It is important to continue the struggle despite frustrations and disappointment based on an ultimate faith in the triumph of justice Richard Falk | Chairman of Board of Trustees

July-December 2018

In spite of United Nations Security Council Resolution No (2334) in late December 2016, which affirmed the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem, Israel continues to illegally build settlements, which amounts to a war crime under international law. The Israeli authorities continue to displace Palestinian families, exercise arbitrary detention against Palestinians in East Jerusalem, including beatings and imposing fines, denying them building permits, demolishing their homes and expelling them from Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem in order to replace them with Israeli settlers. This is still a systematic practice carried out by Israel on a permanent and even escalating basis, especially since US President Donald Trump's decision in December 2017 to relocate his country's embassy to Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel, which seems to only give a green light to the Israeli occupation authorities to continue and escalate their violations against Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem.

1,800

The total number of arrest and detention cases during 2018

300%

The percentage of settlement expansion in occupied Jerusalem during 2018

5,820

The total number of settlement units approved by the Israeli occupation government during the year 2018

68

The total number of residential houses demolished in Jerusalem in 2018, in addition to 178 demolitions of shops

Arbitrary detention

The Israeli occupation authorities practice almost daily arrests of Palestinians in Jerusalem. In 2018, more than 1,800 arrests and detentions cases were recorded, the predominant feature of their practices is for arbitrary reasons, or has a lack of legal procedures, standards of detention and fair trial. In addition, these arrests are often accompanied by raids on the homes of the wanted persons, and the search warrant is rarely shown which contravenes the procedural rules in criminal law.

The arrest of Adam Mansour Najm, 8 years old - July 2018

On June 12, the Israeli occupation authorities arrested Adam Mansour Najm, 8, from the Bir Ayoub neighborhood in Silwan, south of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israel ruin Palestinian weddings: The arrest of a groom before his wedding night, August and December 2018

The Israeli occupation authorities apparently seek to ruin the happiness of the Palestinians in Jerusalem by arbitrarily detaining grooms before or after their wedding on vague and arbitrary excuses, releasing them after a few days later. The Israeli forces detained Thaer al-Fakhouri, 29, from the Old City at 5:00 am on August 16, 2018, only two days before his wedding. The soldiers searched his house and detained him and his brother Abdelfattah al-Fakhouri, 32, and took them to al-Qashla Police Station for interrogation; they interrogated al-Fakhouri brothers on charges of the intention of starting the wedding Zaffeh (a special Palestinian ceremony on the wedding day) from the al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday, August 17, 2018, then they released them after few days.

Abdelfattah was also detained at the time of his wedding two years ago; he was forced to postpone his wedding for a week. Rami al-Fakhouri was also arrested on December 15, less than 20 days after his wedding, on the grounds that his wedding ceremony included national songs that support Palestinian resistance which are considered ‘terrorists’ by Israel. No charges were found against al-Fakhouri, an administrative detention order (without charge) was issued against him.

Beatings and physical assault

There are also no laws or regulations in the Israeli military that allow the police to attack anyone this way for any reason since beating is not considered a legal punishment, but instead is a crime, regardless of its causes and motives. The Israeli occupation authorities are still, nonetheless, assaulting Palestinians in Jerusalem.

Beating Sepulchre Church priests, October 2018

On 24 October 2018, the Israeli occupation police assaulted the priests of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and arrested one of them during a stand that was organized by the patriarchs of the Orthodox Copts in Jerusalem at Bab Deer al-Sultan al-Qubti, releasing him later. The stand was in protest of the Israeli occupation’s denial of repair and restoration works inside the Coptic Monastery of al-Sultan.

Assault on the young man Nizam Abu Rmouz, August 2018

After being denied entry to al-Aqsa Mosque on 30 August 2018, Abu Rmouz was arrested at Bab al-Asbat (Lions’ Gate) police station, where he was severely beaten by eight Israeli soldiers.

The policy of home and shop demolitions

The Israeli occupation authorities exercise a harsh and arbitrary policy against Palestinian houses and other establishments in Jerusalem City; they seek to expel the Palestinians by denying them building permits and demolishing their homes and shops. In 2018, the Israeli occupation authorities carried out demolitions of 68 residential houses and 178 shops, also informing over 125 house and shop owners in Jerusalem of demolition notices, according to statistics by the PLO's Abdullah Hourani Center for Studies and Documentation.

Beit Hanina

The Israeli bulldozers demolished Kamal al-Rajabi’s house in al-Ashqariya neighborhood in Beit Hanina on Tuesday, 6 November 2018, under the pretext of building without a legal permit. The house is about 114 square meters and was inhabited by two families of two brothers, numbering twelve.

Ra'as Shehadeh neighborhood

On Wednesday morning, 7 November 2018, Israeli bulldozers demolished a residential building located behind the Separation Wall in Ra'as Shehadeh neighborhood of Shu'fat refugee camp. It is owned by Mahmud Jaradat, a Palestinian from Jerusalem, on the grounds that he had no building permit.

Shu’fat refugee camp

Israeli Special Forces stormed Shu'fat refugee camp in Jerusalem on Tuesday 20 November 2018. The Jerusalem municipality staff accompanied by Israeli Special Forces handed over demolition orders to 20 shops on the main street in Shu'fat refugee camp, on the pretext of building without a legal permit.

Expulsion from Al Aqsa Mosque

Israeli security forces issue orders to expel Palestinian worshipers from Al-Aqsa Mosque by five different ways, as follows:

Colonisation and Israelization of the Holy City

The Israeli occupation invests its governmental, security and judicial arms to impose a demographic change in the occupied city of Jerusalem by allowing settlers and their settlement groups to take control of the largest number of Palestinian properties in Jerusalem and creating a new Israeli character for the city. The Israeli authorities also expel Palestinians from the city as part of such an endeavor. One of the most dangerous measures taken by the occupation in this regard is taking advantage of the Israeli judicial system to issue orders regarding settlements and changing the original character of the city by giving a false legal appearance to their actions, manipulation of laws and provisions, and racial discrimination against Palestinians.

15 November 2018

The Israeli High Court of Justice issued a judicial ruling rejecting the appeal filed by a group of Jerusalem residents in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood against the decision of the Central Court in Jerusalem regarding the Karam Ja'ouni case, on the pretext of prescriptibility. Therefore, the court declined to examine the ownership of the property in Karam Ja'ouni.

4/10/2018

Israeli Prime Minister Nir Barkat announced on Sunday his shut UNRWA's offices and end its work in the occupied city of Jerusalem. Barkat intends to do so in order to 'end the problem of refugees' in Jerusalem, where he formed a committee of experts and specialists to examine ways to expel and liquidate UNRWA from Jerusalem and stop its work.

Seeking to stop UNRWA’s work

  • The Israeli mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barakat announced his decision to expel UNRWA and close its offices in the occupied city of Jerusalem. Barakat intends to expel UNRWA and end the ‘problem’ of the refugees in Jerusalem, where he formed a committee of experts and specialists to examine ways to “expel UNRWA from Jerusalem and stop its work.”

Plan B includes:

  • Closing seven UNRWA schools operating in Jerusalem, and evicting approximately 1,800 students studying there.
  • Issuing closure orders against UNRWA medical clinics operating in the Old City and Shu'fat Camp.
  • Transferring the sports stadiums and vocational training centers of UNRWA in Shu'fat Refugee Camp and in the Kafr Aqeb area to the Occupation authorities.
  • Issuing closure orders against the Popular Committees operating in Shu'fat Camp.
  • Allocating 11 dunums of land near Shu'fat Camp to build an Israeli service complex.

UNRWA's comment

UNRWA expressed its concern over the recent statements made by the Mayor of Jerusalem regarding its operations and installations in East Jerusalem. UNRWA is specifically mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to provide protection and assistance to Palestinian refugees in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, until a settlement to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is reached.

Restricting freedoms and fighting the official Palestinian presence

حظر اقامة فعالية اجتماعية في البلدة القديمة في القدس | نوفمبر 2018

On Thursday, November 15th, the Israeli occupation forces prevented organizing a social event in the Old City of Jerusalem. They surrounded the event place and stormed it, preventing the event from being held under an order issued by the Minister of Internal Security for the Israeli occupation. The order claims that the event was funded by the Palestinian National Authority, and hanged the restraining order on the door. The director of the African community and the director of the Volunteer for Hope Association were given summoned for interrogation.

The Israeli occupation authorities seek to suppress any Palestinian demonstrations in Jerusalem, also acting to prevent the holding of any Palestinian national event and suppressing the role of Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem, including the Palestinian Authority’s institutions, in order to completely change the original character of the City.

محاصرة مبنى محافظة القدس ووزارة القدس في الرام | نوفمبر 2018

Surrounding the building of the Jerusalem Governorate and the Ministry of Jerusalem in Al-Ram, November 2018

On November 4th, the Israeli soldiers surrounded the Jerusalem governorate and the Jerusalem Ministry in Al-Ram, imposed a security cordon and prevented the staff from entering or leaving the building. Israeli soldiers assaulted a group of employees in the building, using sticks and tear gas, causing several injuries among staff members, who were taken by ambulance to hospitals.

The Euro-Mediterranean Monitor for Human Rights recommendations:

  • The Israeli occupation authorities must stop immediately their grave violations against the Palestinians, especially with regard to the prevention of events, restrictions on building permits, demolition of homes and attacks on public freedoms by arbitrary arrest, beatings, and abuse.
  • The Israeli authorities must stop building settlements in occupied Jerusalem immediately, recognizing it as an occupied territory, and stop all direct and indirect operations of changing the original character of the City.
  • The Palestinian Authority should work with the members of the Security Council to file a formal complaint to the Council to consider Israeli violations of Palestinian residents of Jerusalem and Israeli practices against them.
  • The international community should play an active role to protect Jerusalem and its inhabitants and should exert real and serious pressure against Israel to give them their rights and stop the violations against them.
  • The EU should closely monitor and follow up the violations of the Holy City.