JERUSALEM, Friday, November 19, 2021 (WAFA) – Israeli police Thursday night conducted a massive raid in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, resulting in dozens of injuries, according to local and medical sources.
They said that dozens of heavily-armed police officers barged their way into the neighborhood, which lies on the eastern slopes of Jerusalem, blocked the main artery of the already congested neighborhood and deliberately opened fire not only at protestors, but also directly at Palestinian houses.
The raid ignited confrontations, with local protestors throwing rocks and bundles of firebombs towards the police.
Director of al-Amal Ambulance Society, Abdul-Majid Taha, confirmed that medics provided treatment to 17 Palestinians who were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets in various parts of their bodies, 11 others who suffered burns from Israeli gas bombs and concussion grenades, in addition to 13 others who fell while being chased by the police officers, including two who sustained fractures in their extremities.
He added that medics also provided treatment to 95 Palestinians, including women and children, who suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation.
On Thursday, police gunned down 16-year-old Omar Abu Assab from the neighborhood after he allegedly stabbed two officers in the al-Wad Street, in Old City of occupied Jerusalem.
For the residents of Issawiyeh, a Palestinian village of some 20,000, Israeli police vehicles have become an everyday reality on the neighborhood streets, while police drones fly above – surveilling each move of the neighborhood’s residents.
Nestled in the hills of East Jerusalem, the village is plagued by poor infrastructure, residents are constantly harassed by the Israeli police and anyone, including children, run the risk of arbitrary arrest.
Hostile armed police searchlights pierce residents’ homes as Israeli officers conduct raids in the dead of night, breaking into homes and arresting residents.
While Israeli authorities claim police raids into the neighborhood are intended to maintain “law and order”, residents and human rights groups vigorously reiterate that the raids themselves seem intended to provoke confrontations and have created an atmosphere of terror, with parents afraid to let their children play outside.
Rights groups have long pointed out that Israel’s discriminatory policies in East Jerusalem – which include routine home demolitions, discriminatory allocation of building permits, and the forceful expulsions of Palestinians from their homes for the benefit of Israeli colonial settlements – are aimed at driving out Palestinians from the city.
With over 70 percent of Palestinian families in occupied East Jerusalem living below the poverty line, if life becomes too expensive, they have little choice but to move to congested Jerusalem neighborhoods on the other side of Israel’s separation wall or into the West Bank.
After Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967, Palestinians were not given Israeli citizenship, but were instead issued permanent residency permits, which can be revoked by Israel for a variety of reasons, including insufficient loyalty to the State of Israel.