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Israeli forces close entrances of Issawiya neighborhood in East Jerusalem

Oct. 13, 2016 1:15 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 13, 2016 8:26 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces closed the main entrance of occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya on Wednesday evening, and detained five Palestinians.

Local follow-up committee member Muhammad Abu al-Hummus said that Israeli soldiers closed the main entrance of the village with cement blocks, claiming that residents were throwing Molotov cocktails.

Abu al-Hummus said that Israeli forces had closed the entrance of Issawiya on Wednesday afternoon for the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, reopened it, and later closed it again as “collective punishment.”

He said that Israeli forces raided the village several times on Wednesday, firing stun grenades, tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets, adding that the Issawiya mosque was targeted with tear gas during evening prayers, causing worshipers to suffer from tear gas inhalation.

The head of the al-Quds Media Center, Muhammad al-Sadeq, said that Israeli forces detained five youths from the village Wednesday evening for throwing Molotov cocktails and stones, identifying them as Ahmad Saleh Mustafa, Mahmoud Saleh Mustafa, Muhammad Adnan Mustafa, Muhammad Bakr Mustafa, and Muhammad Haitham Mustafa.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement on Thursday that Molotov cocktails were thrown at the Ofrit Israeli military base near Issawiya, without causing any damages or injuries. She added that Israeli police was conducting an investigation into the incident.

An Israeli police spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment regarding the reported road closures in Issawiya.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center said that clashes erupted in the neighborhood of Silwan, where Palestinian youths reportedly threw Molotov cocktails at settlement outposts.

Israeli police reported that youths threw Molotov cocktails at a settlement in the southern East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukabbir.

Israeli forces set up a series of closures and heightened security operations throughout the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the larger Jerusalem district on Tuesday in anticipation of the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

The measures reportedly included providing weapons to Israeli “volunteers” in Jerusalem.

The extensive closures and intensified security announcements came in the wake of a deadly shooting in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah Sunday morning, that left the Palestinian attacker and two Israelis dead.

Israeli authorities have come under repeated criticism for limiting the freedom of mobility of Palestinians with extensive road closures following attacks or during Jewish holiday, in what some human rights organizations have called “collective punishment.”
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