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Israel detains 33 Jerusalemite Palestinians over participation in Al-Aqsa protests

July 31, 2017 3:07 P.M. (Updated: July 31, 2017 10:06 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli police detained at least 33 Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem during overnight raids between Sunday and Monday, Palestinian and Israeli sources said, as Israeli forces continued to crack down on locals in the wake of large-scale protests over Israeli measures at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Muhammad Mahmoud, a lawyer for prisoners rights group Addameer, told Ma’an that Israeli forces detained 18 Palestinians during predawn raids in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Tur alone.

He identified them as Majd al-Sayyad, Ahmad al-Zaatari, Fares Abu Ghannam, Amir Qarawi, Ahmad Abu Jumaa, Ali Abu Jumaa, Amir Maher Abu Jumaa, Muhannad Abu Jumaa, Ahmad Marwan Abu Jumaa, Muhammad Abed al-Mughrabi, Muhammad al-Mughrabi, Muhammad Judah Abu al-Hawa, Asaad Jamil Abu al-Hawa, Hamza Zaki Khweis, Firas Ibrahim Khweis, Ibrahim Arafat Abu Sbeitan, and two men identified as Muhammad Abu Sbeitan.

Mahmoud said that Israeli forces also detained Abdullah Idriss, Muhammad Shaludi, Muhammad al-Ajlouni, Iham Zaanin, and Muhammad Abu Rmuzin in the Old City of Jerusalem.

He added that detentions were also reported in the neighborhoods of Issawiya and Wadi Joz.

The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) identified nine others detained in East Jerusalem as Bassem Idriss, Ahmad Jawdat Razim, Raed Said Najim, Muhammad Azzam Anous, Ismail Tawfiq Muheisin, Nour al-Din Maher Muheisin, Fadlallah Muhammad Abbasi, Mahmoud Zeid al-Qaq, and Ramez Wahib al-Ajlouni.

Meanwhile, Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said that 33 Palestinians -- including seven minors between the ages of 13 and 17 -- were detained overnight in the neighborhoods of Wadi Joz, Ras al-Amud, Issawiya, Beit Hanina, the Old City, and Shufaat refugee camp -- making no mention of al-Tur.

Al-Samri said the detainees were "key suspects" involved in large-scale protests in past weeks denouncing increased Israeli security measures at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Israeli authorities shut down the Al-Aqsa compound for almost three days following a deadly shooting attack on July 14, only to reopen it after having installed increased security measures.

The measures sparked widespread protests in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, as Palestinians said the Israeli move was the latest example of Israeli authorities using Israeli-Palestinian violence as a means of furthering control over important sites in the occupied Palestinian territory and normalizing repressive measures against Palestinians.

After two weeks of protests during which six Palestinians were killed in clashes, the security measures were lifted completely after noon prayers on Friday.

However, at least 100 Palestinian worshipers were detained from Al-Aqsa on Thursday night, just hours after the compound was fully reopened after nearly two weeks of restrictions. Seventy-nine were released hours afterwards, while 21 received bans forbidding them from entering the Al-Aqsa compound for two weeks.

Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, with a biweekly average of 95 search and detention raids carried out over the course of 2016, according to UN documentation.

According to a report released earlier this month, a total of 388 Palestinians, including 70 minors and 13 women, were detained across the occupied Palestinian territory during the month of June.

Prisoners' rights group Addameer estimated that 6,200 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of May, including 400 residents of East Jerusalem.
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