The occupation authorities imposed a siege on the villages and neighborhoods of Jerusalem and closed the entrances with cement blocks and established checkpoints. They also distributed iron barriers in the main streets and roads as part of the collective punishment policy used against Jerusalemites after a decision was made by the Israeli Cabinet to close the Arab neighborhoods in response to the attacks in Jerusalem.
Wadi Hilweh Information Center monitored that closure of entrances and intersections in Silwan, Al-Tur, Esawyeh, Al-Sowaneh, Sur Baher and Jabal Al-Mukabber. The forces also placed iron barriers in most of the streets in Jerusalem and the Old City and isolated the villages from one another.
The occupation authorities started closing the Jerusalemite neighborhoods on Wednesday afternoon and deliberately closed the roads with big trucks that were carrying the cement blocks; they disrupted the movement of Jerusalemites and caused heavy traffic jams.
The residents of the Jerusalemite villages and neighborhoods complained about the policy of collective punishment used against them and then closure of the entrances of their villages and neighborhoods in addition to the establishment of checkpoints at the entrances which also leads to heavy traffic jams especially in the morning and afternoon hours when students, workers and employees are going to their schools and work and when they come back.
The residents will also be forced to look for alternative roads to avoid the heavy traffic which could also put them at risk due to the heavy deployment of occupation forces in the streets of Jerusalem.
The checkpoints and cement blocks will also delay the civil defense staff, ambulances, medical staff and paramedics when responding to an emergency.
The residents also complained about being searched in a provocative way after they were stopped and had their IDs checked; the searching process also included females and children. Young men were forces to lift up their shirts and at time take off their shoes while women’s purses and bags were precisely searched.
The occupation authorities closed the entrances of Wadi Al-Rababeh and Al-Thori in Silwan with cement blocks while blocks were placed in other streets and neighborhood such as Wadi Hilweh and Ras Al-Amoud and were used as searching stations (blocks with the presence of soldiers).
In the village of Esawyeh, the main entrance was closed with cement blocks and only pedestrians can go through after being searched while the eastern entrance was partially closed with blocks with the presence of Israeli soldiers.
It is noteworthy that early 19 thousand people live in the village of Esawyeh.
In Jabal Al-Mukabber, the occupation closed four of the village’s entrances and left two open in which one was partially closed with blocks and soldiers and the other could only be reached from Silwan; nearly 25 thousand people live in the village of Jabal Al-Mukabber.
The occupation closed three entrances in the village of Sur Baher and the surrounding villages around it (Imlisoon, Ghazeel and Um Tuba). One entrance only is being used by the residents which is the one near Al-Qa’a roundabout; it is also partially closed with blocks and soldiers.
The population in Sur Baher is nearly 51 thousand people.
The village of Al-Tur
The occupation closed two roads in Al-Tur where one of them leads to Ezaryeh and the other leads to the village of Esawyeh. They established checkpoints (blocks and soldiers) at the entrance near the Augusta Victoria hospital and in Al-Hardoob Street.
Few days ago, the forces closed Suleiman Al-Farisi Street which includes three schools, the village’s cemetery and Mount of Olives Club.
They also placed iron barriers at the entrances of Gethsemane and prevented locals from using those roads and only allowed certain vehicles to go through after checking the IDs of passengers.
The village of Al-Tur has several schools including a special needs school as well as Augusta Victoria and Al-Maqased hospitals.
It is noteworthy that 33 thousand people live in the village of Al-Tur.
The occupation authorities established a checkpoint in the main street of the neighborhood of Al-Sowaneh (between Al-Tur and Wadi Al-Joz) using cement blocks and soldiers.
Also, the neighborhood of Al-Sowaneh has the Palestinian Red Crescent hospital and two schools and has the road that reaches the village of Al-Tur.
(Source / 16.10.2015)