February…An escalation of Al-Aqsa incursions and settler attacks...and the continuation of demolitions and arrests
March 3, 2021

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

The center said that the occupation authorities continued their violations in the city of Jerusalem, with daily arrests and an escalation in demolitions and incursions into towns and neighborhoods in Jerusalem, and settlers continued their attacks on holy sites, Jerusalemites and their properties.

Al-Aqsa Mosque

Settlers' incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque continued, through Dung Gate, whose keys have been controlled by the occupation authorities since 1967, during two periods in the morning and in the afternoon, throughout the week, except on Fridays and Saturdays, with the escort of officers and the occupation forces.

In February, 1987 settlers and Jewish students stormed Al-Aqsa courtyards, and the incursions increased from mid-February to the end of the month, before and during the "Purim" celebrations. The intruders deliberately performed prayers during their storming, and organized "individually and collectively" prayers outside its gates, and tours at the gates of the mosque. They danced and drank alcohol, especially at the al-QataneenGate and al-Hadeed Gate.

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.

Deportation decisions

The occupation authorities continued to issue deportation decisions against Jerusalemites. They issued 29 deportation orders including 27 from Al-Aqsa, and one case from Jerusalem "under the pretext of illegal presence in Jerusalem" even though he was born and raised in the city, but he does not carry an Israeli identity, and the requests for family unification that he submitted over the past years were rejected.

A decision banning entry to the West Bank was issued against the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Al-Dameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Foundation, Abd al-Latif Ghaith, by a decision by the Military Governor under the Emergency Law, which has been renewed since 2011.

Friday prayer

During Fridays, the occupation authorities continued arresting and deporting the people of the West Bank, preventing them from arriving and performing the Friday prayers in Al-Aqsa Mosque, and deporting them by special buses to the military checkpoints at the entrances to the city, after detaining them for several hours.

Settlers' attacks

Settlers continued their attacks in Jerusalem. During the month of February, settlers attacked the monastery of the Roman Church in Jerusalem three times, by setting fire to its door and carrying out acts of sabotage.

On the last day of February, dozens of settlers attacked Ibrahim Abu Hamed, while he was working in the “Mi’aShearim” neighborhood, in West Jerusalem, while driving his vehicle, by surrounding him, opening the vehicle’s doors, smashing its windows, beating him and trying to suffocate him. A settler was run over by Hamed after losing control of the vehicle while trying to flee from the area. The police arrested him and detained him for two days.

On the same day, settlers assaulted a boy and a young man in the "French Hill" settlement.

The attack on the 17-year-old boy, Mohammad Hassan Abu al-Hummus, left him with injuries under the eye and in his head, and a fractured finger. Abu al-Hummus explained that settlers hit him with bottles of alcohol on his head from behind, and also hit him with another one on his eye, which led to a deep cut under his eye, and left glass inside his eye.

Concurrently, settlers attacked the vehicles of Jerusalemites while they were passing in Street No. 1 and the area of Al-Musrara, by throwing stones at them, which resulted in damage to several vehicles.

Evacuation decisions

At the end of February, the District Court rejected the appeal submitted by the families of "Iskafi, Al-Kurd, Al-Ja’ouni, and Al-Qasim" from Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, demanding a halt to their eviction from their homes in the neighborhood, for the benefit of the settlers, and gave the families until the May 2ndto implement the eviction decisions.

The Magistrate’s Court also issued a decision to evacuate the Shehadeh family’s home in Batn al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan.

Demolition and displacement

The occupation authorities continued the policy of demolitions in Jerusalem, under the pretext of building without a permit.

Last February, Wadi Hilweh Information Center monitored the demolition of 20 facilities in Jerusalem, 8 of which were self-demolished by a municipality order. The facilities were as follows: 9 houses, 3 rooms, 1 outdoor bathroom, 4 commercial facilities, 1 livestock barracks, and 2 walls.

The demolitions took place in several neighborhoods, namely: Silwan, Sur Baher, Sheikh Jarrah, Jabal Al-Mukabber and Anata village.

Arrests and prosecution of prisoners

The occupation authorities continued to carry out arrests in the city of Jerusalem during the month of February. Wadi Hilweh Information Center monitored 135 arrests in the city of Jerusalem, including the arrest of 39 minors, 11 females and one girl.

The arrests were concentrated in the villages of Issawiya and al-Tur, and from Al-Aqsa Mosque and the roads leading to it.

The occupation authorities continued to pursue the freed prisoners, by arresting them immediately after completing their sentences and being released, and imposed restrictions and conditions on them, most notably the banning of celebration and raising the flags. The intelligence services arrested the freed prisoner Ahmed Srour after he completed his 7-year prison sentence, and the freed prisoner Ahmed Al-Risheq with his father and brother after serving his sentence of 7 and a half years, the freed prisoner Mohammad Kamal Obaid after serving 7 years, the freed prisoner Mustafa Abu Al-Hawa after serving 26 months, and the freed prisoner Oday Abu Jum’a after serving 10 months.

The occupation authorities pursued boys and young men while playing with snow in Jerusalem, with assault and arrest, especially in Al-Aqsa Mosque and at the entrance to Issawiya, and fired rubber bullets at one of the youths and hit him in the foot before his arrest.