SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)
At least 1,300 Palestinians from Jerusalem have been detained by the Israeli authorities since June, a Palestinian NGO said Sunday.
“We’ve seen a rise in the frequency of detentions since Israeli settlers killed Mohamed Abu Khdeer in Shuafat [East Jerusalem neighborhood],” said Mufeed al-Hajj, an attorney with the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society, in a statement.
“About 40% of the detainees are minors”, said al-Hajj.
He also noted that most of the detainees are facing charges of involvement in clashes with Israeli police and hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails.
“Israeli courts usually ends up releasing the detainees on bail or after paying a fine,” al-Hajj added
The attorney, yet, noted that the severity of sentences have changed, especially after the Israeli government proposed a bill that harshened the punishments of rock-throwers.
Meanwhile, King Abdullah II of Jordan held talks with European Union (EU) High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini in Amman on Sunday to discuss the situation in Jerusalem and the Middle East peace process, the Jordanian royal court said.
“The situation in Jerusalem and the circumstances surrounding the peace process were atop the king’s agenda in his discussion with the European official [Mogherini],” the court said in a statement.
During the meeting, King Abdullah reaffirmed Jordan’s stance against Israeli violations and practices that targeted holy sites in Jerusalem, especially Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, according to the statement.
He also stressed the need to “intensify efforts and overcome obstacles standing in the way of the peace process by working on resuming direct negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.”
“There is a need to intensify regional and international cooperation to combat extremism, Takfiri and terrorist movements that target everyone without exception,” the statement quoted the Jordanian monarch said.
On Wednesday, Jordan, which oversees Jerusalem’s holy sites in line with a 1994 peace treaty with Israel, recalled its ambassador from Israel to protest Israeli “violations” in East Jerusalem.
Jordan’s UN mission is also preparing to lodge a complaint with the UN Security Council over Israeli “aggression” in the flashpoint mosque complex.
Tension has been running high in East Jerusalem since late last month, when Israel closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for hours after an extremist rabbi was injured in a west Jerusalem shooting.
The unrest mounted further when Israeli forces killed a young Palestinian man suspected of shooting the rabbi in a raid on his East Jerusalem home.
Several Israeli parliamentarians have also forced their way into the mosque complex within the last few days, drawing the ire of Muslim worshippers and official condemnation from Arab and Muslim countries.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.
In September 2000, a visit to the site by controversial Israeli politician Ariel Sharon sparked what later became known as the “Second Intifada,” a popular uprising against Israel’s decades-long occupation in which thousands of Palestinians were killed.