March 2021- Thousands storms Al-Aqsa mosque…dozens of arrests…demolitions and suppressing events
April 1, 2021

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

The center said that the occupation authorities continued their violations in the city of Jerusalem, by storming towns and neighborhoods, carrying out daily arrests and demolition operations. Settlers also escalated their violations of Al-Aqsa Mosque, especially during Jewish holidays.

Al-Aqsa Mosque

Settlers' incursions into the blessed 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 the occupation forces.

The last days of March witnessed massive incursions into Al-Aqsa during the “Jewish Passover” holiday. The number of intruders into Al-Aqsa during March reached 3,639 Jewish settlers and students, including 1,489 during the last week of the month to celebrate the holiday.

The settlers - led by senior rabbis and Temple groups - performed their public prayers inside Al-Aqsa Mosque, especially in the eastern region of it, and at the gates of Al-Aqsa from the outside, where individual and collective prayers were held by the settlers.

The Temple organizations and groups had called since the beginning of March to expand and intensify the incursions during the days of the Jewish holiday, and demanded that they be allowed to offer “offerings” inside Al-Aqsa.

Hundreds of settlers also invaded the Umayyad palaces at the southern wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque and Al-Buraq Square during the "Passover holiday", and performed prayers and celebrations.

The occupation authorities continued to prevent West Bank residents from entering Al-Aqsa, especially on Fridays, by arresting them at the gates of the Old City, detaining them for hours, and deporting them by buses and police vehicles to the military checkpoints at the entrances to the city, after detaining them for several hours.

Deportation decisions

The occupation authorities continued to issue deportation decisions, and the center monitored 12 deportation cases, including 6 expulsion orders from Al-Aqsa, 5 deportation decisions from the Old City of Jerusalem, and a deportation decision from the West Bank areas issued against the governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith.

In the same context, the occupation authorities continued to pursue the governor of Jerusalem, as it handed him renewal decisions preventing him from entering the West Bank, imposing house arrest on him in Silwan, and preventing him from communicating with 51 Palestinian figures, headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the Prime Minister, field leaders and activists, as well as preventing him from entering the West Bank, and participating in any meetings in the city.

Arrests

The occupation authorities continued to carry out arrests in the city of Jerusalem, as the information center monitored 169 arrests in the city of Jerusalem, including the arrest of 46 minors, 10 females, including a girl.

The arrests were focused in the village of Issawiya, the Old City of Jerusalem, Silwan, and Al-Aqsa Mosque and the roads leading to it.

The occupation authorities continued to pursue the released prisoners, by arresting them after serving their sentences and immediately after their release, and imposing restrictions and conditions on them after their release. They arrested the freed prisoner, Majd Abdel-Rahim Barbar, upon his release from the Negev desert prison, and summoned his brother, and after interrogating them at Al-Maskobyeh police station,they were released, and conditioned the freed prisoner not to hold rallies and raise flags, and a day after his release, the forces re-arrested him after storming his home in Silwan and assaulting those present there with beating, pepper gas and grenades.

Demolitions

The occupation municipality continued the policy of demolishing facilities in the city of Jerusalem, some of which were carried out by their owners, some of which are inhabited and others under construction, under the pretext of building without a permit.

In March, Wadi Hilweh Information Center monitored the demolition of 19 facilities in Jerusalem, 14 of which were self-demolished by a decision of the occupation municipality, and they were as follows: 9 houses, two under-construction buildings, 5 commercial facilities, and 3 stores.

The demolitions were concentrated in Shu’fat refugee camp, Silwan, Al-Matar road "Industrial zone", and the village of Issawiya, in addition to demolitions in Jabal Al-Mukabber and Wadi Al-Joz neighborhood.

The occupation municipality also rejected the engineering plans for Al-Bustan neighborhood in the town of Silwan, and the court ordered not to extend the freeze on the demolition of the neighborhood’s homes, and canceled previous agreements with the engineers and lawyers and the neighborhood committee’s staff, which froze the demolition decisions for years, during which the residents worked to present and develop the plans as the municipality had demanded.

The Al-Bustan neighborhood committee stated that about 100 houses inhabited by 1,550 people, most of them children and women, in the Al-Bustan neighborhood are at risk of displacement at any time.

Suppressing events

The occupation authorities continued to suppress various activities in the city of Jerusalem, as the occupation forces, accompanied by the intelligence services, stormed the "Mother's Day Exhibition and Bazaar" that the women's center - the Mount of Olives Club - had called for in the village of Al-Tur.

Meanwhile, the occupation forces suppressed the exhibition "Our Identity is Our Heritage" on the occasion of Women's Day, and checked the identities of most of those present in the place, confiscated some of the exhibition's contents, and then arrested the director of the center, Ikhlas Al-Sayyad.

On March 19th, the occupation forces suppressed the weekly demonstration in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah with grenades and beatings, and attacked some activists with pushing.