Israeli occupation forces have severely escalated their operations in Issawiya, a Palestinian neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, NGO Ir Amim reported yesterday.
Issawiya has been subjected to “an aggressive police campaign since June, marked by daily hostile police incursions, arbitrary harassment, and overall violent disruption of daily life,” said Ir Amim.
While Palestinian residents have benefitted from “periodic reductions in police activity over the last five months”, according to the NGO, the situation in Issawiya “has deteriorated within the past two weeks with intensified police and para-military presence and operations”.
The escalation has included “arrests of children almost daily with the majority released within 24 hours of their detainment and no charges filed”, as well as the documented “use of excessive force by the police, including stun grenades and tear gas”.
In one incident, police raided a local high school on 2 November, including deploying stun grenades. In response, the parents’ committee declared a school strike – to which police have responded by arresting two committee members who are now banned for a week from their neighbourhood.
Yesterday, Jerusalem municipality officials told parents that there would be no police presence in and around school grounds and the strike was suspended.
According to Ir Amim, the recent intensification of police operations “for no apparent reason coupled with the blatant absence of intervention from other Israeli authorities underscore the erosion of proper governance and accountability of state institutions in this regard”.
“Such excessive policing and police brutality appear to be a new stage in the pressures and discriminatory policies levelled at the Palestinian population of East Jerusalem aimed at further suppression and displacement,” Ir Amim concluded.