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Damascus Gate: From a historical location to a spot for arrests and repression

Jerusalem24 – The Damascus Gate area in the city of occupied Jerusalem is one of the historical areas that the Israeli police, the intelligence service, and the undercover units have turned into a battlefield, with arrest and repression for everyone present there, especially during the month of Ramadan.

In the first 3 days of the current month of Ramadan, the Israeli police, the cavalry division of the Israeli police and members of the undercover unit carried out an unprecedented repression and arrests in the Damascus Gate area.

Israeli security forces detain a Palestinian outside the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City on April 4, 2022, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. (Photo Credit: AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)

An eyewitness from the Old City, Abdul Rahim Khawaja (40 years), told Al-Quds.com, “The scene of repression, dragging, beating, arrest and prosecution of everyone who was in the place can be described as terrifying.”

Khawaja indicated that the Israeli police had transformed the historical area where the people of Jerusalem gather after the Taraweeh prayers into a security square devoid of people, in preparation for the settlers’ feasts and their gathering in the place in the coming days of the month of Ramadan.

He added, “People’s screams from the severity of the repression reached the sky, under orders from the security and political level in the occupying country.”

In turn, one of the merchants in the place, who refused to reveal his name for fear of being pursued by the police, pointed out, “we are experiencing a real catastrophe by the occupation police, and with the holidays of the settlers who target the Damascus Gate area, as it connects to Al-Wad Road in the middle of the old town and ends at the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque and Al-Buraaq Square, as well as ending with the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.”

Israeli security forces detain a Palestinian outside the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City on April 4, 2022, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. (Photo Credit: AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)

He added, “the Jerusalemites are punished in this area, whether citizens or merchants. So that there is no Jerusalem presence that disturbs the settlers’ celebrations of the Jewish Passover, and we are paying the price due to the procedures of the occupation police.”

For his part, the Head of the Supreme Islamic Council in Jerusalem and the preacher of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Dr. Ekrima Sabri said, “since the occupation of the city in 1967, the occupying state has deliberately targeted the Damascus Gate area and the rest of the gates of the Old City to besiege the site of Al-Aqsa Mosque and Islamic holy sites.”

Sheikh Sabri added, “the Damascus Gate area is a major source of nutrition for the Old City, which is inhabited by more than 33,000 Jerusalemites. The occupation does not want this area to remain the main tributary to the Old City, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the rest of the holy sites.”

Israeli security forces detain a Palestinian outside the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City on April 4, 2022, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. (Photo Credit: AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)

He continued, “The wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque near the Damascus Gate is being transformed into a display screen to display the Judaizing biblical drawings and symbols, deliberately by the occupation municipality and the groups of the alleged temple, to change the nature of the area.”

To that, Jerusalemite activists called on the people of Jerusalem to be present in the Damascus Gate area to prevent settlers from storming it during their holidays and forcing them to change their course.

It is noteworthy that the Israeli police has set up security platforms in the vicinity of the Damascus Gate Square to tighten the security grip in the place. The area is isolated with iron barriers placed by the Israeli police, and undercover units are deployed in civilian clothes to intimidate citizens and prevent their gathering in the place.

Mohammad Hamayel

Ramallah based journalist, Mohammad graduated from Al-Quds University with a B.A. in Media and Television. He has covered the 2015 Jerusalem Intifada as well as the Great March of Return for international media outlets. currently an editor/presenter at Jerusalem24. A UN alumni and a follower of global events and politics, especially American affairs.

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