Israeli authorities detained 150 Palestinians in East Jerusalem during the month of August, according to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center. They further demolished five Palestinian-owned homes and commerical centres, attacked Palestinian freedom of religion and imposed collective punishments.
Israel detained 150 Palestinians in Jerusalem during the month of August, including 70 minors, of whom six were girl children and six under the age of 12. 11 of those arrested were women.
50 of the Palestinians were arrested near the al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem's Old City. 25 Palestinians were arrested in the neighbourhood of Silwan and 16 were detained in Issawiya. The others arrested came primarily from the neighbourhoods of Wadi Joz, Sur Baher and Sheikh Jarrah.
Israeli authorities demolished five Palestinian-owned residential and commerical properties in East Jerusalem during August. These included a three story commercial building belonging to the Abu Diab family in the Atarot industrial zone, just north of Jerusalem. Also demolished were a storage room of the Shaalan family, a residential building under construction by the Totah family in Wadi Joz and two fully constructed residential buildings in Mount Scopus.
Demolition orders were further distributed in Jerusalem, primarily in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan. Amongst others, demolition orders were issued for Silwan's Qaqaa mosque, built three years ago and covering an area of 110 square metres; the Mada Creative Centre for children; the Wadi Hilweh stadium; a storage facility and animal barracks.
Attacks on freedom of religion
For the second month in a row Israel restricted the exercise of religious freedom at Jerusalem's al Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site for Muslims worldwide.
Restrictions on entry into al Aqsa were imposed on women and younger men throughout the month. The authorities further hindered entrance of Palestinain children's summer camp participants into this religious and historical site.
37 Palestinians received official orders banning them from al Aqsa for periods ranging from ten to sixty days. Amongst those receiving the orders were 11 children (7 boys, 4 girls), four women and ten employees of the Islamic Waqf who work in the area as guards and staff.
In addition to the fifty Palestinians arrested near the al Aqsa mosque, three guards around the mosque were beaten and sprayed with pepper spray by Israeli police.
Israeli authorities continued policies of collective punishment by closing streets in East Jerusalem with cement blocks and earth mounds.
Residents of Issawiya conducted numerous protest activities against this closure, which negatively impacted the daily lives of the neighbourhood's 15,000+ residents. Residents finally announced that they would boycott opening of the new school year, which commenced on 1 September, if the entrances were not cleared. Following the threat of a strike, Israeli police opened two of the three closed entrances.