Now Reading: What’s Happening in Jerusalem Palestine? – [Brutal Images]
For the people of occupied Palestine, Ramadan has become synonymous with violence. The Israeli army broke locks and cut the wires to the loudspeakers at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on the first day of the fasting month this year to silence the evening calls to prayer. Israel made yet another controversial move by allowing only 10,000 Palestinians from the West Bank to reach Jerusalem.
Just 70,000 Muslims were able to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque on the first Friday of the month; on one Friday in 2019, there were 200,000 worshippers in the Noble Sanctuary. That wasn’t strange at all. Israeli soldiers added fuel to the fire by erecting metal barriers to block access to the Old City of Jerusalem via the Damascus Gate. It is one of the key routes to the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa from the occupied area.
A peaceful demonstration was planned; predictably, the Israeli army responded by targeting Palestinians with tear gas and stun grenades without warning, according to eyewitnesses. At least three people were captured by the occupying forces, including an elderly disabled individual who was among those who were targeted. Before arresting a Palestinian man, a police officer was seen slapping him across the face.
During Ramadan, Palestinians congregate in the evenings at Damascus Gate after breaking their fast during the day. The barriers were built under the guise of preventing overcrowding, according to Israel. Palestinians, however, realized that the walls were another “temporary” step that would soon become permanent, making it much more difficult for them to enter the Old City and their holy sites, considering their long history with occupation.
Meanwhile, regular attacks on Palestinians by hundreds of militant Jewish settlers intensified. With the support of Israeli troops, the settlers marched to the Old City, shouting “Death to Arabs!” and throwing stones and tear gas at passers-by.
The march was organized as a call to “restore Jewish honor” in Jerusalem and was led by Lehava, a party of far-right extremists. Israeli youth were filmed throwing pipes and other hard items into the homes of Palestinian residents of the Old City in a video posted on Twitter. Over a hundred Palestinians were injured, and fifty were arrested.
Israelis talk a lot about having the right to defend themselves. Here we see young Jewish Israelis exercising their right to self-defense by viciously attacking Palestinians inside their homes in Jerusalem's Old City. https://t.co/bOc1GvhniY
— Edo Konrad (@edokonrad) April 22, 2021
The Israeli government and the illegal settlers it supports can only do so because they know the international community will not keep them responsible or defend Palestinians. Although a compliant mass media portrays the situation as “clashes” in a dispute between equals rather than the asymmetric war against unarmed civilians that it is, Western policymakers continue to allow Israel carte blanche to do whatever it wants.
The comprehensive report by Human Rights Watch concludes that Western states have enabled “apartheid to metastasize and consolidate” by turning a blind eye to Israel’s long-standing violations of Palestinians in favor of a non-existent peace process. With Ramadan ending this week, billions of Muslims all over the world are gearing up for Eid al-Fitr. Meanwhile, Palestinian families in occupied Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood are being forcibly evicted from homes where they have lived for decades.
In May, an Israeli district court in East Jerusalem upheld a decision to evict six Palestinian families from their homes to make way for Israeli settlers. It is a war crime for an occupying state to relocate its residents into occupied territories. Despite this, the same court ordered seven more families in Sheikh Jarrah to vacate their homes by August. This is the ethnic cleansing that Palestinians have been subjected to on a regular basis since 1948.
Israeli settlers have long coveted Sheikh Jarrah, a residential area less than a kilometre from the Old City of Jerusalem’s walls. Israeli settler organizations have claimed ownership of land in Sheikh Jarrah since Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War, and have filed several lawsuits to expel Palestinians from the region.
Palestinians have been demonstrating in Sheikh Jarrah in response to the recent court order, in an attempt to defend the indigenous community. Families of Tala Obeid, Omar Al-Khatib, and Mahmoud Nabil Al-Kurd have been displaced as a result of their arrests. A teenager was shot in the shoulder, and a man was injured after settlers stabbed and pepper-sprayed him on his way home from work.
Furthermore, Israeli settlers assaulted Palestinians who were breaking their fast in the neighborhood in solidarity with the 40 Palestinians, including ten children, who are facing eviction to make way for illegal settlers. Blocks, glass bottles, and other items were thrown at the Palestinians by the thuggish settlers. A battle broke out between the two parties when the latter retaliated to the attack.
Pal_estinians were enjoying Iftar in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood when 0ccupation Militants attacked them with pepper gas… Of course this assault would be answered… pic.twitter.com/mUzY2sqMdO
— Suribelle (@Suribelle1) May 7, 2021
Israel intensified its attacks on the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, levelling a high-rise building used by Hamas militants and killing at least three militants in their hideouts as Palestinian rockets rained down on Israel almost nonstop.
It was the most intense battle between the two bitter rivals since 2014, and there was no sign of it slowing down. While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to accelerate the offensive, Gaza militants launched a late-night barrage of rockets that triggered air-raid sirens and explosions throughout Tel Aviv’s densely populated metropolitan area.
Three women were killed and hundreds of people were injured in Israel as a result of rocket fire. According to the Health Ministry, the death toll in Gaza has risen to 32 Palestinians, including 10 children. A total of 200 people were injured.
Imagine this intensity of attack INSIDE St Paul’s Cathedral. pic.twitter.com/rrToTe6r9Y
— Matthew Teller (@matthewteller) May 10, 2021
During the month of Ramadan, such violence by settlers and Israeli occupation forces is now anticipated. It also occurs in the Gaza Strip. When Ramadan arrived later that year, Israel launched yet another major military assault, killing over 2,200 Palestinians, including 500 children, and injuring tens of thousands more. Palestinians are also struggling to get back on their feet.
The truth is that Israel continues to treat international law with disrespect, and the international community allows it to do so with impunity. No “investigation” is needed to decide who is responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in front of the world media. Preventing Palestinians from visiting the holy sites throughout Ramadan and during the year is one of these offences. This is Israel’s apartheid reality, as well as its oppressive military occupation.