Israel accused of arresting 550 minors in four months

Israel accused of arresting 550 minors in four months
Director of Palestinian Prisoner Club says Israeli forces have targeted families of active protesters who oppose the occupation of East Jerusalem.
2 min read
15 April, 2015
Palestinian activists in Jerusalem face routine harassment [Turgut Alp Boyraz/Anadolu/Getty]

Israel has arrested hundreds of minors and is targeting specific families in the systematic harassment of opponents to the occupation in East Jerusalem, according to a prominent Palestinian activist.

Nasser Qous, the director of the Palestinian Prisoner Club in Jerusalem, told al-Araby al-Jadeed that more than 550 minors from families who actively oppose Israeli occupation have been arrested this year.

This figure has not been confirmed to al-Araby by Israeli authorities.

East Jerusalem has been the scene of increased protests and violence since last summer after Mohamed Abu Khdeir was abducted and murdered by Israeli settlers. Palestinians launched a number of reprisal attacks, including a raid on a West Jerusalem synagogue in November which killed five people.

Israel has demolished the homes of those accused of terrorism and has also continued to expand its settlements in the West Bank and forcing Palestinian families of their land.

Samir Shuqair, a sociology lecturer at al-Quds University in Abu Dis in East Jerusalem, said that his family like many others had suffered from harassment.

He told al-Araby al-Jadeed that Israeli soldiers forcibly removed him from his family's land last week, hauling him into their vehicle and assaulting him.

He said he was interrogated at an Israeli police station in West Jerusalem, and accused of entering his land without a permit.

He said Israeli authorities have been trying to remove Shuqair from his land near Silwan, south of al-Aqsa Mosque, to build a park and an attraction for settlers and other Jewish visitors.

Shuqair said this was not the first time the family was targeted - he and his brother had been assaulted, their land bulldozed and parts of their homes demolished.

Jamal Amro, a Palestinian activist in Jerusalem, said that his family had been harassed by Israeli authorities. His wife, Umm Radwan had been banned several times from al-Aqsa mosque for protesting against the occupation.

His son had also been arrested and held for 48 hours for protesting, he said.

Jamal's wife Umm Radwan spends a lot of time at al-Aqsa mosque, defending it against settlers.

Meanwhile, the Israeli authorities demolished two buildings under construction in the Wadi al-Joz and al-Ashqariyeh areas of East Jerusalem on Tuesday, which the authorities alleged were being built without a permit, according to the Petra news agency.

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.