The former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Akrema Sabri
On Sunday, the Israeli occupation police and intelligence summoned the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Akrema Sabri, for questioning, local sources said.
Intelligence and police officers raided Sabri’s home in occupied Jerusalem and handed him a note ordering him to show up for questioning at Qashla police station in the city.
After summoning him this morning, the Israeli security ordered the former Mufti of Jerusalem and current head of the Higher Islamic Council, Sheikh Ekrema Sabri, off Al-Aqsa Mosque for one week, according to sources.
On Sunday night, Israeli occupation forces detained 11 Palestinians, including a minor, during raids that targeted several areas in the occupied West Bank, said the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).
PPS said in a statement that Israeli army broke into the village of Beit Fajjar, near Bethlehem, and detained four former prisoners. Three of the detainees are from Deriya family.
It also said that the forces detained four a 16-year-old minor from Qalqilya, who was identified as Nidal Safwan Salim.
Israeli army also arrested one Palestinian from Ramallah and a woman from Hebron, identified as Rawan Qabaja, 30, who was later released after paying a $130 bill and after a few hours of interrogations.
The PPS noted that Israeli police also detained six Palestinians from Jerusalem and released them a couple of hours later.
Meanwhile, the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission said in a statement that Israeli soldiers had let a police dog attack 17-year-old Qais Ararawi, from Jenin, during his detention, before he was taken to interrogation and later moved to Megiddo prison, where he is currently incarcerated.
The Israeli occupation municipality in Jerusalem issued yesterday a notice of eviction against seven Palestinian households in the neighborhood of Bab al-Silsila (Chain Gate) in Jerusalem’s Old City after claims their houses are on the verge of collapse due to cracks in the walls, which Palestinian say were caused from Israeli excavations under the houses.
Adnan Ghaith, the Palestinian Authority’s governor of Jerusalem, told WAFA news agency that the chance of collapse and the cracks in the buildings were the result of excavation carried out by settler organizations with the support and protection of the Israeli government in an attempt to give Jerusalem a Jewish identity while displacing its Palestinian residents.
Rashid Zahdeh, a resident of Bab al-Silsila, said that 22 families may be forced to evacuate their homes. He said that seven families have already been told to evacuate their homes as soon as possible while the remaining families are expected to get the notices in the near future.
He said that the Israeli excavations at Bab al-Silsila, which is one of the gates leading to Al-Aqsa Mosque, are going to displace 200 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, which he believes is an intentional policy to force remove Palestinians from the Old City under various pretexts and replace them with Jewish settlers.
The Israeli occupation municipality on Friday forced a Jerusalemite citizen to demolish his own house in Jabel al-Mukaber neighborhood at the pretext of unlicensed construction.
Ammar Nassar, the homeowner, had to demolish the house after the municipality gave him until next Tuesday to raze it, or else he would have paid exorbitant money to the Israeli occupation authority if it had carried out the demolition.
A family of six individuals, including four children, was living in the house and they have no other place to live in.
The municipality had already forced Ammar’s brothers, Maher and Mohamed, to demolish their own homes in the same neighborhood last week. The measure led to the displacement of 15 individuals, including 11 children.
On Friday, Israeli occupation police stormed Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and assaulted Palestinian Muslim worshippers.
Witnesses said that thousands of Palestinians rallied at the mosque compound following the Fajr Prayer, chanting slogans slamming Israeli intrusions into the site.
They added that scores of police officers who stormed the site chased and assaulted the worshippers, inflicting bruises and contusions to dozens, including the elderly.
Police opened fire towards the worshippers participating in the rally, injuring at least five with rubber-coated steel bullets.
Local sources confirmed that the casualties received medical treatment at the scene.
Police also sealed off Bab al-Asbat, which leads to the holy site, and hindered worshippers’ access to the site through Bab Hutta.
The rally came in line with calls for worshippers to en masse participate in the Fajr Prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque and Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque in protest of settler’ intrusions and Israeli schemes to Judaize them.
Messianic Jewish settlers are hoping to establish an increased presence on the site of the Al-Aqsa mosque, among the most important Muslim shrines in the world and potent symbols of Palestinian nationalism, and calling for building a third temple on what they term the “Temple Mount”.
Their far-right beliefs were once considered a small fringe movement, but in recent years, they have found favor in the administration of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, receiving the endorsement of many lawmakers.
Settlers incursions into the mosque compound coupled with the takeover of church property in Jerusalem are perceived as part of the plan to transform a multi-religious and multi-cultural city into a “reunified” Jewish city under the exclusive control and sovereignty of Israel.
The Israeli occupation forces on Thursday detained five Finnish citizens, including a member of parliament, for allegedly attempting to cross the fence separating the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories and the blockaded Gaza Strip.
According to Israeli media sources, the Israeli forces detained Anna Kontula, a Finnish MP, and four other humanitarian activists, for trying to cross the fence in protest at the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
For its part, the High National Committee for the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege in Gaza condemned the arrests and expressed solidarity with the detainees.
The Israeli occupation forces confiscated the Finnish detainees’ passports and cell phones and interrogated them in preparation for their deportation to their country by force.
The High National Committee called for protecting the activists from Israeli harassment and asked human rights organizations around the world to make similar steps against Israel’s racist policies, especially the unjust blockade on the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli occupation in 2006 imposed a tight blockade on the Gaza Strip closing all crossings connecting the enclave with the outside world through Egypt or the Palestinian territories occupied since 1948. The crossings are only opened partially in certain times and for limited periods for the entry of goods and passengers.
The decision by Israel’s so-called Minister of Defense, Naftali Bennett, to expand and create “nature reserves” in the occupied West Bank is a blatant act of annexation and land theft that violates international law and basic Palestinian rights, on Thursday said Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
“These so-called reserves are the practical application of Israel’s accelerated and de facto annexation, land grab, and colonization targeting Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley. Israel is carrying out silent annexation of Palestinian land to ensure the permanent denial of the Palestinian people’s basic rights to freedom and justice. It is criminal as well as morally and politically reprehensible,” she said in a statement.
“Bennett made no secret of his intentions, which are to strengthen and entrench the illegal settlement regime. This is the very regime that is currently under review by the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court because its establishment, expansion, and entrenchment is a violation of the Rome Statute. As such, Bennett’s announcement is an affront to the International Criminal Court as well as the international community, which rejects and opposes the acquisition of territory by force,” added Ashrawi.
“Israel’s policy of displacement and replacement in the service of the ‘Greater Israel’ agenda is in overdrive thanks to the partnership and blind ideological support of the current American Administration. This irresponsible alliance is emboldening Israel to make a mockery of the rules-based international order and to attempt to normalize its rogue behavior and encourage other rogue states with extraterritorial aspirations to disregard international law with impunity,” said the PLO official.
“Israel’s lawless behavior, impunity and expansionism threaten Palestinian rights and international stability. The international community has a standing legal obligation to put an end to such escalating and grave violations of international law. States must have the moral clarity and courage to ensure that Israel’s lawless behavior is confronted with real consequences, including sanctions,” Ashrawi concluded her statement.
In their bid to impede Palestinian education in remote villages, Israeli occupation forces on Thursday demolished the foundations of a new school that was being built east of Yatta town in the south of the occupied West Bank, according to Rateb Jabour, member of the National and Popular Committee Resisting the Wall and Settlements.
He said that Israeli soldiers came to the school that was being built between Yatta and Bani Naim in an area close the illegal Israeli settlement of Beni Hefer and began to demolish the foundation laid out for the construction of the school.
He said that no prior notice of demolition was given to the school administration.
The school was intended to serve children in the remote villages who often have to travel long distance and through rough and hazardous terrain to reach their schools in nearby towns.