Mass Arrests and Detention Amidst the Escalation of Israeli Oppression against the Palestinian People

| Addameer |

The past month has been marked by heightened violence by Israeli Occupation Forces against Palestinians across occupied Palestine, including: Jerusalem, historic Palestine (the 1948 occupied territories), the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, reaching critical levels in the last two weeks. The events began at the start of the holy month of Ramadan, on 13 April 2021, when Israeli Occupation Forces stormed the outer minarets of Al-Aqsa Mosque, cutting the wires to the speakers to prevent the call to prayer, and placing metal barriers around Damascus Gate, assaulting Palestinians gathering near the gate. Further provocation was incited by Israeli settlers in the evening of 22 April 2021, who roamed the streets chanting ‘death to Arabs’ and targeting Palestinian civilians.

Parallel to this repression is the case of Sheikh Jarrah, in which the Israeli Supreme Court—illegally applying Israeli discriminatory domestic law to occupied territory—intended to hold a hearing on 10 May 2021 on the forced expulsion of eight Palestinian families, who, themselves, were already forcibly expelled during the 1948 Nakba. Escalating violence by IOF and settlers, many armed, in Sheikh Jarrah, led to calls for local and international solidarity. Such acts, in turn, spurred intensifying repression by IOF and Israeli settlers, many armed. These acts of violence include physical assault, home raids, destruction of property, firing of tear gas canisters, rubber bullets, sound bombs, and skunk water, arbitrary arrests, and even extrajudicial killings of Palestinians.

In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli occupation has carried out a devastating war, targeting civilian infrastructure and killing over 230 Palestinians, including 65 children, and 39 women,[1]in acts amounting to possible war crimes and crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Still, the solidarity protests erupting across the occupied Palestinian territory, culminating in what many call the Palestinian Unity Uprising,continue to be met by repression and extraordinary violence.

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