October 2020…Arrests and demolitions…an escalation of settlers’ plans in Al-Aqsa Mosque
Wadi Hilweh Information Center issued its monthly report for the month of October 2020, during which it monitored the Israeli violations in the city of Jerusalem.
Wadi Hilweh Information Center stated that the occupation authorities have escalated the daily arrests in the towns and neighborhoods of Jerusalem, and the occupation municipality has also continued the policy of demolishing and storming institutions.
The settlers' incursions into the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque continued, through Dung Gate, whose keys have been controlled by the occupation authorities since the occupation of Jerusalem. The incursions mainly took place during the Jewish “Sukkot” holiday –first week of October- where 373 settlers stormed Al-Aqsa and performed prayers and special rituals while heavily guarded by the occupation forces.
In a dangerous escalation in Al-Aqsa Mosque, the extremist Tommy Nissani, head of the Students for the Temple and Director of the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation, called for the "alleged Temple" organizations, during his incursion into Al-Aqsa, to expel the "terrorist endowment" from the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, as he described the Islamic Endowments Department, and said in a statement that he read inside Al-Aqsa while guarded by the occupation police: "We see in the" peace-loving Arabs"a reliable ally in putting Al-Aqsa Mosque under direct Israeli administration and in turning it into a joint administration between Jews and Muslims.
At the end of last month, the occupation forces and intelligence stormed the headquarters of the Directorate of Islamic Education and the Directorate of Preaching and Guidance of the Islamic Endowments Department, adjacent to the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the side of Al-Silsileh Gate, and searched and confiscated a number of devices and some of the belongings of the departments, and then arrested Sheikh Najeh Bkeirat, Director of Forensic Education and Deputy Director General, and released him on condition of being expelled from Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The occupation authorities also continued to pursue the employees of the Islamic Endowments Department, with detention and expulsion from Al-Aqsa.
The occupation authorities imposed strict restrictions on the entry of worshipers to Al-Aqsa Mosque during Fridays, due to the general closure to limit the spread of the Corona virus, and issued dozens of violations for worshipers during while heading to Al-Aqsa, with a value of 500 shekels under the pretext of "not adhering to preventive measures and exceeding the permissible distance". The authorities isolated the Old City of Jerusalem from its surroundings, and deployed their forces and set up checkpoints in all the streets leading to it, while the worshipers performed Friday prayers at the gates of the Old City of Jerusalem.
On October 29th, the "Anniversary of the Birth of the Prophet" and the 30thof last month, the police deployed their forces at the gates of the Old City and Al-Aqsa prevented dozens of West Bank residents from reaching Al-Aqsa, despite having "entry permits to Jerusalem."
As part of the occupation’s plans to Judaize Jerusalem, the Israeli municipality crews placed a sign at the entrance to Damascus Gate in Jerusalem bearing the name of the “Hadar Cohen and Hadas Malka” from the “borders police”, knowing that they were killed in two incidents in 2016 and 2017, in response to the demands of Israeli families in 2017 in official letters, to remove the name of Sultan Suleiman Street from the main street adjacent to Damascus Gate and replace it with the name of the Israeli soldier Hadas Malka.
The occupation authorities escalated arrests in the city of Jerusalem during October, as the center monitored 200 cases of arrests, including 45 minors and 15 women.
The arrests were concentrated in the village of Issawiya, where the center monitored 90 arrests, 51 from the Old City of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa and its roads, 16 from Silwan, 15 from Shu’fat refugee camp, and 12 from Al-Tur, in addition to arrests from the rest of the towns and neighborhoods of Jerusalem.
The occupation authorities continued to pursue the released prisoners by arresting them upon their release. They arrested the freed prisoner Areen Za’aneen upon his release, and released him on condition of being deported from the city of Jerusalem for a period of 10 days, and also arrested the freed prisoner Oday Obeid and his father from the village of Issawiya upon his arrival in the village after being released from the occupation prisons.
At the end of last month, the occupation authorities suppressed a demonstration that initiated from Al-Aqsa after the end of the Friday prayers, condemning the abuse of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and assaulted the worshipers with beating and arrest.
Targeting institutions in Jerusalem
The occupation forces and intelligence personnel stormed the headquarters of the "Elia Foundation for Development and Volunteering" in the town of Beit Hanina, confiscated some devices from it, and investigated its director about the organization's activity and work.
The occupation municipality continued its policy of demolishing facilities during October, under the pretext of building without a permit, despite the difficult economic conditions in the city due to the Corona pandemic.
Wadi Hilweh Information Center monitored the demolition of 9 structures in Jerusalem: a building consisting of an apartment and two commercial shops, an under-constructionresidential building, two houses, two barracks and a room.
The demolitions were carried out in Beit Hanina, Shu’fat refugee camp, Sur Baher, Jabal Al-Mukabber, and Issawiya.
The occupation municipality also continued to distribute "demolition orders, notices to stop construction and work, and summons to follow up with the municipality" in the neighborhoods of Jerusalem, especially in Issawiya and Silwan.
Deportation and expulsionorders
The occupation authorities continued to issue deportation and expulsion orders for Jerusalemites. In October, 17 expulsion orders from Al-Aqsa Mosque were issued, 2 deportation orders from the Old City of Jerusalem, 1 from Jerusalem, and 1 order banning entry to the West Bank.