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Israeli Soldiers Abduct 53 Palestinians In Jerusalem

03:00 Apr 23 2021 Jerusalem (Old City, French Hill, Sheikh Jarrah and al-Misrara)

Israeli Soldiers Abduct 53 Palestinians In Jerusalem Israeli Soldiers Abduct 53 Palestinians In Jerusalem Israeli Soldiers Abduct 53 Palestinians In Jerusalem
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Scenes. Published by IMEMC News

Police at Jerusalem's Damascus Gate, last night. (April 24, 2021) Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg Published by Haaretz
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by IMEMC News
April 23, 2021

Israeli soldiers abducted, late on Thursday at night and on Friday at dawn, at least fifty-three Palestinians from several neighborhoods of the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, after they protested the dozens of assaults and violations carried out by illegal Israeli colonialist settlers.

Media sources said the soldiers, and the police, arrested fifty Palestinians in and around the Old City, during ensuing protests that erupted after the colonists assaulted dozens of Palestinians, cars, and shops.

At least twenty Israeli officers were injured, and that some of them were moved to hospitals in the city, during confrontations with Palestinian protesters.

The protests started on Thursday evening, and continued through the morning hours, Friday, especially in the Old City, the French Hill, Sheikh Jarrah, and al-Misrara.

It is worth mentioning that the Palestinian Red Crescent said at least 105 Palestinians, including many women and children, were injured; twenty-two of them suffered moderate wounds.

Furthermore, dozens of Israeli colonists continued their marches in Jerusalem, especially on the roads between East and West Jerusalem, and assaulted dozens of Palestinians while chanting racist slogans, including the infamous “death to Arabs.”

The colonists also attacked many Palestinian cars in Sheikh Jarrah, causing excessive damage to dozens of cars, in addition to puncturing the tires of many Palestinian vehicles, and injured several Palestinians, including one woman who suffered a moderate head injury.

Eyewitnesses said the colonists were stopping cars and demanding the ID cards of the passengers to ensure that they are Palestinians, before assaulting them.

It is worth mentioning that among the abducted Palestinians are three children, who were taken prisoner by the soldiers in the Suwwana neighborhood, in Jerusalem.

They have been identified as Omar Abu Ghannam, 14, Yousef Abu Ghannam, 14, and Khalil Abu al-Hawa, 15.

In related news, the soldiers closed Baba Hotta gate, one of the main gates leading to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and prevented the Palestinians from crossing while on their way to the holy site.

The soldiers also assaulted dozens of Palestinians while inspecting their ID cards at the gate, in addition to several streets and alleys of the Old City.
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Jerusalem Is on the Brink of an Explosion – and Israel Has No Leaders to Prevent It

A juxtaposition of events has created a volatile situation in Jerusalem, with authorities unable or unwilling to stop an escalation

by Anshel Pfeffer for Haaretz
April 25, 2021

Hundreds of buses were lined up to take them all over Israel and the West Bank. The stalls in the street market were already in full swing, selling food for the breaking of the fast in seven hours, and in the singular Jerusalem Ramadan tradition, many were selling Shabbat challah from Jewish bakeries. There was a heavy police presence, but the officers were mainly concerned with ensuring a steady flow of traffic.

Classic Jerusalem. Cry havoc at night. Pray and fast during the day. So how different or serious are the latest clashes in the city?

Let’s start with an even more basic question. What were they about?

Was it a result, as much of the media has framed it, of the march of the Jewish supremacist Lehava group that was taking place at the same time from Zion Square in western Jerusalem? Was it because of the bizarre decision of the police to fence off the large sections of the sunken plaza around Damascus Gate throughout Ramadan? And how was it all connected to the spate of physical attacks on Jewish individuals on Jerusalem’s light rail, posted eagerly by young Palestinians on TikTok?

Despite the stormy scenes on Thursday night, and rather more limited clashes since, this is nowhere near the worst violence in Jerusalem in recent years.

There have been much more prolonged and violent scenes in other hotspots of tension in recent months, in Isawiyah and Qalandiyah. There was the fatal shooting by police of Iyad al-Hallaq, a 32 year-old autistic man, inside the Old City ten months ago. Going a bit further back to 2017, there was the murder of two police officers at the entrance to Temple Mount and the ensuing “metal-detector riots.” And, of course, the long series of stabbing and ramming attacks that began at the end of 2015, and were caused largely by Palestinian claims of Israeli plans to encroach on Al-Aqsa.

This time around, so far at least, Al-Aqsa and the environs of the Temple Mount have remained tense but calm. But there are still two weeks of Ramadan to go and a further escalation is very possible, especially as Qadr Night, one of the religious peaks of Ramadan, falls this year on Jerusalem Day, when thousands of religious Zionists also flock to Jerusalem to commemorate the capture of the Old City and the Western Wall in the Six-Day War in 1967.

The current threat of escalation is due to a juxtaposition of events and causes like this, seemingly not connected, that have combined to create a potentially explosive situation.

For a start, there was the surge of confidence of Israel’s neo-fascist far right, which has been boosted by the election to the Knesset last month of its political leader, Itamar Ben-Gvir, of the Jewish Power faction in the Religious Zionism election slate.

Not only is Ben-Gvir a close ally of Benzi Gopstein, Lehava’s founder and leader, but he and other Religious Zionism members have shared in recent days the same online messages warning of “pogroms by the Arab enemy.” Lehava marches in Jerusalem are not new, but in the past they were attended by at most a few dozen bored, though violent, teenagers and usually dispersed quickly by police.

This time around they numbered in the hundreds – according to some reports, as many as 1,000. The march took place under police protection, though the police prevented most of them from reaching Palestinian neighborhoods. And it was impossible to ignore the fact that now, under Ben-Gvir’s new status as a lawmaker, it can also be seen as having the backing of Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition.

Another relatively new feature of the Lehava march was the large numbers of young ultra-Orthodox youths who took part. In fact, they were the majority of the marchers. This alliance between the political hard right and the Haredim already manifested itself last month in the form of tens of thousands of Haredim who voted for Religious Zionism instead of the traditional ultra-Orthodox parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism. Most of the Haredi marchers looked too young to have voted, but their presence is another sign of the erosion of the authority of the traditional rabbinical leadership, which is adamantly opposed to such protests.

The Palestinians youths who were clashing with police live a few hundred meters away from the young Haredim in the Lehava march who were pushing against the barriers. Their situation mirror them in many ways. They don’t have any clear leaders – political or religious. And as Palestinians living in East Jerusalem, cut off from the West Bank, with residents’ rights but without citizenship, they live in a twilight zone between Israel and the Palestinian Authority’s limited autonomy.

Jerusalem’s municipal services, with its social workers and psychologists and employment counselors, serve only a third of the city, the non-Haredi Jews. It has little access to the ultra-Orthodox and Palestinian youths or resources to deal with them.

Jerusalem police have no lack of resources, but they have no real leadership. At the very top is Public Security Minister Amir Ohana, who has refused to even publicly acknowledge that there’s any anti-Arab violence in Jerusalem. Under him is the newly appointed National Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai, who is eager to please his political master and has little experience of Jerusalem. On Saturday night, Shabtai insisted that the steps around Damascus Gate are fenced off every Ramadan. He may not even have been aware that was blatantly false. The decision was taken by new Jerusalem Police chief Doron Turgeman, who does know the city well and should have known better. He’s probably having regrets now, but can’t back down.

Everything in Jerusalem is political, but not all the underlying causes of this round of violence are. It’s no coincidence that the worst of the violence has been on nights when the weather turned and the frustration of long days of fasting, the natural urge to break out after nearly a year of lockdown and rapidly rising temperatures coincided. In Jerusalem it takes next to no time to go from zero to a hundred, from shared boredom to lynch mobs, especially when there is no local and national political leadership or effective policing to prevent it.


Features
Omar Abu Ghannam, 14, Yousef Abu Ghannam, 14, and Khalil Abu al-Hawa, 15, detained 4/23/2021
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