GENEVA- A new monthly report documenting Israeli violations against the Palestinian population in Jerusalem was issued by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor on Monday, February 2019.
The report highlights the escalation in illegal Israeli practices against Palestinians, such as arbitrary removal and expulsion from Al-Aqsa Mosque, home raids, re-arrest, and restriction to freedom of religious practice, all in an attempt to undermine the current legal status of the Holy City and the rights of the Palestinian population living in Jerusalem.
Titled “Denied to pray: Israel’s continued restrictions on Palestinian Muslims’ right to worship in Jerusalem,” the report records and documents Israel’s deliberate policies to undermine and restrict Palestinians’ religious practice and presence in Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Cases of arbitrary arrests and home raids by the Israeli occupation authorities against Palestinians have also been recorded, not to mention arrests and home searches without legal warrants.
In particular, the report sheds light on the latest events relating to Bab al-Rahma (Golden Gate), east of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the attacks on worshipers in the area as well as the restrictions on their religious freedom.
The report documents the closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque by the Israeli authorities for 12 hours, presenting testimonies and graphic of dozens of assaulted worshipers, who were also detained and expelled because of their protest or mere presence in the area.
The said practices by the Israeli occupation authorities aim to displace Palestinian and ethnically cleanse the City under the guise of the existing laws and regulations, said Sarah Pritchett, Euro-Med Monitor’s spokeswoman.
The denial to issue building permits, outright demolition of unlicensed homes and shops, and the denial of issuing a wide-scale planning scheme covering East Jerusalem are signs attesting to this long-standing policy, added Pritchett.
The report brings to light the persistent issue of demolition orders by the Israeli Municipality and the implementation of these orders against Palestinian-owned properties in East Jerusalem under the pretext of building without legal permits. This merciless and horrendous campaign, says Pritchett, targeted, during February, the demolition of homes in Beit Hanina, Jabal Mukaber and other Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.
These policies are, again, aimed at undermining anything that is critical to the survival of Palestinians as Palestinians, including their homes, which are supposedly the safest place they can be, Pritchett concluded.
The Israeli actions against the Palestinian population in Jerusalem violate their rights to live in dignity and equally violate their civil, political and religious rights, and above all, are contrary to, and in stark violation of, international law.
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor calls on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities towards Jerusalem and its Palestinian population, to protect them as residents of an occupied area under Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, and to protect the legal status of the Holy City, including by considering Israeli practices and procedures arbitrary and legally void.