Israel Blocks East Jerusalem Neighborhood

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JERUSALEM, November 8, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli police forces Sunday blocked the eastern entrance of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Issawiyeh with cement blocks, preventing Palestinians movement in and out of the area.

WAFA correspondent reported on local sources as saying that police forces placed large cement blocks at the eastern entrance of al-Issawiyeh, without providing any specific reason.

A spectacular view of the holy city of Jerusalem.
A spectacular view of the holy city of Jerusalem.

Locals told WAFA that that this Israeli lockdown comes as part of Israel’s punitive measures against them, in light of continued clashes between both sides.

Following a string of violent attacks and clashes that began in early October, 2015 – against the backdrop of Israel’s repeated assaults on al-Aqsa mosque compound –  Israeli authorities intensified their blockade on Jerusalem neighborhoods, including the positioning of checkpoints and huge cement blocks that hamper access between Arab neighborhoods and nearby illegal settlements.

In mid-October 2015, the Israeli cabinet announced that Israeli police would be entitled to “impose a closure on” what it described as “centers of friction and incitement in Jerusalem” and “in accordance with security considerations.’

Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has called the Israeli government’s response to recent escalation in the area as “the very inverse of what ought to be done” toward ending the violence.

Since Early October, over 74 Palestinians have been killed, and over 2,240 others have been injured.

WAFA also reports Israeli armed settlers, under Israeli army protection, attacked on Saturday Palestinian homes in Jaber neighborhood to the east of Hebron city, with rocks.

WAFA correspondent said that settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba attacked Palestinian locals’ homes with rocks, and shouted racist slogans and profanities against them, while threatening to kill them.

Settlers recently stepped up their attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, amid growing tension and renewing clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli army and police.

Settlements are illegal under international law as they violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the transfer of the occupying power’s civilian population into occupied territory.

The center added that, “International humanitarian law prohibits the occupying power to transfer citizens from its own territory to the occupied territory (Fourth Geneva Convention, article 49).”

According to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, Israeli security forces do not always deploy in advance to protect Palestinians from settler violence, even when such violence could be anticipated. “In some cases, rather than restricting violent settlers, Israeli security forces impose restrictions on the Palestinians.”

“As the occupying power in the West Bank, Israel is obligated to maintain public order and ensure the safety of the Palestinians in the West Bank, who are classified a protected population in international law,” says B’Tselem.

 

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