Geneva – A report published by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor showed an escalation in violations by the Israeli authorities in Jerusalem in December 2019, approved by the highest Israeli political level, and with American support and international silence, amid acceleration of Israel's attempt to end the Palestinian presence and change the demographic character and identity of the city.

   The United Nations' neglect of Israeli violations in Jerusalem encouraged it to commit more violations without fearing accountability   

Anas Al-jerjawi, Euro-Med Monitor's MENA Region Director

In its monthly report entitled "Violations until the last hour," the Geneva-based Group said that Israeli forces committed 495 violations of human rights in December which fall under over 16 patterns of human rights violations, the majority of which are complex violations.

Euro-Med Monitor documented in December 23 incidents of shootings and direct assaults by Israeli army in neighbourhoods of Jerusalem, which resulted in suffocation due to tear gas and bruises as a result of beating and abuse.

December witnessed a major escalation in incursions carried out by Israeli forces into towns of Jerusalem, where 149 operations were carried out which saw the arrest of 115 Jerusalemites, including 27 children, 12 women, summoning 24 others, and the imposition of house arrest and fines on 13 people, including children.

These violations took place in what is described as a tough year for the people of Jerusalem, which witnessed more than 1,950 arrests, including 500 children.

In December, the organization monitored 42 demolitions and distribution of notices in occupied Jerusalem, and the actual demolition of eight houses, of which three owners were forced to self-demolish their own houses, to avoid paying high fines, which led to the displacement of dozens of Palestinians, as well as the demolition of four facilities.

According to the available data, the demolitions carried out by Israeli authorities witnessed an increase in 2019 in East Jerusalem, reaching 201 compared to 177 throughout 2018 and 142 houses throughout 2017.

Euro-Med Monitor indicated that demolitions carried out by Israeli forces are part of a systematic policy to forcibly displace Palestinians, with the aim of changing the demographic character of the city noting that such acts amount to a war crime.

Anas Al-jerjawi, Middle East and North Africa Director at Euro-Med Monitor, said that the United Nations' neglect of Israeli violations in Jerusalem encouraged it to commit more violations without fearing accountability.

Al-jerjawi pointed out that the General Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced her intention to open an investigation into war crimes in the Palestinian Territories, expressing her hope for a serious investigation into all Israeli violations, especially in Jerusalem, to achieve justice and put an end to Israeli impunity.

Euro-Med Monitor pointed to the policy of racial discrimination pursued by Israeli authorities, while imposing restrictions and obstacles preventing Palestinians from obtaining building permits, an excuse used by authorities to carry out escalating demolitions, under security, punitive, and other claims, which aim at destroying homes and displacing Palestinians, in exchange for allowing building Israeli settlement projects.

The report documented an opening of a railway linking Jerusalem and Tel Aviv by Israeli authorities, launch of a special lighthouse on the Hanukkah near the Gate of the Tribes in Jerusalem, and Israeli settlement societies establishment of a biblical Museum in Silwan in Occupied Jerusalem.

During December, settlers carried out incursions with a total of 2826 settlers breaking into Al-Aqsa throughout 23 days of the month, which is a significant increase compared to last month. During Hanukkah, from December 23-30, with a total of 29,610 settlers breaking into Al-Aqsa in 2019. In addition, thousands of settlers participated in the storming of Al-Aqsa by claiming to be foreign tourists, in coordination with Israeli authorities.

During the month of December, military authorities issued eight removal orders from Al-Aqsa Mosque or Jerusalem. Israeli authorities adopt this policy of removal against active and influential Palestinian personalities, whether at Al-Aqsa Mosque or Jerusalem as part of its fight against the Palestinian presence in the city.

Euro-Med Monitor documented four direct attacks by settlers in Jerusalem during December, including damage to car tires and writing of racist slogans.

The organization monitored the arrest of four journalists, as part of Israeli forces’ policy of preventing official Palestine TV from working in Jerusalem.

Israeli army forces sat 13 permanent checkpoints in occupied Jerusalem, as well as dozens of flying checkpoints that stop citizens as they pass through and abuse them. Euro-Med Monitor documented more than 43 flying checkpoints in Jerusalem’s neighbourhoods in December.

At the end of the report, Euro-Med Monitor warned of Israeli plans to demolish more homes and residential neighbourhoods in Jerusalem in favour of implementing settlement projects and changing the demographic character of the city, renewing its call for the United Nations to assume its responsibilities to stop Israel's violations of relevant Security Council resolutions, by pressuring Israel to stop its violations against Palestinians in Jerusalem.

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