Action Alert Jerusalem: The Mosque War

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Action Alert: International Community Must Take Immediate and Concrete

Measures to Halt Israel’s Aggression against Palestinian Jerusalemites 

Since dawn of today, 10 May 2021, Israel and its occupying forces have escalated their attacks against Palestinians in Jerusalem, and specifically against worshipers inside Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Storming Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, where some 20,000 Palestinians were present for Al-Fajr prayer, the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) fired rubber bullets, tear gas canisters, and sound bombs, targeting Palestinians, while preventing the entry of the Red Crescent medical teams into the compound, where dozens are wounded, some in serious condition.

As of 10 am, when around 7,000 Palestinians were participating in a sit-in inside the Mosque, the Red Crescent reported that at least 180 Palestinians were injured, 80 of whom needed to be hospitalised. Paramedics and journalists are among the injured.

Considering the escalation in aggressions against Palestinians in the past few weeks, which continue to rapidly increase, and Israeli settlers’ intention to storm Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, we warn that Israel’s use of force will lead to a further escalation in attacks against Palestinians, and urge the international community to take immediate and concrete measures to halt Israel’s attacks.

Israel’s oppression and fragmentation of the Palestinian people, systematic use of excessive force, collective punishment and arbitrary arrests policies, along with settler violence, which is carried out with institutionalised impunity, are a few characteristics of

Israel’s settler-colonial and apartheid regime. In the past four days, the IOF killed three Palestinians, including a 16-year-old boy, Said Odeh, who was shot, at least twice, in his back.

With intensified oppression and aggression against Palestinian Jerusalemites since the start of Ramadan, the imminent threat of having some 87 Palestinian Jerusalemites forcibly transferred by Israeli settler organisation, with the assistance of Israel’s discriminatory and unlawful legal system, and eruption of built-up Palestinian frustration from decades of colonial suppression, the occupied Palestinian territory, generally, and Jerusalem, specifically, has seen a surge in these policies and violations.

Palestinian Jerusalemites have been systematically targeted and attacked since 13 April 2021, the first day of Ramadan. The IOF then stormed the outer minarets of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and cut the wires for the speakers, preventing the call to prayer before going on to place metal barriers close to Damascus Gate.

The IOF followed these provocations by attacking Palestinians with hands, batons, and sound bombs in an attempt to prevent the latter from sitting on the steps. On 22 April 2021, at night, Israeli settlers, including those affiliated with the Israeli far-right group Lehava, took to the streets, chanting ‘death to Arabs.’

Notably, the IOF always provide settlers protection, thereby encouraging and contributing to these attacks. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, 105 Palestinians were wounded, 22 of whom were hospitalised in moderate condition. It was also reported that over 50 Palestinians were arrested.

These events continued, along with arbitrary arrests, on a daily basis until 25 April 2021, when Palestinians removed the metal barriers. Israel, however, continued its crack down on Palestinians, including by arbitrarily arresting Palestinians who celebrated the removal of the barriers.

Within the same context of Israeli oppression and domination, inherent in its settlercolonial and apartheid regime, the IOF and Israeli settlers systematically attack and harass Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah, and other Palestinians joining in solidarity.

The Israeli Supreme Court, which unlawfully applies Israeli discriminatory domestic law to an occupied territory, was supposed to hold a hearing on 10 May 2021 on the forced eviction of eight Palestinian families, who were already forcibly expelled during the Nakba of 1948, and continue to experience an ongoing Nakba.

Waiting for the Court’s decision, residents of Sheikh Jarrah have called for solidarity activities in support of their struggle and in resistance to Israel’s oppression. Since 2 May 2021, along with other Palestinians who joined in solidarity, the residents have been meeting to break their fast publicly in front of their houses in Sheikh Jarrah.

As Palestinians were opposing oppression, they were faced with more oppression. For over a week, the IOF and Israeli settlers, some of the latter being armed, have been suppressing and attacking Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah, including by raiding and damaging houses, firing tear gas canisters, sound bombs and skunk water, and arbitrarily arresting them.

On 6 May 2021, Knesset member Itamar Ben-Gvir moved his office to the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, placing it in front of Al-Ghawi family house, which was taken over by settlers in 2009. At Iftar time of that day, Israeli settlers, protected by the IOF, pepper-sprayed Palestinians, who defended themselves by throwing chairs at the settlers. The IOF used force to supress Palestinians and defend the Israeli settlers.

Around 15 Palestinians were arrested that day. Since 7 May 2021, the IOF fully closed the entrances of the neighbourhood, only allowing Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah to enter. Palestinians continued to show up in solidarity at the entrances of the neighbourhood, and they continued to be suppressed and attacked by the IOF.

On 7 May 2021, last Friday of Ramadan, the IOF continued attacking Palestinian Jerusalemites, including by vigorously firing sound and tear gas bombs and shooting rubber-coated bullets at the worshipers inside the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The repression of Palestinians in Al-Aqsa Mosque continued until about 3:00 am, when they emptied the Mosque and closed its doors.

According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, 205 Palestinians were injured, more than 80 of whom were hospitalised. That day, three Palestinians lost their eyes, and two had their jaws fractured. The Israeli suppression of Palestinians continued, resulting in the injury of over 90 Palestinians, five of whom were injured on their heads, on 8 May 2021.

Also, on the same day, Israel closed Route 433 and Abu Ghosh Road, and prevented Palestinian busses coming from inside the Green Line to reach Al-Aqsa Mosque, which exemplifies how Israel continues to geographically fragment the Palestinian people.

Seriously alarmed by this rapid escalation of violence, we welcome the joint statement issued by France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, urging Israel to ‘cease its policy of settlement expansion,’ addressing the situation in Sheikh Jarrah, and reminding Israel of its legal obligations.

We are, however, concerned about the language used in the statements of the Middle East Quartet Envoys, and the European Union, expressing ‘concerns’ with regards to the forcible evictions and the rise of ‘tensions and violence’ in East Jerusalem, calling on ‘all sides to uphold and respect the status quo at the holy sites,’ affirming that ‘all leaders have a responsibility to act against extremists and to speak out against all acts of violence and incitement.’

Both statements failed to remind Israel, the Occupying Power, of its legal obligations towards all Palestinian Jerusalemites. Both statements failed to contextualise and address the root causes of Israel’s aggressions against Palestinians: Israel’s settler-colonial and apartheid regime. Both statements decided to assign Palestinians, a colonised people, the same weight of responsibility as a coloniser and the Occupying Power.

On 9 May 2021, Israel’s Supreme Court postponed the hearing on Sheikh Jarrah, which was initially scheduled on the same day as the so-called ‘Jerusalem Day’, an Israeli holiday ‘celebrating’ the unlawful occupation and annexation of East Jerusalem in 1967.

It is imperative to note that the Israeli judicial system is both discriminatory and biased against Palestinians, as it only serves the interests of Israel’s settler-colonial enterprise. As such, it is imperative that the international community immediately intervenes to prevent Israel from conducting these evictions.

Given the latest escalations in Israel’s attacks against Palestinians, specifically Palestinian Jerusalemites, we warn that Israel’s use of force will lead to a further escalation in attacks against Palestinians.

By failing to take immediate and direct actions to halt Israel’s oppression of Palestinians, not only will the the very structure of international legal order be assaulted, but Palestinians, enduring, and frustrated by, decades of Israeli settler-colonialism and apartheid regime, will continue to face systematic and intensified attacks by the Occupying Power. Words of condemnation are not enough.

Israel’s long-established unlawful policies will not come to an end as long as the international community does not have the political will to take concrete actions, including by sanctioning Israel, in order to hold Israel accountable for its breaches of international human rights and humanitarian law.

Signing organisations:

The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC), compromising of: 

  • Al-Haq, Law in the Service of Man
  • Al Mezan Center for Human Rights
  • Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
  • Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
  • DCI – Defense for Children International – Palestine
  • Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center
  • Aldameer Association for Human Rights
  • Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies
  • Hurryyat – Center for Defense of Liberties and Civil Rights
  • The Independent Commission for Human Rights (Ombudsman Office) – Observer Member
  • Muwatin Institute for Democracy and Human Rights – Observer Member

The Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (PNGO)

Community Action Center (CAC)- Al-Quds University

The Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem (CCPRJ)

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10 COMMENTS

  1. The problem is the right wing Likud which went on steroids after the fall of the Soviet Union and the ensuing immigration of Eastern European Jewish population to Israel.

  2. The European Union is nothing but just another group of “Yes Men” so far as Israel is concerned; and they say Amen to whatever Israel says or does.

    It is really a shame for the people of Europe and the US, and the Arab countries that they still do not realise how they are being ruled by the Zionists; their foreign policy, their banks, their armed forces are being made to serve Israel’s interests, and the Zionist Order of Imperialism.

    By the time they wake up, that is, if they do wake up, they will realise too late how they have been bamboozled, made a fool of, or were made the fall guys to be sacrificed for Israel’s interests. After all, they are the GOYIM, they are destined to get what comes to them by the Holy God of Abraham.

  3. No amount of condemnation or UN Resolutions would make Israel to mend its ways. There is an old Indian proverb : “Laton ke bhoot, baaton se nahi mante.” Means ghosts which can only understand kicks, cannot listen to (reasonable) talks. In other words, those who can only behave themselves when faced with brute force, cannot be made to see reason by simple dialogue.

    This is what Israel is today, and will continue its brutality towards Palestinians caring two hoots for any condemnation coming their way. Because they feel that they are holding all the four aces; therefore, they need not fear pesky UN Resolutions. or dreary few and far between condemnations, or an occasional simpering call from the US they are “deeply concerned”.

  4. These nasty nasty Talmudic (Devil worshipers) have to be stopped. US is responsible for their behavior and the Palestinian blood. This is an abomination happening right in front of our eyes, these murderers are a heartless people who have even conspired against God (after He said “Behold, your house is left to you desolate”) before they were kicked out of Israel after killing Christ. It is not God’s will that they should take the land after they rejected and killed His son. Why can’t US.. understand this? The taxi driver and the tourist guide I met in Jerusalem were from Iraq.. and they thought Palestine was their land.. I had seen Jews in Iran, they looked like Arabs, but these in Israel were more Western. Majority of these bastards don’t even believe in God. Why should they be allowed to start WW3 in which US and the world will go down the drain. And when Christ returns do the US Zionist Christians believe they will get away with this filth? You idiots wake up!

  5. It would not surprise me if this whole thing started as some kind of Benny Mileikowsky plot to stay in power.

    • He’s the supreme leader of Likud. They have other psychos to replace him but he’s a Teflon and they are getting all the mileage they can out of him.

    • I’m reminded of what Netanyahu said in 1990 to his guests at Fink’s Bar in Jerusalem, “America is a golden calf, and we will suck it dry, chop it up, and sell it off piece by piece until there is nothing left but the world’s biggest welfare state that we will create and control. Why? Because it is the will of God, and America is big enough to take the hit so we can do it again and again and again. This is what we do to countries that we hate. We destroy them very slowly and make them suffer for refusing to be our slaves.” How right he was.

  6. Where is the U.N.? That One World Order Organization has placed the, “Stamp of Approval” on the Zionist Apartheid Talmudic-Supremacist TERROR State of Israel! The ‘Modus Operandi’ of the Terror State has been Assassinations and False Flag Attacks, and unprovoked Attacks against the neighboring States! The Zionist Demonic Zealots have been getting away with those ‘Crimes Against Humanity’, for close to a hundred years! The 1948 “Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine” (that is going on to this very day)! The “LAVON Affair”, The ‘USS LIBERTY” War Crime against a friend! http://www.holocaustonthehighseas.com and the ‘PULLING DOWN’ of the WTC. Towers #1,#2,#7, by Controlled Demolition, that resulted in the deaths of 2977 innocent Collateral Victims and dragged the, ‘Land of the Free’ into the ‘HELL HOLE’ created by the Zionist Terror state, where the ‘Blood and Treasure of the American People’, our Military Personnel, has become, ‘The Sacrificial Offerings’ on the barbaric-Bloody Altar of Zionism, on the World stage! DOWN with Zionism!!

  7. Thank you, VT, for being one of the few US news outlets to report on this outrage. Certainly the Zionist Mighty Wurlitzer has no intention of reporting anything negative about Israel. Sadly, this includes US Christian Zionists who were solidly behind Trump’s moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.

    Pastor John Hagee, Trump’s “spiritual” advisor, gave the following sermon in 2018, “Jerusalem is the preordained capital of Christ’s 1,000-year empire, during which Christians and the [Ashkenazim] shall live in peace, after the unsaved (Democrats, mostly) have endured seven years of unspeakable horrors.” Wow, what a glorious end-times scenario that will be.

Comments are closed.