Occupied: Headlines From Palestine

Blogging From Gaza, Palestine


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The Only *Democracy* In The MIddle East Is Going to Demolish A Palestinian Mosque

Israel issues demolition order for mosque in East Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli municipality officials delivered a demolition order Friday to the al-Qaaqaa Mosque, a house, and a studio apartment in the Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, local sources told Ma’an. Majdi al-Abbasi, from the Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan, said that Israeli municipality members delivered a demolition order to the al-Qaaqaa mosque in the Ein al-Luza area of Silwan.The mosque, built three years ago, is a 110 square meter space that serves 5,000 worshipers.Al-Abbasi added that the Israeli municipality also delivered a demolition order to a studio apartment and its facilities. The studio belongs to Iyad al-Abbasi and was built 12 years ago.A demolition order was also delivered to a home housing six people.Earlier this week an Israeli court ruled to demolish a football field and its facilities in Silwan, a local committee said.

The ruling includes the demolition of a 1.5 dunam (.4 acre) sports field as well as a neighboring warehouse and animal shed.Silwan is one of many Palestinian neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem that is seeing an influx of Israeli settlers at the cost of the demolition of Palestinian homes and eviction of Palestinian families.

Israeli authorities have carried out around 370 demolitions of Palestinian property in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank since the start of 2015, displacing an estimated 432 residents, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Thousands of Palestinian residents are at risk of losing their homes, as members of the current right-wing Israeli government continue to champion longstanding policies to obtain a Jewish majority in East Jerusalem.
East Jerusalem was occupied by Israel in 1967 in a move never recognized by the international community, and four decades of Israeli policy in the area have neglected the Palestinian community while fostering the growth of Jewish settlement.
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Palestinians Clash With Israeli Occupation Forces Amid Aqsa Restrictions

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Clashes broke out between Palestinian worshipers and Israeli forces at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound amid visits by right-wing Jews on Wednesday, witnesses told Ma’an.

Israeli forces fired stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets towards worshipers and chased them out of the compound, the sources said.

Three Palestinians were injured during the clashes.

Tensions had risen at the holy site early in the day as Israeli authorities imposed restrictions on Palestinians seeking to enter the mosque.

An Israeli police statement said all men under the age of 50 would be prevented from entering.

Though the statement said women would be allowed into the compound, witnesses said all women were denied entry as well.

The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage said in a statement that Israeli forces “assaulted” Palestinians who were conducting a sit-in at Lions Gate in protest against the restrictions.

By 9:00, some 100 right-wing Israelis had entered the compound, Palestinian security guards at the mosque told Ma’an.

Palestinians chanted “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is the greatest.”

A delegation from a follow-up committee on Al-Aqsa, including Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset, were eventually allowed to enter the compounds and sit-in at the Moroccans Gate, where they joined in chanting “Allahu Akbar.”

Israeli police limited the Israelis’ tour of the compound to the area between the Moroccan and Chain Gates, witnesses said.

Hundreds of right-wing Jews have visited the Al-Aqsa Compound during the week-long Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which ends Wednesday evening.

Mainstream Jews are instructed not to visit the compound for fear of profaning the inner sanctum of the temple they believe once stood at the site.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque is sensitive for Palestinians due to its status as the third holiest site in Islam and its location in the heart of the Old City of Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem.

Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its “eternal, undivided capital,” but the international community sees East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory and the capital of a future Palestinian state.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, referred to by Jews as the Temple Mount, is also the holiest site in Judaism.