Pictures and details…The month of April in Jerusalem
May 1, 2022

The month of April coincided this year with the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims, Easter for Christians, and Passover for Jews, which made the city crowded with worshipers, revelers and visitors, and the occupation does not allow that atmosphere to pass without making its mark, with repression, arrest and imposition of its policy.

Al-Aqsa was an arena of confrontation in the last three Fridays, and the week of incursions during the Jewish holidays, and Saturday of Light was a day to clamp down on Christians celebrating Easter. The area of Damascus Gate was also an area of confrontations, and reminded us all of last year’s scene.

Al-Aqsa Mosque

The attacks of the occupation forces on Al-Aqsa Mosque and the fasting worshipers coincided with the calls made by the alleged temple groups to carry out large-scale incursions into the mosque during the “Passover week,” the second week of Ramadan. To secure the settlers’ incursions, the occupation soldiers stormed Al-Aqsa several times, and assaulted the worshippers and arrested hundreds of them, evacuated the courtyards, and besieged young men, the elderly and women inside the chapels. Entry to the mosque was denied several times, and grenades, rubber bullets, poison gas and batons were used to abuse worshipers in Al-Aqsa courtyards.

Wadi Hilweh Information Center monitored the events in Al-Aqsa Mosque during the month of April, "in chronological order."

On April 15th, "The Second Friday of Ramadan", Al-Aqsa Mosque witnessed violent confrontations, which started from dawn until ten in the morning, and the forces invadedAl-Aqsa, and hundreds of fasting worshipers were injured and arrested.

The forces stormed Al-Aqsa for the first time immediately after the dawn prayer, and after two hours of confrontations, the forces withdrew and stationed at the Dung Gate, then returned and stormed Al-Aqsa again at eight and stayed until ten in the morning, during which the forces fired sound grenades and rubber bullets, and evacuated the squares from worshipers, and attacked them with batons and rifle butts.

After evacuating the Al-Aqsa courtyards completely, and after besieging thousands of worshipers inside the Al-Qibli prayer hall, the forces stormed the prayer hall, fired grenades and rubber bullets indiscriminately, and severely beat those present, especially on the head, feet and back, and tied the hands of hundreds of them behind their backs and forced them to lay on the ground. During this time, the forces continued to hit them with shoes, batons and rifle butts on the back and the head, and then carried out unprecedented arrests from inside the prayer hall.

On April 17th, the forces stormed Al-Aqsa in the early morning hours, “while the worshipers were performing the Duha prayer,” to secure the settlers’ incursions into Al-Aqsa. They attacked the worshipers and emptied the courtyards by force, surrounded hundreds of people inside the Qibli prayer hall and threw rubber bullets at them through the upper windows. The forces opened the Hutta, Al-Majles and Al-Silsileh gates only, while the rest of the gates were kept closed, preventing entry to Al-Aqsa during the settlers’ incursions.

The Hutta Gate area witnessed confrontations between the young men and the forces stationed at the gate, and the forces attacked those present and pursued them from one place to another to prevent them from chanting.

On April 18thThe forces stormed Al-Aqsa in the early morning hours "before the incursions periodinto Al-Aqsa", cleared the courtyards of the worshipers, surrounded the young men inside the Al-Qibli prayer hall, and limited the movement of women on the rooftop of the Dome of the Rock.

On April 19th, the forces, in different teams, stormed the courtyards of Al-Aqsa, and deployed at the Al-Qibli Square, the Sung Gate Square, and at the rooftop of the Dome of the Rock, and assaulted the women by pushing and beating them in an attempt to prevent them from chanting “God is Great”, and the forces carried out arrests from the squares.

On April 20th, at dawn, the forces attacked the worshipers while they were heading to perform the prayer, and chased them until they were expelled from Al-Ghazali Square "at the Lions Gate." The forces targeted the besieged young men with rubber bullets, and chased after and assaulted the women.

On April 21st, the forces imposed restrictions on the entry of worshipers to perform the dawn prayer, and prevented dozens of them, especially the young men. Before six in the morning, the forces stormed Al-Aqsa, and confrontations broke out in the squares and forcibly evacuated those present, and surrounded the young men inside the Al-Qibli prayer hall, and targeted the besieged with grenades, rubber bullets and poison gas.

From April 18th until April 21st, 3738 settlers stormed Al-Aqsa during the Jewish "Passover holiday", including senior rabbis and those responsible for the "alleged temple groups", and they performed prayers while walking in Al-Aqsa, especially in the eastern region, and during their exit from al-Silsileh Gate.Also, dozens of settlers also prayed at the gates of Al-Aqsa “from the outside.”

During the “week of settlers’ storming of Al-Aqsa, especially during the period of incursions,” the occupation forces imposed restrictions on the entry of worshipers, preventing some, withholding the identities of others, and preventing them from entering in the event of giving their identity cards to the forces stationed at the gates. The forces transferred the identity cards to the Al-Qishla police center, and evacuated some from Al-Aqsa squares.

On April 22nd, “The Third Friday of Ramadan,”clashes erupted after the dawn prayer, following a march that took place in Al-Aqsa squares in response to the incursions that Al-Aqsa witnessed over 5 days, targeting worshipers with rubber bullets, and members of the sniper teams stationed on the roofs of Al-SilsilehGate fired the bullets directly at the worshipers.

After the noon prayer and during a march that toured the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, a "drone" fired gas bombs at the worshipers in the rooftop of the Dome of the Rock, and dozens of cases of suffocation were recorded among the worshipers, especially women and children.

On April 28th, a “drone” dropped gas bombs at the worshipers in the area of Al-Qibli prayer hall square and the Moroccans, while Al-Aqsa was filled with worshipers who celebrated the Laylat Al-Qader in it.

On April 29th, “the fourth and last Friday of the month of Ramadan,” clashes erupted after the dawn prayer, following a march that started in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa, and the forces deployed in the squares and wooded areas and at the doors of the chapels, and surrounded the worshipers in the Al-Qibli and Al-Marwani prayer halls, and attacked them with rubber bullets and gas bombs. The worshipers were targeted through the "sniper unit" stationed on the roof of Al-Silsileh Gate. The forces also pursued the worshipers in the wooded area, expelling hundreds of them outside Al-Aqsa and preventing entry to the mosque until ten in the morning.

During the daily incursions into Al-Aqsa, the occupation forces smashed many of the gypsum windows of the Al-Qibli prayer hall, smashed the outer doors of the prayer hall, smashing and cutting speaker wires, causing burns to the carpets due to sound bombs.

Hundreds of injuries... Targeting the upper body areas... Serious injuries

Hundreds of injuries were recorded during the confrontations in Al-Aqsa Mosque, including critical and serious injuries, and moderate ones. The injuries were concentrated - according to the field medical staff in Al-Aqsa and Al-Maqased Hospital, to which all the injuries were transferred, in the upper part of the body "eyes, forehead, head and face", and caused the loss of eyes, skull fractures, and internal bleeding.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center conducted several interviews with the injured and their families, and the most prominent injuries recorded during the month of April were:

Walid Al-Sharif, 23, was injured during the third Friday of Ramadan, and is still undergoing treatment in Hadassah Hospital, Ein Kerem, is in a very critical condition. The cameras of press crews in Al-Aqsa monitored the injury of Al-Sharif before he was arrested and transferred to Al-Buraq square through Dung Gate while carried.

Al-Sharif family explained that their son suffers from severe bleeding in the brain, fractures of the skull, damage to the brain cells due to the lack of oxygen reaching the brain for 20 minutes, "the first period of detention."

Ahmed Al-Tamimi, lost his eye in Al-Aqsa, after he was targeted with a rubber bullet while he was inside the Al-Qibli prayer hall, on the second Friday of Ramadan. The young man was reading the Qur’an before the forces stormed the prayer hall.

Nabil Abu Rammouz, was wounded by a rubber bullet in the head, causing fractures in the skull, excision of part of it and a brain hemorrhage. He remained trapped for more than an hour and a half, injured, and the medical staff could not transfer him for treatment due to the confrontations and obstruction of the ambulance work in Al-Aqsa.

The boy, Abdullah Awad, was hit with a rubber bullet directly to the head while he was praying, then he was beaten after falling to the ground, and he was sprayed with pepper gas while he was injured. After he was taken to the hospital, it was found that he had a brain hemorrhage.

A 16-year-old Palestinian boy, who was wounded from close range, which led to a fractured skull and external and internal brain hemorrhage.

Zakaria Hussein, from Sudan, was hit by a rubber bullet in the head, which led to a fractured skull and brain hemorrhage.

Al-Hajj Muhammad Yousef Qaraeen, 80, was wounded with a rubber bullet that penetrated the left cheek and fractured his jaw. He underwent surgery and had platinum placed. He was assaulted with batons on his head, causing an injury.

Nazih Abdul Latif Rayan, from Jordan, suffered a heart attack when he witnessed the storming of the Al-Qibli prayer hall and the assault on young men with beatings, abuse and arrest.

Ahmed Asfour Abu Sneineh, was hit by a rubber bullet in the head during the storming of the Al-Qibli prayer hall, at close range, causing him bleeding inthe brain. The forces tried to detain him and prevent his treatment and attacked the paramedics who transported him for treatment.

Muhammad Asfour Abu Sneineh, was hit in the neck by a rubber bullet, which damaged a vein.

Al-Aqsa Mosque guard Bader Bader, was injured by a rubber bullet in the middle of his forehead, causing a brain hemorrhage and an internal fracture in the nose.

 Al-Aqsa guard Hussam Sider, was injured by a rubber bullet in the forehead, "above the eye."

Mahdi Al-Rajabi, was hit by a rubber bullet in the face, which caused severe swelling in the face.

The boy, Khaled Nafez Zaytoun, was targeted with a rubber bullet in the head, causing fractures of the skull, bleeding, and severe swelling in the eyes.

Arrests

The occupation authorities escalated arrests in the city of Jerusalem during the month of April, and more than half of the arrests were carried out from Al-Aqsa Mosque, after the siege of young men inside the Al-Qibli prayer hall “mid-April / the second Friday of Ramadan”, in addition to dozens of arrests in the last week of April, on suspicion of participating in confrontations in Al-Aqsa, in addition to field arrests at the beginning of the month from the streets of Jerusalem, “the area of Damascus Gate.”

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center - Jerusalem monitored the arrest of 793 people from Jerusalem during the month of Ramadan, including 136 minors, 3 children "less than the age of responsibility / less than 12 years old", and 9 females.

The information center stated that the second Friday of Ramadan witnessed the arrest of 470 people from inside the Al-Qibli prayer hall in Al-Aqsa Mosque, after beating and abusing them. The police transferred the detainees in “Egged” buses allocated for transferring the detainees from Al-Buraq square to a military camp near the village of Issawiya, and then to the Al-Maskoubiya police station, and prevented the detainees from receiving legal advice.

Hundreds were released after hours of arrest, abuse, detention and beating, while dozens were transferred to the occupation prisons, "Ramla, Ohli Kedar and Eshel." The next day they were released, while 40 people from Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Palestinian interior were presented to the courts, and some were transferred to cells.

The center monitored, by following up on the arrests after release, that many of the arrests were found to have been hit with rubber bullets, or were injured by shrapnel from bombs or due to being beaten with batons. The effects of the injuries were clear on the detainees, with blood, swelling and wounds, and the police prevented them from being referred for treatment.

The center added that since the beginning of Ramadan, the occupation authorities opened a special investigation unit in the "Al-Maskoubiya" detention center in Jerusalem, especially in the field, where the unit's investigators interrogate the detainees, to extend their detention, to present them to the court, or to release them under conditions, most notably "deportation from the place of detention." It also allocated a section for security detainees at the Al-Maskoubiya detention center.

In April, the police transferred field arrests from the streets of Jerusalem to a mobile center that was recently opened in the "Farmers Market", a few meters from Damascus Gate, and from there to police vehicles, then to the investigation center. The detaineesare held in the "mobile center" for more than an hour, during which they were beaten while their hands and feet were tied.

Among the detainees this April is the governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith, who was arrested after storming his house in the town of Silwan.

The occupation authorities have been prosecuting the Governor of Jerusalem, Adnan Ghaith, since he took office in 2018, with successive military decisions “preventing entry to the West Bank, imposing house arrest in his place of residence in Silwan, preventing communication with various leaders and personalities, in addition to dozens of arrests and summonses.”

Deportation and expulsion

The occupation authorities have escalated the deportation decisions from the Old City of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque, since the beginning of this month, and the number of deportation decisions doubled in the middle of the month “after the arrests from Al-Aqsa and during and after the Passover week.” The deportation and expulsion orders were issued from the courts, the police chief in Jerusalem, intelligence, and members of the “Investigation Unit.”

The center monitored dozens of deportations of women and young men who handed over their identity cards at the gates of Al-Aqsa "during the Passover week”, as the forces deliberately transferred their identity cards to Al-Qishla police station and handed them their ID’s with the expulsion orders.

The forces also expelled dozens of West Bank residents from Jerusalem, “after arresting them from Al-Aqsa, or stopping them at its gates and the roads of the Old City, on the pretext of entering without a permit.”

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center monitored 592 deportation decisions, 331 from the Old City of Jerusalem, 259 from Al-Aqsa, 1 order preventing entry to Jerusalem for several weeks, and 1 preventing the governor of Jerusalem from entering the West Bank.

The center added that the occupation authorities also issued decisions to expel people from the streets of Jerusalem, "Damascus Gate, Herods Gate, Sultan Suleiman and Nablus streets", after they were arrested from the above mentioned areas. The center monitored 108 decisions of expulsion from the mentioned streets.

Administrative arrests

The occupation authorities also escalated administrative detention decisions, transferring, during the month of April, 14 Jerusalemites, for periods ranging from “one to four months.”

Among the administrative arrests is the deported Jerusalem MP, Ahmed Attoun, who was arrested at the beginning of the month and after several days transferred to administrative detention.

Saturday of Light (Holy Saturday)

The occupation authorities forbade Christians to freely celebrate the “Saturday of Light” by deploying checkpoints and forces in the streets of the Christian Quarter and the roads leading to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and they prevented access to the church’s perimeter and inside, and only allowed a small number of people to enter. The police assaulted and pushed dozens of Christians celebrating the Saturday of Light.

The occupation police had informed the Orthodox Church, before the Holy Saturday celebrations, to reduce the number of worshipers inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and that it would only allow 1,000 people to enter the Church of the Holy Sepulcher on Saturday, and only 500 people to enter the Old City and reach the Patriarchate yards and the roofs of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which was rejected by the Church and went to the Supreme Court, affirming the religious and historical right to access the Church of the Holy Sepulcher without restrictions or conditions.

Settlers' attacks

The settlers also carried out attacks on Palestinians in Jerusalem on April 20, after they announced their intention to organize a "flags march" in Jerusalem. Despite the failure of the march, the settlers stormed the Old City and attacked merchants and residents.

The settlers also attacked buses carrying worshipers from Al-Aqsa to Nazareth, in the Bar-Ilan area, with stones at the end of April (late Ramadan).

In another abuse targeting worshippers entering Al-Aqsa, the occupation police issued dozens of fines for motorcyclists who set off from the cities of "Jaffa, Lod, and Ramle", where roadblocks were set up for them in Jerusalem "on the roads leading to Al-Aqsa" and issued them fines of 1,000 shekels each.