Despite the general closure...violations and assaults continue in Al-Aqsa Mosque as well as arrests and the policy of demolishing Palestinians’ property
February 2, 2021

Wadi Hilweh Information Center issued its monthly report for the month of January 2021, during which it monitored the Israeli violations in the city of Jerusalem.

The center said that the violations in Al-Aqsa Mosque, the campaigns of arrests, demolitions and the distribution of notices continued despite the general closure imposed since late last year to limit the spread of the Corona virus.

Al-Aqsa Mosque

The occupation authorities continue their attempts to impose their control on Al-Aqsa Mosque. On January 13th, and in a dangerous precedent, surveyors conducted a 3D scanning and imaging in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, using special tools, after storming it with under the protection of guardsand police officers through Dung Gate.

At the end of last month, the occupation authorities banned, for 4 days, all restoration and maintenance work for all sites in Al-Aqsa Mosque, and prevented the entry of necessary maintenance materials, and threatened the staff of the “Reconstruction Committee” and the Director of Reconstruction in Al-Aqsa, with arrest if work continued.

Following the resumption of restoration work in Al-Aqsa, the alleged Temple groups objected in a statement to that, and demanded that all restoration work in Al-Aqsa be halted and that it be handed over to the Israeli Antiquities Authority, and held the "Israeli government" responsible for losing control of the "Temple Mount and the destruction of its antiquities and history," as they claim. They demanded the abolition of all the powers of the Islamic EndowmentsDepartment in Al Aqsa Mosque.

On the other hand, the occupation authorities continued excavation work in Al-Buraq Square and near Dung Gate at the western wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque, using huge vehicles, trucks and bulldozers.

Storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque

Settlers' incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque, through Dung Gate, whose keys have been controlled by the occupation authorities since 1967, continued during two daily periods (morning and afternoon) throughout the week, except for Fridays and Saturdays. Last month, more than 720 settlers stormed Al-Aqsa, guarded by the occupation forces.

The police prevented worshipers from reaching Al-Aqsa and the Old City of Jerusalem, especially on Fridays, and the police deployed its forces and erected checkpoints at the gates of the Old City and Al-Aqsa, and issued financial violations of 500 shekels for many worshipers under the pretext of "violating the measures to prevent the Corona virus, by moving away from the place of residence". On the second Friday of January, the police issued a fine of 5,000 shekels for a worshiper.

Deportations

The occupation authorities issued 13 deportation decisions against Jerusalemites, including 9 decisions from Al-Aqsa, and 4 others from the Old City of Jerusalem, including employees of the Islamic Endowments Department.

Arrests

The occupation authorities continued to carry out arrests from Jerusalem during the month of January. Wadi Hilweh Information Center monitored 179 cases of arrest, including 56 minors, and one child less than the age of responsibility (under 12 years old), and 7 women.

The arrests were focused in the village of Issawiya (46) cases, followed by Al-Tur (43), Old City of Jerusalem and the gates of Al-Aqsa(38), in addition to arrests from most of the neighborhoods and towns of Jerusalem.

The information center stated that the villages of Al-Tur and Issawiya witnessed continuous incursions last month, in addition to the erection of police checkpoints inthe streets.

The center added that several cases of arrests were investigated in the cells of Al-Maskobyeh, while most of the detainees, especially the boys, were subjected to beatings and psychological pressure during arrest and investigation.

Demolitions and demolition orders

The occupation authorities continued the demolition policy in the city of Jerusalem, under the pretext of building without a permit, despite the general closure and the state of emergency taken to limit the spread of the Corona virus, and the difficult economic conditions in the city.

The Information Center monitored the demolition of 13 facilities during January. They were as follows: one house, a part of a house, one residential container, one livestock container, seven fences, one construction base, and one commercial stall. The demolitionswere mainly focused in the village of Anata.

Using manual demolition tools, the occupation municipality demolished the memorial shrine of Martyr Majdi Maslamani in the town of Beit Hanina. He was martyred at Lions Gate in the first week of the Al-Aqsa Intifada (6/10/2000).

The Natural and Parks Authority continued to work in the lands of Wadi al-Rababeh neighborhood in Silwan, and its crews and vehicles razed plots of land and destroyed stone chains and basins built by the owners of the land.

The owners of the land confronted the Nature Authority’s crews several times, while the police carried out arrests against them and released them on the condition that they be expelled from their lands.

The Information Center stated that 70 Dunoms of the Wadi al-Rababeh neighborhood are threatened with confiscation in favor of settlement projects in the place including laying foundations and pillars for the cable car and the aerial bridge, and establishing public gardens and horticulture that include “planting trees, installing an irrigation network and channels, developing landscapes, arranging roads for walking, and placing benches for sitting."

An eviction order in favor of settlers

The Magistrate Court handed the Abu Rammouz family a decision to evict them from their property in Batn al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan for the benefit of settlers.

The decision was issued in absentia in 2016, when sessions were held in absentia to discuss the issue of the property, without informing the family or summoning them to the court, or even delivering the judicial reports to them, in addition to imposing nearly 7 thousand shekels on them, payable to the court and the settlers' lawyer.