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Euro-Med slams Israeli violations of Palestinians' rights in Jerusalem al-Quds

Israeli forces detain a Palestinian at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem al-Quds on February 18, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

A Geneva-based organization has documented continued and excessive human rights violations committed by Israel against Palestinians in Jerusalem al-Quds within the space of a single month.

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med) released a report, detailing the violations of Palestinians’ rights by Israeli forces in January.

Sarah Pritchett, Euro-Med’s spokesperson said, “The Israeli authorities continue their policy of restricting freedoms of the Palestinians in Jerusalem [al-Quds] and preventing them from holding activities or events that reflect the Palestinian identity.”

The organization characterized the instances of infringement as deliberate and systematic, listing them as forcible demolitions, arbitrary arrests, torture, and attempts at manipulating the religious identity of Jerusalem al-Quds.

Israeli troops, it said, would recurrently engage in razing Palestinian homes and shops and would even force them to pay the demolition costs or destroy their own property.

The Israeli forces regularly carry out night swoops on Palestinian houses, the report added, adding that they would also attack hospitals on routine bases, intimidate the staff and take away the patients without any consideration for their health condition.

It also cited cases when Palestinians would be subjected to “humiliating searches” in public places and tortured inside detention facilities.

Euro-Med also recorded “practical” measures taken by Israeli forces aimed at “obliterating the city's identity and impose control over the al-Aqsa Mosque.” Al Aqsa Mosque is Islam’s third holiest site.

The organization said Israeli troops either detain Palestinians there or forcibly remove them “without them committing any violations,” noting that Israeli forces also detain women during “settler incursions” into the compound.

Palestinians are not spared harassment during their visits to the compound, while Israeli settlers also recurrently storm the site under strict protection of Israeli forces.

Euro-Med called on all United Nations bodies and the European Union to take “a clear and firm position towards such illegal practices, especially regarding the restrictions on religious freedoms and the demolition of homes.”

Israel claims the entire Jerusalem al-Quds as its “capital,” while Palestinians want its eastern part to serve as the capital of their future state.

In December 2017, the United States recognized Tel Aviv’s claim over the city in stark defiance of the Palestinians’ demand.

In the same month, the UN General Assembly ratified a resolution, calling on Washington to withdraw its controversial recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israeli "capital."

However, Washington relocated its embassy from Tel Aviv to al-Quds in May 2018 in defiance of global warnings and opposition.

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