhoods of Jerusalem, and several Jerusalemites self-demolished their homes in order to execute the Israeli courts’ orders. The demolitions mostly took place in Beit Hanina, Jabal Al-Mukabber, Esawyeh, Sur Baher, Shu’fat and Al-Tur. The occupation authorities demolished in January a residential barracks owned by Ahmad Abdelwahab Kiswani in Beit Hanina which he had put up after the authorities demolished his home in February 2013; note that he is still paying the fines on the demolished home. The authorities also demolished and for the second time the house of Hussein Ali Mousa in Esawyeh; note that the first demolition occurred three years ago and the house was rebuilt in order for Hussein’s son to live in as he is about to get married. In the neighbourhood of Ashqarya in Beit Hanina, two apartments were demolished for Azzam Idris and Baha’ Dab’i (Idris’s son in law). Each apartment was 125 square meters and consisted of 4 rooms, a living room and facilities; note that both families lived in the apartments for three years. Another residential building owned by Abdel Hay Dari was demolished in Esawyeh. It consisted of the ground floor (parking garage and commercial stores), a first floor and a second floor that was under construction with a total area of 250 square meters for each floor. Hamzeh Abu Ter self-demolished parts of his home (50 square meters) knowing that the house has been established since 1997. In February, the occupation municipality’s bulldozers demolished 6 residential houses and a trailer (four of which were demolished by the municipality and two were self-demolished). The houses were owned by Mujahed Abu Sarhan, Mohammad Sandouka, Khaled Mahmoud Bashir, Maher Mashahra, Mohammad Hasan Nazeeleh and Mohammad Jo’beh. The bulldozer also demolished a house owned by Mohammad Hasan Nazeeleh “Ja’afra” that was established 18 years ago without any prior notice, and demolished a 35-square meters house in Sur Baher for Mujahed Abu Sarhan; note that it is built from tin plates and aluminum since 2008. Another house for Mohammad Sandouka was demolished in Beit Hanina that was built 17 years ago and another in the neighbourhood of Bashir in Jabal Al-Mukabber for Khaled Mahmoud Bashir. The bulldozers also demolished a trailer owned by Mohammad Hasan Jo’beh from Al-Tur. The municipality forced Maher Mashahra to self-demolish his home in Al-Sal’a neighbourhood in Jabal Al-Mukabber and gave him four hours to evacuate the house and execute the demolition order. Al-Shaer family also self-demolished its home located in Shu’fat north of Jerusalem. The municipality crews continued in the last two months the policy of distributing administrative demolition orders to commercial, residential and sports facilities in Jerusalem under the pretext of building without a permit. Settlers’ assaults Since the beginning of the year, the extremist setters carried out several attacks against Jerusalemites and their properties in several areas around the city of Jerusalem. Dozens of settlers assaulted the 49-year old Jerusalemite Emad Daoud with stones and sticks while he was in his truck working in the area of “Turmosaya” between the cities of Ramallah and Nablus causing him several injuries all over his body. More than 15 extremists assaulted Yazan Hani Ramadan and Majd Zaki while driving their own car in the settlement of Pisgat Zi’ev that is established on the lands of Beit Hanina north of Jerusalem. Extremist settlers also slashed the tires of 31 cars in the village of Sharafat south of Jerusalem, and 20 cars and a bus in Wad Yasool in Silwan. They also removed olive trees in addition to spraying racist slogans on the walls that are against coexistence with Arabs. In January, a group of settlers led by “Aryeh King” raided the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem and handed an evacuation order to “Omega educational institute” in the neighborhood claiming that they own the building. Dozens of extremists also assaulted Jerusalemites while driving through Street number 1 as they threw stones at Jerusalemites’ cars and verbally abused them. Citizen Adnan Emran Sharabati received a notice to evacuate his home located in Hakari road in the Old City of Jerusalem and was given until 23/03/2014 to execute the order under the pretext of “unprotected tenant”. Assaults of occupation authorities At the beginning of this year, another assault was monitored against “Ma’man Allah” cemetery west of Jerusalem as the Israeli authorities built a cafeteria, a park for dogs and several restrooms on the lands of the cemetery. They also covered the southern area of the cemetery which is around 15 Dunoms with wood shavings with a height of 30-50 centimeters in addition to covering parts of the cemetery in the area near the “Museum of Tolerance”. During last month, The Israeli Water Company “Gihon” uninstalled the water meters of 50 houses in the Old City without prior notice under the pretext of “accumulation of unpaid debts”. More than 300 people live in those houses and the Information Center pointed out to the illegality of the water company’s actions because they have to send three warning notices before taking action. The Israeli forces closed the headquarters of Mount of Olives Club east of the walls of the Old City and prevented the ceremony that was supposed to be held at the club on occasion of launching a book by Rania Hatem under the pretext of being sponsored by the Palestinian Authority. During last month, the occupation authorities swept wide areas of land in order to implement a new settlement project in the neighbourhood of Al-Sowaneh east of the walls of Jerusalem entitled “Central Overlooking” where a calibrate and monitoring points will be built in addition to infrastructure works “lighting and tiling” which will be done by “Moria” company in cooperation with the Jerusalem municipality and the so-called “Jerusalem development” company. The occupation’s municipality also approved the settlement project in the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah for building a religious school, a special school and a synagogue on 4-Dunom land. The Planning and Building Committee at the municipality decided to build a tower in favor of the Jewish national fund “Keren Kayemeth” in the middle of Jerusalem and to transfer all the other offices located in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa to the tower which will consist of 15 floors and will be located next to Sheraton Plaza Hotel in King George Street. The Israeli government also decided to have Elad settlement organization manage the Biblical garden which will give this settlement organization control over the southern side of the Wailing Wall as well as Islamic historical places. The occupation authorities also intend to implement a new settlement project entitled “Beit Al-Ein” at the bottom of the neighbourhood of Wadi Hilweh on an area of 1200 square meters. It will consist of two floors where a museum about the Jewish history will be established. The occupation municipality distributed flyers to seven families in Al-Ein area to inform them of the settlement project to be implemented on their lands and gave them 60 days to object. These families live in 22 residential apartments on an area of 5 Dunoms. At the end of last month, the Israeli excavations led to the collapse of a supporting wall in the neighbourhood of Wadi Hilweh in Silwan south of Al-Aqsa Mosque. The collapse directly affected four houses and caused them damages. Violation of the right to education The Israeli forces assaulted the school students in the neighbourhood of Ras Al-Amood during the month of February as the forces were stationed in the “Schools’ Street” when the students were heading to their schools in the morning and searched them and detained some of them. Another violation of the right to education occurred at the entrance of Shu’fat refugee camp when the forces stationed at the entrance detained the students while heading to their schools and prevented them from going through the military checkpoint under the pretext of not having the necessary documents; note that they are aged between 12 and 15 years. This led to the breakout of clashes where the forces deliberately fired gas and bomb grenades towards the students causing many of them to suffocate. The occupation police stationed at the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque obstructed the education at Al-Aqsa schools and prevented the students from getting to their schools on 25/02/2014.