Save Silwan

Silwan territory is located in Jerusalem, south of Al-Aqsa Mosque. Silwan includes 12 neighborhoods, where a total 15762 residents of 6 neighborhoods of Silwan are endangered with eviction.

Note: Al-Bustan is one of Silwan’s neighborhoods

Silwan is subjected to forced displacement, ethnic cleansing, and a blurring of identity.. all lead primarily by “Ateret Cohanim” and “Elad” foundation.

Who is “Ateret Cohanim” settler organization?

A settler organization established in 1978 as a non-governmental association, whom main objective is: to enhance the presence of the city of Jerusalem as a unified city and a vital center for Jews.

The association aims to achieve its goal by taking over Palestinian real estate and transforming it into settlements and outposts, in order to increase the number of Jews around the center of the historic city of Jerusalem.

How does “Ateret Cohanim” take over real estate?

  • Exploiting Israeli laws that legitimize the appropriation of Palestinian real estate under various pretexts, such as the Absentee Property Law.
  • Claiming in Israeli courts the existence of ancient Jewish “ownership” of Palestinian lands and homes.
  • Complex purchases by brokers, clients and companies are often registered in tax havens.

The organization implements the policies of “Israel” in Judaizing Jerusalem, and benefits from its complex relations with official institutions, on top of which are the occupation municipality in Jerusalem and the “Israel Lands Administration”.

Today, the “Ateret Cohanim” organization controls:

  • 76 buildings in the Old City, in which 1,500 settlers live.
  • 9 buildings (40 apartments) in Batn al-Hawa in Silwan, in which dozens live.
  • About 80 families from “Batn-al-Hawa” neighborhood in Silwan are facing eviction lawsuits from their homes since 2011, which were filed against them by “Ateret Cohanim”, claiming that they were built on “Jewish endowment land”.

While Palestinians can technically appeal against demolition orders, courts often refuses to examine Palestinian ownership documents & rarely question settlers’ claims. Courts are a political tool used to fulfill settlers’ goals.

Sometimes, demolitions are carried out before residents can even appeal. Silwan resident, Areej Burgan, recalls the morning of April 17, 2019: “My husband, his mother, my six children and I were sleeping. I woke up at the sound of doors banging… The main entrance door had been broken down and the occupation forces were in the courtyard… They told us to immediately leave the house, without allowing us to take movables or luggage. We went out with my children and watched them demolish the house. The bulldozer destroyed my kitchen before my eyes. I was not even allowed to take clothes. The only clothes I have left are the ones that were hung on the washing line outside.”

Palestinians in Occupied Jerusalem have been resisting forced displacement and ethnic cleansing in various neighborhoods throughout the city. Just like Sheikh Jarrah, families in Silwan are fighting to save their homes and community from being taken over by government-backed Israeli settlements.

Let’s also fight to #SaveSilwan!

Let us raise noise about this injustice and continue the fight to save all Palestinian communities in Jerusalem.

Save Sheikh Jarrah

“Sheikh Jarrah” is a Jerusalemite neighborhood that is threatened with displacement and expropriation. The neighborhood is located to the North of the Old City of Jerusalem.

In 1948, Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood sheltered 28 families who had fled during the Nakba.

In 1956, the Jordanian government and The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) reached an agreement to house the displaced families. Jordan donated the land, while UNRWA took responsibility of the construction costs, as the ownership of the land and houses would be passed to their owners (the 28 refuged families) after 3 years… But that never happened.

In 1967, Six-Day war prevented the completion of the ownership of real estate and land for families, and one house was taken by the Israeli occupation claiming that its owners were out of Jerusalem during the war.

In 1972, the settlement attack on the neighborhood began with efforts to take over its homes and expel its residents.

The settler associations registered the ownership of the land in their name through false documents and filed lawsuits calling for the eviction of the residents. The Israeli Occupation courts recognized the ownership of the land for the settlement organizations, and obligated the residents of the neighborhood to pay rent for their homes. Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood residents rejected the occupation court’s decision as it constitutes their recognition of the settlers’ ownership of land. The ÷Israeli Occupation Court issued decisions for residents of the neighborhood to vacate their homes, obligate them to pay compensation and threaten with imprisonment.

In 2008/2009, the Israeli Occupation forces forcibly expelled three families in the neighborhood from their homes: Al-Ghawy, Um Kamel al-Kurd, and Hanoun families, while half of Nabil al-Kurd’s house was taken, and settled settlers in their place.

The owner of the house raises a sign “This is my house, Al-Ghawy house” in front of her house, which was stolen by settlers

TODAY, 12 families of the neighborhood face the risk of forcible displacement following the issuance of a decision by the occupation to vacate their homes.

The families of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood are reaching out to the Jordanian government to provide the necessary identification documents to help establish their rights to their homes and lands.

#SaveSheikhJarrah #أنقذوا_حي_الشيخ_جراح #StopEthnicCleansing

Al-Quds Global Week

The International Union of Muslim Scholars declared the last week of the month of Rajab (from 6 to 12 March this year) “The Week of the Blessed Aqsa and Holy Jerusalem”.

The initiative aims to show solidarity with Al-Aqsa Mosque, and to organize various activities in support of Al-Aqsa, which gives the opportunity to Muslims to show their love for the first Qibla, which is subjected to continuous Judaization attempts by the various arms of the Israeli occupation.

The Scientific Coordinating Body is made up of 60 institutions, associations and scholarly unions from nearly 52 countries. Mostly all institutions focus on the central issues of Arabs and Muslims, the issue of Al-Aqsa and Palestine, by intensifying holding conferences, seminars, meetings and lectures, issuing leaflets and printing booklets to define the status of Jerusalem and Palestine, its symbolism, and the religious and historical status of the Islamic nation.

The Festival of Light “Hanukkah”: Zionists’ Efforts towards Taking-over Al-Aqsa Mosque

The Jews celebrate the Festival of Lights in commemoration of the rebuilding of the Al-Aqsa Mosque (their so-called Second Temple) in 164 BC, when the Greeks took control of Jerusalem and persecuted the Jews under the leadership of Judah Maccabee and his brothers. On Hanukkah, the Maccabean Jews regained control of Jerusalem and rededicated the “Temple”.

Hanukkah in Hebrew means inauguration, as they celebrate the construction of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and is observed for eight nights and days. Therefore, candles are lit in the menorah (candelabrum with nine branches) placed next to doors or windows, and a new candle is added every night of the festival. This holiday is not considered an official holiday for Jews, as the daily business continue.

The Temple Forum in the ruling Likud party demands that Netanyahu allow the menorah during Hanukkah to be lit inside Al-Aqsa Mosque.

In the context of the relentless pursuit of the temple groups and the Zionist government to establish the Jewish temple in Al-Aqsa, both ritually and morally, and transferring all the Jewish sacrificial rituals to the inside of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, the “Temple Forum” group in the ruling Likud Party sent a letter to the party leader and the Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requesting the empowerment of the Jews From performing the climax of the festival of lights rituals by lighting the candlestick of lights inside the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, considering that “it is not appropriate for the Jews to continue to celebrate the Festival of Lights outside the Temple Mount despite the passage of two thousand years since the diaspora, and despite the presence of the Temple Mount under Jewish sovereignty.”

It is noteworthy that there is no Jewish temple in Jerusalem. The Jewish archaeologist, Meir Ben-Dov, admitted and said: “There are no traces of the so-called alleged temple under the Al-Aqsa Mosque”.

The Likud Temple Forum forms a gathering of extremists within the party to cooperate and put pressure on the Zionist government to improve the conditions for incursions and enable the Zionists to have greater control over Al-Aqsa Mosque. The forum started its message to Netanyahu by “thanks for improving conditions” for the incursions into the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque over the past months and years. .

The extremist temple groups have erected the Hanukkah menorah this year directly adjacent to the Lions Gate, and had begun erecting it in Al-Ghazali Square in front of the Lion’s Gate with the intention of escalating their demand to celebrate the Hebrew Hanukkah holiday inside Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Temple groups open messages to the Emirates and Bahrain via video to help them establish joint prayers for Jews and Muslims in Al-Aqsa, and to help them evade the administration of Islamic endowments, and at a time when the Hanukkah menorahwas erected in Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and clips of Arab Zionists participating in the Zionist celebrated the Hebrew Light Festival In occupied Palestine.

The Segregation Wall

A wall surrounding Jerusalem on three sides: the north, south and east; and completely isolates the city from the West Bank.

The main objective of building the wall:
The Israeli Occupation occupied western Jerusalem in 1948, and the eastern part of the city in 1967. The settlements in the West Bank form a Jewish belt around Jerusalem. In addition, the wall excludes the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, that is, the densely populated Palestinian areas. Excluding Arab neighborhoods from Jerusalem and including Jewish settlements are factors that contribute to the establishment of a Jewish capital.

The wall runs in a zig-zag pattern to create a large area as follows:
Jerusalem, with its municipal borders, expanded by the occupation in 1967.
It includes the largest settlement blocs located in the West Bank, and includes the “Gush Etzion”, “Ma’ale Adumim” and “Gafaf Zeev” communities.
It will exclude Arab neighborhoods located within the municipal boundaries to become outside the wall.

How much did it cost?

The cost of constructing one kilometer of the wall: $ 2 million
The total length of the wall that surrounds the West Bank: 712 km
Length of the section that surrounds Jerusalem: 142 km
Wall height: 4-8 meters

How can Jerusalemites and citizens of the West Bank cross the wall?
Jerusalemites detained outside the wall must obtain permits to be able to cross the gates to access the health system inside Jerusalem.
The occupation is tightening the procedures for obtaining permits for West Bank patients to receive treatment in Jerusalem hospitals.
The isolation of Jerusalem from the West Bank has resulted in fiscal deficits and worsening difficulties in managing medical institutions in East Jerusalem.

Qalandia checkpoint

How did the wall affect the economy and education?

The wall constitutes a final blow on the economy of the city of Jerusalem by isolating it from its surroundings
The wall exits between 80 and 120 thousand Palestinians with Jerusalem IDs who live within the borders of the occupation municipality and outside the wall, such as Kafr Aqab, Samir Amis, Qalandia, Shuafat Camp and Ras Khamis.
About 20% of students in Waqf schools in East Jerusalem and 20% of teachers detained behind the wall have to cross a checkpoint on a daily basis to reach their schools in East Jerusalem.

International laws related to the wall:

1- The Hague Agreement of 1907
Article 52 of the “Hague Convention of 1907” considers that annexing occupied lands to the territories of the occupying power is forbidden and violates international norms and conventions, and the Hague Convention is considered part of the international custom.
2- 21-10-2003
The wall is a violation of all international conventions and norms, especially the United Nations resolution issued on 10/21/2003, which clearly calls for stopping its construction.
3- 9-7-2004
The International Court of Justice issued an advisory opinion on 7/7/2004, considering the wall to be contrary to international law. The decision included a call to stop building the wall, demolish what has been built, and compensate those affected.

Morocco Gate

The last doors of Al-Aqsa mosque from the western side. It was named after the Mugrabi Mosque, which is located to the south of the mosque and from the Al-Mughrabi Quarter (Moroccan Quarter) that used to lead to it, as it was removed by the Israeli occupation forces in 1967 and turned into a yard for Jews to pray and where their “Wailing Wall” is located. It is the closest open door to the Al-Qibli mosque, a building that is a part of Al-Aqsa mosque located in its Southern area.

This door with an arched entrance was built after the foundation of the Moroccan Quarter with the Salahi Liberation. It was reported that the Moroccan Muslims were known for their great strength in their jihad with Saladin Al-Ayouby, so he settled them on the western side of the mosque in order to re-Islamize the city, and then his son Al-Afdal Ali established a school known as the Al-Fadhila School, but is now demolished with the quarter.

The Israeli occupation authorities seized the key to this gate and prevented Muslims from entering through it, while it is open to foreign tourists, Jewish settlers and the occupation police for their storming of the mosque and their attack on the Almoravids. Outside the Moroccan Gate, the occupation authorities demolished the Moroccan hill in 2012 in preparation for the establishment of a cement or iron bridge that facilitates Israeli incursions, and to facilitate the entry of attempts to implement plans to demolish the mosque and build the Temple in place of Al-Aqsa Mosque, God forbid.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

The church was built by Queen Helena, mother of King Constantine, and is located in the Christian Quarter in the northwestern part of the Old City.

It was founded in the location where, as Christians believe, the cross on which Jesus (peace be upon him) was crucified, was located, and it is considered one of the churches in which all Christian denominations and groups participate. Throughout the Islamic period, ties and privileges were organized and structured and were governed by three major sects: the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic and Armenians.

The area of ​​the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is estimated at (60 x 80) meters square, and it consists of: The Church of Calvary or the Calvary, as Christians believe, built on the place of the crucifixion of Jesus (peace be upon him) and it is located at the corner of the southeastern Church of the Holy Sepulcher and contains beautiful decorations, mosaics, pictures, icons, and the ground covered with marble, and topped by two domes, one of them is a large dome above the Holy Sepulcher and the other is smaller and is called the Dome of the Half-Dunya Church.

Christians believe that it also contains 7 graves of the most prominent Frankish clergymen and a number of Crusader kings, such as Joseph of Arimathea and his family, and their graves are located in a temple to the west of the Holy Sepulcher, and also there are two graves for Godfrey and Baldwin, who are the kings of the Franks, and there is an unidentified grave, so it is unknown who is its owner and in front of the church there is a tomb of a leader A crusader “Philip Dwaiti” and another grave at the Church of Saint Jacob, and there are many unknown graves in this place, because the land was originally a cemetery, and there were five graves dug into the upper wall of the church, which are of ancient patriarchs, and the church also contains 13 wells to collect rainwater.

As for the building of the church’s dome, it is made of iron and has two arches in one center. The ribs of the dome are connected to iron pillars, and at the top of the dome’s opening there is a glass curtain, and the dome from the outside is covered with lead, and from the inside it is lined with painted plate.

The church also contains a Christian chapel in the form of a hexagon, 26 feet in length and 17.7 feet in width, and in the eastern corridor of the chapel there is another chapel called the Chapel of the Angels in which 15 lamps are lit, and it is divided between the Orthodox and the Latins (5), the Armenians (4) and the Copts (1) There is a stone covered with marble in the center of the prayer hall.

This church is a testimony to the Arab-Islamic tolerance that befell it, and it also bears witness to the restorations that took place there, as the Persians burned the church in 614 AD and rebuilt by the monk Modestus, head of the Abbayid Monastery. Many travelers mentioned and described the church during their trips and visits to the city of Jerusalem and the Old City.

Upon the conquest of Jerusalem in the year 636 AD, Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab, may God be pleased with him, gave the Christians safety over themselves and their churches, and did not harm them.

Umar ibn al-Khattab did not accept to pray in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher when the Patriarch Sophronius offered him to pray in it, instead he prayed close to it for fear that Muslims would take the church after that on the pretext that it is an Islamic right, and they would prove that by his prayer there. Years later, a mosque was built where he prayed, and is still there until today.

The Dome of the Rock

The Dome of the Rock represents the most important Islamic architectural landmark in the world, which has a great religious status and sanctity in the hearts of Muslims and many people, and is the oldest and most beautiful example of Islamic architecture. Muslims have shown special interest towards it throughout the long Islamic history, especially after the natural disasters that used to affect greatly the Al-Aqsa Mosque, such as earthquakes, storms, rain, etc., as no Muslim caliph or sultan was late in restoring, preserving and defending it.

The Dome of the Rock lies in the heart of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque. It was built in 691 AD during the Umayyad period, during the reign of Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan. Its construction was supervised by the engineers Raja bin Hayyah and Yazid bin Salam.

It was called so because it is located above the honorable rock, which Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) has ascended to heaven starting by standing on it in the miracle of the night of Isra and Mi’raj.

The Dome of the Rock contains 14 mihrabs, the main one of which is located in the direction of the qibla, and it contains 52 windows and a large number of black marble tiles, estimated at 99 tiles, and it contains 24 decorative arches covered with mosaics and these arches work to connect the columns with each other.

The Dome has been affected by all the historical periods since its construction and every period that has passed since it has caused many issues of restoration, repair, modification, and sabotage as well, during the Crusader and Israeli occupation it was the worst two periods, while in the Islamic periods the most prosperous periods were the ones that transformed it and made it take its current form.

Currently, the covered area surrounding the Supervising Rock represents a chapel dedicated to women (especially for Friday prayers, holidays and Taraweeh).

The Zionists show a special importance for the honorable rock, as they seek to establish their alleged temple in the place of the rock, and their attacks on it have multiplied in various ways, from bombing their planes during the 1948 aggression, and desecrating the honorable rock by raising their flag over it for some time and many attacks that negatively affect the Dome of the Rock. During the eighties of the twentieth century, several attempts were made to blow it up with explosives that were highly destructive by Jewish extremists, and a Jewish soldier named (Harry Goldman) stormed it in 1982 and opened fire on the worshipers indiscriminately, causing the death of two and wounding four of the worshipers. In addition, the Zionist excavations and tunnels are continuing around and below Al-Aqsa, and some of them reached under the Dome of the Rock, and it is even believed that they built Jewish churches in it.

These serious attacks have greatly affected the Dome of the Rock, as the marble that surrounds the dome from the inside, and its mosaic decorations from the inside and outside suffer from cracking, erosion and falling off. This situation is threatened with an increase due to the siege imposed by the Zionist occupation authorities on the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and the prevention of Muslims from carrying out any restoration work for any of its parts, including the Dome of the Rock.

Twenty Years on the Second Al-Aqsa Uprising “Intifada”

Thursday afternoon, September 28, 2000 witnessed confrontations between worshipers and angry youths, and the Israeli occupation police, border guards and special forces, who stormed the courtyards of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque to secure its desecration by the leader of the extremist Likud Party Ariel Sharon, and a number of his right-wing members … Those hours were the first spark of the Al-Aqsa Intifada.

Ariel Sharon storming the mosque with Israeli forces protection

In the events of the first day, 20 young men were wounded, and the second day, Friday, September 29, witnessed more violent confrontations after the end of the noon prayer, which resulted in the death of 6 young men and the wounding of 300 people.
The third day, Saturday, September 30, a general strike took place and a general mourning took place, and the confrontation expanded to include all Palestinian cities, villages and camps, which resulted in the death of 13 civilians and the injury of 623, among them Muhammad Jamal Al-Durra, who was besieged by the fire of the occupation forces and He is in his father’s hands and in front of the cameras.

Some of the major icons of 2000 Al-Aqsa Intifada:

Muhammad Al-Durra:

Muhammad Al-Durra and his father

The world watched how an 11-year-old boy was executed by an Israeli sniper, in a video tape taken by a French TV correspondent on September 30, 2000.

Iman Hejjo:

A 4-month-old girl was killed by an Israeli bullet while she was in her mother’s arms in front of her family’s house in Khan Yunis. Monday, May 7, 2001.

Fares Awdi:

A Palestinian child was shot dead by the occupation forces near the Karni checkpoint in Gaza, while he was throwing stones during the confrontations.

Continuous preparations for the so-called “memorial of the temple ruin”

Today, Wednesday, the beginning of the mourning days that culminate in what is called “memorial of the temple ruin”.
On these days, the extremist temple groups prepare for crowds with all their strength to storm the main and most important of the year in the so-called “temple ruin” on the ninth of August of the Jewish calendar, which this year comes on the day of Arafa, one of the most important day of Muslim pilgrimage.

The Temple Mount Institute, associated with militant temple parties, declared in anticipation for this day that it would declare “surprises for its adherents” on the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and groundbreaking Judaic services interspersed with prayer and lectures in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, beginning from 22-7 to 30-7 Arafa day.

Yehuda Glick turns the Day of Arafa storm into a season to fund the storming.

Former Knesset member Rabbi of the Temple Mount Yehuda Glick announced his intention to organize two incursions during what is known as the memorial of the ruined Temple, which coincides with the day of Arafat, and that he will be a guide during these intrusions in the morning and evening period from Thursday. There is money to support his self-sponsored institution and his donations, which he calls the “Jerusalem Peace Foundation,” which is concerned with promoting the agenda of dividing and judaizing Al-Aqsa and organizing incursions into English speakers.

This same occasion had taken place on Eid al-Adha last year, during which Al-Aqsa witnessed major confrontations.

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