Israel harasses Palestinians again at the Al-Aqsa mosque

Crowds waiting at a closed checkpoint to Jerusalem. Source: Al Jazeera

The holiest night of Ramadan, Laylat al-Qadr (the night of destiny) was celebrated on the 18th of April. The Israeli occupiers again attacked the religious freedom of the Palestinians by setting up checkpoints in Jerusalem on the 9th of April, at the same time when the Israeli forces guarded settler mobs who stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque. Before this, the Israeli forces conducted raids on worshipers at the mosque. It is the third holiest worshiping site of the Muslims, and praying at the mosque is an important part of the celebrations. The occupation of the area of the mosque is not recognized according to the international law. Only men over the age of 55 and under the age of 12 and women were allowed to pass the checkpoints. However, some were denied access seemingly arbitrarily because of “security bans” they did not even know they had. The checkpoints were sometimes closed completely, creating overcrowded bottlenecks because of the large amount of people wanting to pray at the mosque on Laylat al-Qadr. On the other side, the streets of Jerusalem were filled with police harassing Arabs.

On the 18th of April the Israeli forces conducted another raid in Jenin in the occupied West Bank, in a refugee camp. The Palestinians exchanged fire with the IDF in intense confrontations. Eight Palestinians were wounded, among them an elderly woman and a paramedic. The wounded were shot in the limbs, proving the intention of the Israeli forces to torture them. The IDF prevented the Red Crescent from entering the area to help the wounded. Defense Minister of Israel Yoav Gallant celebrated this terror.

Similarly on Tuesday, Israeli settlers attacked a vehicle and injured a Palestinian woman who was driving it in Nablus, West Bank. The settlers started throwing rocks after seeing the Palestinian license plate. Similar incidents happen daily, with the settlers destroying property and harassing Palestinians.

A rally was held in front of the Red Crescent headquarters in Gaza on the 17th of April to support the struggle of the Palestinian prisoners. Source: Palestine Chronicle

On the 17th of April, the Palestinian Prisoners’ day was marked. Several rallies were held in Gaza and cities of the occupied West Bank to support the struggle of the prisoners. According to human rights groups, almost 5000 Palestinians are incarcerated in Israel. Over a thousand are held in an “administrative detention” without a proper trial or any charge or evidence of a crime. 160 of those incarcerated are children. Since the beginning of the year, 2,300, of which 350 are children, have been arrested in raids. Since 1967, over 200 have died in Israeli prisons. Healthcare is denied from sick prisoners. Torture, arbitrary raids and solitary confinement are used attempting to break any resistance in the prisons, like happened in January when prisoners had celebrated an attack which left seven settlers dead in East Jerusalem.

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