Year of 2020 was fraught with many sufferings, challenges, Israeli attacks, and settlement projects aiming to Judaize the occupied Jerusalem.
Israel’s escalations to change Jerusalem’s identity, change its culture and destroy its ancient civilization; targeting Al-Aqsa mosque and its protectors by persecution, arrestment, or deportation made this year as the worst and cruelest on Jerusalem and its citizens.
During the year, Israel continued perpetrating ethnic cleansing against Jerusalemites, destroying their houses, imposing high fines and taxes, stifling the city’s economy, closing dozens of institutions, repressing youth initiatives, and targeting activists.
Normalizing relations with Israel and US’s unlimited support contributed to encouraging Israel commit more cruel and brutal actions against Muslim and Christian Palestinians in Jerusalem.
2020 will end, but Israeli assaults will not. Jerusalem will keep receiving more and more of brutality and cruelty by Israel in order to force the Jerusalemites to leave the holy city.
In 2020, Jerusalem witnessed unprecedented attacks by Israeli forces to change its culture, history and geography, to stifle its economy, and to be completely occupied by Israel, according to Fakhry Abo Diab, a researcher of Jerusalem Affairs.
Most remarkable events of the year: Israel’s plan to increase the Jewish presence in Jerusalem to 90%, while 10% for Arabs to live in 9% of the city’s space, surrounded with settlements to prevent geographic expansion.
“Israel ratified a number of settlement and judaization projects, implemented some of them, and will implement the rest in 2021,” Abo Diab added.
Establishing an electronic escalator from Alsharaf alley to Jabel Mukaber, 5 biblical gardens, Silicon Valley in Wadi al-Jaoz, and the American street; occupying the Golden Gate; targeting Martyrs Cemetery; and cutting 12% of the cemetery are all parts of Israel’s settlement projects.
Numbers and statistics
During 2020, Israel doubled the number of settlers and settlements occupied, occupied more of Palestinian lands to implement their projects, and banned the Palestinians from seizing the lands and building.
Israel is planning to make Jerusalem a Hashemite minority in which thr number does not exceed 35,000 out of 370,000, according to Abo Diab.
Israel gave orders to evacuate 49 houses of Jerusalemites in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan town; claiming that they are Israeli properties, and gave administrative demolition orders for 819, he added.
He also pointed out that Israel imposed fines of 9,785,000 NIS on Jerusalemites; arguing that they have unauthorized buildings and about 3.5 million NIS; claiming that they do not commit to procedures of COVID19 prevention.
Israel assaults prolonged dozens of Jerusalemite institutions in which 25 cultural, media and educational institutions had been closed, and 153 houses had been demolished including 28 houses demolished by force.
Abo Diab noted that during 2020, 817 Palestinians had been arrested, 463 houses had been demolished, and 142 deportation orders had been released.
The actions implemented by settlement associations caused fracturing for 15 houses in Alsisila gate, and 15 houses in Silwan town.
This year was extremely rough on the Jerusalemites laborers, in which 17,000 lost their works because of the coronavirus, Israel’s intensive procedures, shops closure, and deteriorating economy. (79% live under the poverty line)
It was the cruelest
Nasser Alhaddami, a Jerusalem affairs specialist, stated that 2020 was the cruelest year because of the unprecedented settlement projects implemented by Israel, and their operations of destroying homes and breaking into Al-Aqsa mosque.
Arab’s agreements of normalizing relations with Israel, and normalizes’ visits to Al-Aqsa mosque affected the whole cause of Jerusalem as well.
Expectations for 2021
Abo Diab did not show any hope towards Jerusalem’s position in the next year. He believes that the year of 2021 will be cloudy in which the city will encounter big changes, and Israel will work on resolving the cause of Jerusalem completely.
“2021 is the year of changes and implementation of Israel’s plans to judaize the city, and enforce its sovereignty over it as long as there is not any real Arab, Palestinian and international deterrent to stand against Israel,” Abo Diab stated.
And Alhaddami expects that 2021 will witness more attacks and more trials to enforce Israeli’s sovereignty over the city, and to change its culture.
“Despite the big Israeli projects, Jerusalemites will fail those plans,” Alhaddami expressed.
“We hope that the coming year will be better. Nevertheless, we have to make a comprehensive plan to resist the Israeli occupation and to eliminate it from our land,” he added.
Source : Safa