Israeli forces detain 33 Palestinians in Jerusalem

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) detained at least 33 Palestinians within the past several hours in occupied East Jerusalem, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said, as clashes renewed between forces and Palestinians protesting the al-Aqsa restrictions.

Clashes broke out earlier Monday between Palestinian youths and Israeli forces in several East Jerusalem neighborhoods.

Israeli forces raided al-Issawiya, Jabal al-Mukabir, Ras al-Amud, al-Tur and Shufat refugee camp and detained 18 young men, including minors.

Israeli forces have detained 33 Palestinians within the past several hours, including four Palestinians who were detained for allegedly hurling rocks at Israeli forces.

Israeli police said on Twitter that the four Palestinians were arrested for throwing stones at Israeli forces in Jerusalem’s Wadi al-Juz neighborhood.

According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society, 23 Palestinians were arrested in Jerusalem, four in Hebron, four in Nablus, one in Jenin, and one in Ramallah.

On Sunday, the Israeli cabinet approved an amendment to the Israeli penal code to enable more severe punishment against Palestinians convicted of involvement in “stone-throwing” attacks against Israeli targets.

The new sections, which will be added to the Israeli penal code, would allow the imposition of a prison sentence up to 20 years for those convicted of throwing stones or other objects at Israeli vehicles.

Moreover, IOF detained a young Palestinian woman in the al-Aqsa Mosque compound after she protested the entry of an Israeli far-right lawmaker into the holy site, witnessed said, a day after another Zionist lawmaker entered al-Aqsa.

Sahar al-Netsheh, in her 20s, shouted “Allahu Akbar” in the face of Israeli Knesset member Shuli Moalem-Rafaeli, who entered the al-Aqsa Mosque complex under the protection of Israeli forces with the son of hardline Zionist rabbi, Yehuda Glick, who was shot and injured last Wednesday by a suspected Palestinian, witnesses added.

A group of Palestinian women gathered in the mosque complex to protest Netsheh’s detention.

Moalem-Rafaeli’s visit comes one day after another far-right Israeli member of the Knesset, Moshe Feiglin, entered the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem. Feiglin is a hardline member of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right wing Likud bloc and a leading advocate for increased Zionist access to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Around 7,000 Palestinians, including hundreds without charge, are currently being held in Israeli prisons, more than 2,000 of whom were arrested by Israeli forces over this summer amid heavy tensions in the West Bank and Gaza.

Tension has been running high in East Jerusalem since the weekend, when, on Thursday, Israel closed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound. The move was the first of its kind since the occupation of Jerusalem by Israel in 1967.

Although Israeli authorities, under pressure, reopened al-Aqsa on Friday following a day of violent clashes with Palestinian protesters, they deployed hundreds of additional forces in and around the site.

Moreover, Israeli forces continued to impose restrictions on Palestinian access to the mosque, closing the majority of entry gates and denying entry to men under 40.

Director of the al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani, told Ma’an that the Hatta Gate, Lions Gate, Council Gate and Chain Gate were open, with the remaining gates closed.

Palestinian men under 40 were denied entry while women were permitted to enter but forced to leave their identity cards with Israeli forces.

“What does it mean to open al-Aqsa gates at 11 am? What does it mean to allow Muslim worshipers into the mosque only after 10 am?” Sheikh Kiswani said.

“This means dividing the mosque in time,” he added.

In recent months, groups of extremist Zionist settlers – often accompanied by Israeli security forces – have repeatedly forced their way the al-Aqsa Mosque complex.

The frequent violations anger Palestinians and occasionally lead to violent confrontations.

For Muslims, al-Aqsa represents the world’s third holiest site.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Zionist state – a move never recognized by the international community.

In September 2000, a visit to the site by controversial Israeli politician Ariel Sharon sparked what later became known as the “Second Intifada,” a popular uprising against the Israeli occupation in which thousands of Palestinians were killed.

Source: Al-Akhbar English

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