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Night of Israeli violence: Al Aqsa Mosque barricade, house demolition, gang beating, arrests

22 August 2011 | International Solidarity Movement, West Bank

Just after midnight on Monday, August 22  the Israeli military took the opportunity to trap 1500 Palestinian youth inside al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, blow up a house in Hebron (injuring 30 people in the ensuing riots), and arrested a member of the Freedom Theatre in Jenin.

In Jerusalem, thousands of Palestinians gathered to protest the Israeli escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip. Starting from the Bab Al ‘Amoud (Damscus Gate) area and marching toward Salah El Deen Street, the protesters suddenly found themselves under attack by Israeli soldiers after the latter claimed that a soldier had been stabbed. Israeli soldiers and border police closed off the Bab Al Amoud area and Salah El Deen Street and kidnapped several Palestinian youth who were taken to the Al Maskobiyya interrogation center, west of Jerusalem. They also ttacked Palestinian medics and ambulances in the area.

The protesters continued their march into the Old City, prompting hundreds of policemen to break into several homes and cause damage in the area. The protesters ended up inside al-Aqsa mosque, where policemen trapped them inside, closed off the mosque, placed ladders on walls surrounding the mosque, and provoked protesters and those who were simply there to pray and worship during the last ten holy days of Ramadan.

In another incident in Jenin, Israeli soldiers surrounded the Freedom Theater at 2 am, closed off the area, and arrested Mohammed Naghnaghiye, the security guard and technician of the theater. On the way out, they fired live ammunition to disperse the crowd of Palestinians who had gathered.

This is the third attack on the Freedom Theater by the Israeli military this month.

This comes following a daytime attack by a gang of 15 masked settlers of a 10 year old Palestinian boy near Ramallah, outside the settlement of Ramat Migron. The boy is in the hospital being treated for deep wounds.