Archives for March 2019

12 March 2019 – Escalation in Occupied East Jerusalem

Excellency,

I write to draw the international community’s urgent attention to destabilizing developments in Occupied East Jerusalem. Acts of aggression and incitement against both civilian worshippers and holy sites continue to be perpetrated by Israel, the occupying Power, in a reckless manner.

Amidst already-heightened tensions, such illegal and provocative actions threaten to spiral out of control with dangerous consequences. Immediate efforts are required to de-escalate the situation in order to protect civilian lives and the sanctity of holy sites in Occupied East Jerusalem, including Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which houses the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock.

Israel’s decision today to seal all gates to the compound, as well as to the entirety of the Old City of Jerusalem itself, has seriously inflamed tensions that have already been exacerbated by the occupying Power’s earlier attempts to force the closure of the Bab al-Rahma gate and prayer area, which had been recently reopened by the Waqf. Prior to sealing off Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound, Israeli occupying forces attacked Palestinian worshippers, including men and women who had been praying inside the Dome of the Rock, and also assaulted several Waqf personnel, before forcibly removing all worshippers from the compound. The Palestine Red Crescent has reported that at least four civilians have been taken to the hospital due to injuries sustained. [Read more…]