Jerusalem24 – With the recent escalations by Israeli occupation forces and members, Jerusalem, and specifically Bab al-Amoud/ Damascus Gate area have been witnessing extreme force during the first nights of Ramadan.
Jerusalemite activist Adnan Barq talked to Jerusalem24, about what it is like to live in the old city and be present in the Damascus Gate area.
“As a local from the old city, we are used to this chaos in the last 10 days of Ramadan, but this one surprisingly came early. Jerusalem is now a nest of Israeli occupation forces everywhere in the city,”.
Adnan says that what is happening is a continuation of last Ramadan’s 2021, when Israeli occupation forces closed the Damascus gate area – a cultural hub for Palestinians-, for no reason.
He adds that the Israeli government said that this Ramadan is going to be great and different, “we’ll make it heavenly”. “Young people are delivering a message that sovereignty is among our hands, you’re not the one to decide when it’s heaven or hell,” Adnan says.
“I witnessed the arrest of two of my close friends, Basil and Yazan, where they did not do anything, Basil is a music student who brought his brother to Damascus gate to enjoy the atmosphere of Ramadan, but this is all part of the collective punishment if you exist here, you are targeted.”
Adnan adds that the occupation forces want to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, in order to create a psychological barrier between Palestinians in the old city of Jerusalem and overall areas of the country.
“It becomes extremely annoying to keep going through this colonial routine after Iftar, at the same time seeing Israeli right-wing chanting “hate to Arabs” and “kill the Arabs”, without any accountability, we only celebrating the holiest month for us and be faced with these policies and escalations, it is unbearable”.
Since the beginning of Ramadan on April 2nd, Israeli forces have escalated their measures in the old city of Jerusalem, preventing and brutally suppressing all kinds of freedoms, including religious freedom.