August monthly report…Temporal division of Al-Aqsa Mosque, arresting 150 Jerusalemites and demolishing five establishments
September 5, 2015

The occupation authorities and Israeli settlers continued their violations in Al-Aqsa Mosque and their assaults on Jerusalemites and their properties in the month of August 2015. Wadi Hilweh Information Center (WHIC) monitored the violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque marked by imposing restrictions on the entry of female Marabouts and other citizens while allowing settlers to break into Al-Aqsa and carry out their tours inside its courtyards in addition to assaulting Al-Aqsa guards and the continuation of the isolation policy. In August, dozens of children and minors were arrested and settlers assaulted many young men and Jerusalemites’ properties. Al-Aqsa Mosque…starting the “Temporal Division” plan For the second consecutive month, the occupation authorities escalated its procedures and violations to the right to worship at Al-Aqsa Mosque and started implementing the procedure of “Temporal Division” of the Al-Aqsa between Muslims and settlers. They imposed a siege on Al-Aqsa and closed its gates and prevented women from entering in addition to imposing restrictions on the entrance of men and old people at times when they provided the settlers breaking into Al-Aqsa through Dung Gate with full protection under the umbrella of the so-called “foreign tourism”. WHIC explained that the occupation authorities closed most of Al-Aqsa gates on the24th and 25th of August (Lions, Ghawanmeh, Hadeed, Qataneen and King Faisal gates) and established checkpoints on the gates left opened (Al-Silsileh, Hutta and l-Majles). The center added that the occupation authorities prevented all women from entering Al-Aqsa from the morning hours until 11 a.m. during the last week of August which is the period when settlers are allowed to break into Al-Aqsa. The authorities did not only prevent but pushed and assaulted them with pushing and sound grenades while stationed at the gates. The authorities also barred 15-20 from entering Al-Aqsa for no reason and distributed their names at the gates upon a decision from the police. During August, the occupation authorities disrupted the entrance of summer camps’ children to Al-Aqsa and deliberately detained them at the iron barriers established at Al-Aqsa Gates for no reason. On the 2nd of August, the authorities imposed restrictions on the entrance of Muslims to Al-Aqsa and closed most of its gates from 7-11 a.m. and fired sound grenades and rubber bullets after they were stationed at Dung Gate to open the road for settlers to break in. The settlers’ assaults also rose in August as one French Jew raised the Israeli flag inside the courtyards of the Dome of the Rock and attacked Al-Aqsa guards with a sharp tool. The authorities arrested 7 of the Islamic Awqaf employees and one young man and several settlers raised the Israeli flag near Al-Silsileh Gate protected by the forces. The forces also assaulted three of Al-Aqsa guards and severely beat them and sprayed them with pepper gas while doing their work near Lions Gate; one guard was arrested and suffered fractures in his hand. The authorities also assaulted the Jerusalemite journalists to prevent them from monitoring the events at Al-Aqsa and its surroundings. The occupation’s municipality issued tickets for two photojournalists while recording the events at Al-Silsileh Gate; each ticket was 475 NIS under the pretext of obstructing the movement of people due to their photographic products. The forces also assaulted press crews and pushed them after checking their IDs. In August, the Israeli authorities isolated 37 Palestinians from Al-Aqsa Mosque for 10-60 days. Among those isolated were four minor girls, 7 boys, 4 women and 10 of the Islamic Awqaf employees. Arrests The occupation authorities continued its policy of arrest in Jerusalem and its villages and arrested 150 Jerusalemites in August including 70 minors, 6 girls and 11 women. Among the minor detainees were six under the age of responsibility (12 years) where the youngest was the 8-year old Mohammad Nader Abu Rmeileh who was arrested from in front of his grandmother’s house in the Old City of Jerusalem, 11-year old Mahmoud Wisam Abu Hummos who was arrested by the Musta’ribeen (undercover police) in the village of Esawyeh, 11-year old Mohammad Mahmoud Al-Hajj and his 12-year old brother Mutaz from Sheikh Jarrah, 12-year old Omar Mahmoud Shwayat who was arrested at Al-Aqsa gates and another girl. The arrests mostly occurred at Al-Aqsa gates and inside its courtyards where 50 Palestinians were arrested. The Old City of Jerusalem witnessed the highest number of arrests (45) followed by Silwan (25), Esawyeh and Beit Hanina (16 each), Al-Tur (12), Shu’fat refugee camp (7) in addition to other arrests from Al-Sowaneh, Wad Al-Joz, Sheikh Jarrah, Sur Baher and Jabal Al-Mukabber. The authorities also attacked three children from Silwan in an attempt to arrest them (aged between 5-9 years) and fired a sound grenade towards them putting them in a state of extreme fear. In an attempt to terrify and extract confessions from children during interrogation, the occupation authorities assaulted five children and stripped them down at Al-Qishleh police center; they were interrogated on charges of throwing stones inside Al-Aqsa Mosque. During the interrogation, they were detained in separate rooms that are not equipped with surveillance cameras. They were stripped down and searched and were also severely beaten. Also, bags with filthy smells were placed on their heads and the forces verbally assaulted them while they were handcuffed with the participation of the head of the investigation department. Demolishing fiver residential and commercial establishments in Jerusalem The occupation authorities demolished in August 5 residential and commercial establishments in Jerusalem (industrial zone of Atarot, Al-Tur, Wad Al-Joz and Jabal Al-Mukabber). The center explained that the authorities demolished a commercial building owned by Abu Diab family in Atarot north of Jerusalem that consisted of three floors, three rooms and two conference rooms. They also demolished a room used as storage space for Sha’lan family in Al-Tur, an under-construction building in Wad Al-Joz owned by Tutanji and Totah families that consisted of three floors and two residential houses owned by Abbasi family in Jabal Al-Mukabber. The authorities continued to distribute demolition order in Jerusalem especially in Silwan. They hung a demolition order on Al-Qa’qa’ Mosque in Silwan despite being established for three years; note that it is 110 square meters. The municipality also issued a demolition and removal order against Wadi Hilweh playground which is run by Madaa Silwan Creative Center which serves the children of Silwan. The occupation municipality’s court for “local affairs” issued an order to demolish and remove Wadi Hilweh playground which is 1500 square meters in addition to demolishing its facilities (a 15-square meters storage and a 40-square meters animals barracks) and also sweeping the plants and asphalt. Collective punishment policy The occupation authorities continued in August its policy of collective punishment against Jerusalemites by closing roads with cement blocks and soil. They closed in mid-August two entrances of the village of Esawyeh (eastern road leading to Z’ayem) and Al-Za’faraneh dirt road (used by farmers to get to their lands) and continue to closed the south-western entrance to the village for the 14 months. Towards the end of August, the occupation forces closed Suleiman Al-Farsi Street in the village which leads to the neighborhood of Al-Khalleh that has a population of nearly 4 thousand people. The street has three elementary schools (students aged between 4-12 years) and also includes the cemetery of the village of Mount of Olives, Suleiman Al-Farsi Mosque (one of the main mosques in the village) and Mount of Olives Club. The occupation authorities also prevented the Jerusalemite journalist Amjad Arafeh from travelling abroad for three months for security purposes. Violation of the right to education In violation of the right to education, the occupation authorities imposed restrictions on the entrance of Al-Aqsa Girls School’s students since the first day of the beginning of the new academic year. They conditioned the girls to only get to their school through Al-Silsileh Gate and often detain them once they arrive to the gate. After 7:30 a.m. they are only allowed to get to their school if accompanied by a teacher. The authorities also prevented the textbooks from being brought inside Al-Aqsa Schools and the administration was forced to distribute them in the streets. The occupation authority’s and settlers’ assaults on Jerusalemites and their properties Settlers attacked three young men last month and injured them with bruises and wounds and also attacked the 22-year old Abdel Karim Abu Khdeir with stones while passing through the settlement of “Rekhes Shu’fat” that established on the lands of the neighborhood. Settlers assaulted Samir Bakri and severely beat him while he was in the settlement of Pisgat Zi’ev that is established on the lands of Beit Hanina. The Jerusalemite Ihab Salaymeh was also assaulted by settlers in “Street of the Prophets” in West Jerusalem. The center also monitored the writing of racist slogans in Hebrew in Street number 1. The settlement organization Ateret Cohanim increased their settlement activities in the neighborhood of Batn Al-Hawa “Middle Neighborhood” in Silwan and seized a 5-floor building after buying it from its owner Jamal Sarhan. The settlement organization also handed three families judicial reports to evacuate three houses in Silwan under the pretext of being owned by the Jews of Yemen. The month of August also revealed the organization’s intention to obtain permits to build a residential building with 3 housing units in the neighborhood of Batn Al-Hawa in addition to o widening the road between the settlement outpost “Bet Yonatan” and the new project. Settlers also started building religious pools near the settlement of Maale Ha-Zeitim established in the neighborhood of Ras Al-Amoud in Silwan south of Al-Aqsa Mosque. The so-called Nature and Parks authority confiscated a land adjacent to the walls of Al-Aqsa Mosque that is owned by Husseini and Ansari families and placed poles and barbed wires around it. The month of August also revealed a plan to build a huge domed building in the north-western side of the Al-Buraq Square adjacent to Al-Aqsa Mosque. The project is called “Fortress- Jewel House” funded by the Israeli government and a group of Jewish Communities specialized in the “Alleged temple” which form the so-called “The Western Wall Heritage Foundation”. According to the plan, the building will consist of 6 floors in which two will be underground and four aboveground and a total area of 1400 square meters with a height of 23 meters and cost of 13 millions USD.