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Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15Palestinians marking the 64 anniversary of al-Nakba (catastrophe) with protests, while Israeli security reacted with conducted arrests campaigns on May 15

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Today: Aug 19, 2017

JCESR: Israel violates freedom of religion

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JCESR accuses Israel of violating religious freedom and denying Palestinian Muslims and Christian access to their holy sites in Jerusalem. Freedom of movement and free access to holy shrines is entitled only to Jews who are able to reach al-Buraq Wall (Wailing Wall) without restrictions, the center said. This is a form of racial discrimination which refutes Israeli claims of granting Palestinians the freedom of movement.

According to the report which was prepared by the JCESR's Research and Documentation Unit, restrictions on practicing the religious rights by Palestinians has escalated since the beginning of the year. Number of Israeli occupation orders to ban Muslims under 40 50 years old, from praying in al-Aqsa Mosque, amounted to 10 between January to April this year. The orders coincided with the system of checkpoints at which the believers were subjected to humiliating thorough search. Some of the youths were beaten at those checkpoints, the report says.

JCESR report added that the ban entry to holy shrines which was imposed on Palestinians under 70 from West Bank and Gaza continued since the beginning of the second Intifada in 2000. It continued that even old people were turned back at the Israeli checkpoints and denied access to Jerusalem to pray in the holy sites. According to the report, in the past three months some 420 Palestinians were arrested while trying to reach Jerusalem to pray in al-Aqsa Mosque on claims that they had no entry permits.

 

The center maintained that a massive number of Palestinians from West Bank, were deprived from celebrating Easter in the Holy City and denied access to the Holy Sepulcher because of the Israeli military restrictions on the freedom of movement. Moreover, Israeli military continued to work with the system of permits which are mostly issued to few Palestinian workers.

According to the report, the climax of Israeli violations was observed in April when Israeli police imposed a siege around the Church of Holy Sepulcher during Easter. The report quoted Dimitri Dilyani, Head of the National Christian Assembly saying that during the celebrations, Israeli police raided the church and attacked some Copts and Assyrians clergy, ''a thing that never observed before in the history of the city.''

The report expressed the center belief that such severe Israeli measures were among the reasons that tempted Christian sects to immigrate. Concerning al-Aqsa Mosque, the report underlined the continuous Israeli violations and raids under the so-called foreign tourism program under which Israeli police permit hundreds of Israelis, mostly Jews, to enter and tour the compound of al-Aqsa Mosque. Some 150 extremists are allowed, on daily basis, to enter al-Haram al-Sharif compound and part of them practice provocative rituals to Muslims feelings.

On the other hand, the report highlighted Israeli restrictions that are imposed on performance of Islamic Waqf's guards who are prohibited from working close to extremists during the provocative tours. Some of the guards were either beaten or arrested on allegations that they tried to ban the extremists from practicing their rituals. Also, the police issued orders to a group of Palestinian guards, prohibiting them from work for a period of six months.

The report added, Israeli police restrictions included banning media means from providing free coverage to events inside al-Haram al-Sharif as was the case with journalist Mahmoud Abu Atta, the media spokesperson of al-Aqsa Institution for Waqf and Heritage, who was beaten and arrested by the police on allegations that he filmed touring extremists in the mosque yards. Later, Abu Atta was prohibited by the Israeli Magistrate Court from entering the area for one week. In another incident, correspondent of Quds Net, Dyallah Jweihan, was detained at the Police station in the Russian Compound and interrogated for filming extremists Jews inside al-Aqsa yard.

Meanwhile, Israeli police enable Israeli Jews to enjoy full freedom of movement and permits their vehicles to get close to their holy shrine without any restrictions, the report said. However, the situation is different with Muslims and Christians who are forced to park their cars in distant parking lots. Since the beginning of second Intifada, Palestinians of the old city and those who reside in Silwan neighborhood have been denied free movement through walling wall plaza.