Courtroom overturns a police order barring three Jews from holy web site after they prayed there in violation of the established order.
A decrease Israeli court docket has overturned a police order barring three Jews from the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound after they prayed there in violation of understandings with Muslim authorities, questioning the authorized foundation of such enforcement.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, positioned in occupied East Jerusalem’s Previous Metropolis and housing Islam’s third-holiest web site, is known as al-Haram al-Sharif, or the Noble Sanctuary, by Muslims. In keeping with an settlement in place since 1967, non-Muslims are allowed onto the positioning throughout visiting hours, however they’re barred from praying there.
Jews imagine the 35-acre compound is the place the Biblical Jewish temples as soon as stood.
Israel permits Jews to go to on situation they chorus from spiritual rites. However the rising variety of such visits, together with over the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan that coincided this yr with the Jewish Passover pageant, has stoked the fears of Palestinians, who see this as Israeli makes an attempt to vary the holy web site’s delicate established order.
‘A grave assault’
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas issued an announcement calling Sunday’s ruling “a grave assault towards the historic established order … and a flagrant problem to worldwide legislation”.
The Jerusalem Justice of the Peace’s Courtroom dominated in favour of three appellants who had been banned from the Previous Metropolis for 15 days for prostrating themselves and intoning a core Jewish prayer on the compound. The ruling quoted police as saying these actions disrupted its officers’ duties and threatened public order.
Eradicating the ban, Decide Zion Saharai mentioned that whereas he had no intention of interfering in legislation enforcement on the web site, “the appellants’ conduct doesn’t elevate fear of hurt befalling nationwide safety, public security or particular person safety”.
Police had no remark. Eran Schwarz, a lawyer whose agency represented the appellants, mentioned he anticipated police to contest the ruling. Justice of the Peace’s courts might be overturned by district courts, with Israel’s Supreme Courtroom a remaining course of enchantment.
The ruling got here per week earlier than far-right Israelis are attributable to maintain an annual flag march by means of the Previous Metropolis, marking its seize by Israel within the 1967 Center East warfare. Israel later annexed occupied East Jerusalem, a transfer not recognised by many of the worldwide group. The occasion is resented by Palestinians, who need the Previous Metropolis and different components of occupied East Jerusalem because the capital of their hoped-for future state.
Hamas, a Palestinian group that fought a Gaza warfare with Israel final yr that was partly stoked by tensions in occupied East Jerusalem, described the flag march’s deliberate route by means of a Muslim quarter of the Previous Metropolis as “including gas to the hearth”.
“I warn the enemy towards finishing up such crimes,” Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh mentioned in a televised deal with.
Jordan, a United States-backed Israeli safety companion that serves as custodian of Al-Aqsa, has additionally voiced concern concerning the Jewish visits to the compound.
Occupied East Jerusalem – When Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot lifeless on Might 11 whereas overlaying an Israeli raid on the Jenin refugee camp, north of the occupied West Financial institution, mourners rapidly gathered on the household house in occupied East Jerusalem.
As crowds streamed by means of the door to pay their respects, Abu Akleh’s household adorned the doorway with Palestinian flags and pictures of the veteran Al Jazeera journalist.
Associates cranked up nationalist Palestinian songs.
Inside hours, Israeli police had turned up on the Abu Akleh house in Beit Hanina demanding that the flags be taken down, the music turned off, and the nationalist chants silenced.
Two days later, related calls for have been enforced far more fiercely by Israeli forces.
When 1000’s of mourners gathered exterior St Joseph Hospital in Jerusalem to bid their beloved journalist farewell, dozens of Israeli police attacked the funeral procession with batons and rubber bullets. The police focused the pallbearers who struggled to maintain the coffin, which was draped with a Palestinian flag, from falling to the bottom.
“They kicked us, hit us with wood batons, and launched rubber bullets inside shut vary,” mentioned Fadi Mtour, one of many pallbearers who carried Shireen’s coffin that day.
“Irrespective of how arduous they beat us, we needed to hold that coffin from falling. It grew to become an emblem of our dignity and lives. If Shireen’s casket fell, we might, too,” mentioned Mtour, a 41-year-old Jerusalemite who usually attends demonstrations.
“There was a lot hatred and violence … like nothing I’ve ever skilled,” he mentioned.
The rationale for the Israeli aggression on the funeral was the Palestinian flag, and what Abu Akleh represented when it comes to Palestinian id, Mtour defined.
“They [Israeli authorities] are afraid of the Palestinian flag as a result of it represents our id, the identical means that Shireen, her funeral and life did,” mentioned Mtour, whose 18-year-old son was additionally overwhelmed on the pinnacle in the course of the funeral, sustaining an damage that required a number of stitches.
“They have been able to commit a bloodbath to deliver down the Palestinian flag,” Mtour mentioned, including that even ladies and youngsters have been overwhelmed for waving the flag.
Israeli media reported that Jerusalem’s police chief had ordered his officers to forestall the waving of the Palestinian flag and to confiscate flags displayed on the funeral.
Persevering with suppression
Related scenes of horror unfolded simply days later on the funeral of Walid al-Sharif, a younger Palestinian man who lastly succumbed to wounds sustained on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound final month.
Once more, Israeli police waded by means of the crowds of mourners, confiscating Palestinian flags and beating folks. Greater than 70 Palestinians have been injured, in response to Palestinian media stories.
Israeli forces’ confiscation of Palestinian flags has continued regardless of the Jerusalem Justice of the Peace Courtroom ruling final yr that flying the Palestinian flag shouldn’t be a prison offence in Israel.
The ruling got here after a protester was injured and 4 others have been arrested for elevating the Palestinian flag throughout an illustration within the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah – a flashpoint on the centre of a decades-long battle between Palestinian households and Israel authorities who’ve tried to evict Palestinian residents from their properties.
Palestinian activists have usually reported being focused when waving Palestinian flags in Jerusalem. They’ve additionally witnessed a rise in Israeli efforts to confiscate Palestinian flags and to punish those that try to lift them.
“We aren’t allowed to lift the Palestinian flag on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound,” mentioned Ruqaya, a 52-year-old Palestinian girl from the Previous Metropolis in Jerusalem.
“Those that strive, at all times wrap a keffiyeh round their face to maintain their id hidden,” she mentioned, referring to the black and white checked scarf that’s thought-about one other image of Palestinian id.
“Due to the acute Israeli response to waving a flag, Palestinian youth – my sons included – have taken it upon themselves to proceed to lift it at each alternative,” she added.
Ahmad Safadi, a Jerusalemite activist and member of town’s nationwide and civil motion committee, has usually been focused for elevating the Palestinian flag.
“I’ve been detained, overwhelmed and my [charity and media] organisation has been shut down a number of instances as a result of I hold waving the flag,” Safadi mentioned.
He additionally insisted on carrying the flag in the course of the funerals of Abu Akleh and al-Sharif, as a result of it’s “an emblem of our Palestinian id and sovereignty”.
“They’ll by no means cease me,” Safadi mentioned.
“I’ll proceed to lift the flag excessive.”
The Israeli assault on Palestinian id and establishments stretches again 20 years, in response to Palestinian lawyer and analyst Diana Buttu.
She referenced the funeral of well-known Palestinian politician Faisal Husseini in 2001, when “a whole lot of 1000’s of individuals gathered carrying the Palestinian flag and there have been no assaults in the course of the funeral”.
However, shortly after his funeral, issues modified.
Israeli authorities shut down the Orient Home – the political headquarters of the Palestinian folks in East Jerusalem, that was established by Husseini and had turn out to be an emblem of Palestinian tradition and id.
Suppression of Palestinian id has been on the rise since, Buttu mentioned, including that it reached a peak in 2017 with then-US President Donald Trump’s administration saying that it might recognise Jerusalem because the capital of Israel.
“That successfully emboldened Israel and we noticed the massive clampdown on Palestinian id, flags, and hues,” Buttu mentioned.
Since then, “there’s been an try to push Palestinians out and to crush their id. And Shireen was very a lot an emblem of Palestinian id,” she mentioned.
“However all of their makes an attempt merely present how afraid of the flag [and what it represents] they’re.”
Washington, DC – Dozens of US legislators have signed onto a letter demanding the FBI examine the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, Congressman Andre Carson mentioned, hours after Israel’s army mentioned it is not going to launch a prison inquiry into the incident.
Abu Akleh, who held US citizenship, was fatally shot by Israeli forces within the occupied West Financial institution final week, sparking international outrage and widespread requires an unbiased or United States-led investigation.
“As all of us proceed to mourn the lack of this nice journalist, fellow American, who was tragically killed whereas on project, we wish solutions,” Carson, who helps lead the congressional letter, advised Al Jazeera in an interview on Thursday.
“And we have to be certain that these solutions are correct, that they’re clear and that they’re well timed.”
The letter, first revealed by The Intercept earlier this week, requires the US authorities to be straight concerned in any probe into the deadly capturing of the Al Jazeera journalist.
“Given the tenuous state of affairs within the area and the conflicting studies surrounding the dying of Ms. Abu Akleh, we request the State Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) launch an investigation into Ms. Abu Akleh’s dying.
“We additionally request the US Division of State determines whether or not any US legal guidelines defending Ms. Abu Akleh, an American citizen, had been violated,” it reads. “As an American, Ms. Abu Akleh was entitled to the complete protections afforded to US residents dwelling overseas.”
The assertion is addressed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Carson advised Al Jazeera that the letter, which continues to be circulating on Capitol Hill to get assist, has greater than 55 co-signers already, describing the tally as “big”.
“The State Division referred to as her killing an affront to media freedom. I couldn’t agree extra,” Carson mentioned. “Because the world’s main democracy, now we have a duty to guard the free press, not simply in our personal nation however world wide.”
Household desires solutions
President Joe Biden’s administration has condemned the killing and referred to as for an investigation however mentioned it could belief Israel to conduct the probe.
State Division Spokesperson Ned Value mentioned final week that Israel has the “wherewithal and the capabilities to conduct an intensive, complete investigation”, including that “these accountable for Shireen’s killing ought to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the legislation”.
The State Division didn’t reply to Al Jazeera’s request for touch upon Thursday on the Israeli army’s assertion.
US Secretary of Protection Lloyd Austin met together with his Israel counterpart Benny Gantz earlier within the day, and a Pentagon readout describing their talks didn’t make any point out of Abu Akleh.
Requested by Al Jazeera throughout a briefing whether or not the topic was introduced up through the assembly, Pentagon Spokesperson John Kirby mentioned that Austin welcomed Israel’s “intent assertion” to analyze.
“The federal government of Israel – it’s not for the Israeli army – I imagine it’s of their Ministry of Inside, they usually have acknowledged a transparent intent to analyze and the secretary [Austin] welcomed that investigation,” Kirby mentioned. “And clearly, we sit up for seeing what the investigation finds out.”
Abu Akleh’s household has urged the US authorities and worldwide group to step in and guarantee an unbiased probe after the Israeli army mentioned it could not examine.
“We had been anticipating this from the Israeli aspect. That’s why we didn’t need them to take part within the investigation. We need to maintain whoever is accountable for these acts accountable,” the household mentioned in an announcement to Al Jazeera.
“We urge the US particularly – since she is a US citizen – and the worldwide group to open a simply and clear investigation and to place an finish to the killings.”
US help to Israel
On Might 13, Israeli police attacked Abu Akleh’s funeral procession in Jerusalem and beat pallbearers carrying her coffin with batons in scenes that spurred additional anger and requires accountability.
Palestinian rights advocates have been urging Washington to situation or prohibit US help to Israel over the killing of Abu Akleh and different Israeli rights abuses – an thought categorically rejected by the Biden administration.
The Al Jazeera journalist is the second American citizen to be killed by Israeli forces this yr. In January, 78-year-old Omar Assad suffered a stress-induced coronary heart assault after he was arbitrarily detained, certain, blindfolded and gagged by Israeli forces.
Israel receives $3.8bn in US army help yearly, and this yr Washington added one other $1bn in help to “replenish” Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system after the Might 2021 Gaza battle.
Human Rights Watch, Amnesty Worldwide and Israel’s B’Tselem, amongst different rights teams, have accused Israel of committing apartheid in opposition to Palestinians – findings which have been rejected by the Israeli and US governments.
“There are various people who find themselves calling [for] deeper scrutiny because it pertains to assist for Israel,” Carson mentioned on Thursday. “Israel has been a strategic associate of the US. I feel that after we ship cash, now we have to guarantee that of us are being held accountable.”
He harassed that the US has a task in making certain accountability for the killing of Abu Akleh.
“She deserves justice. Each American killed overseas is entitled to our safety. Each human killed – American or not – deserves justice, Palestinians included.”