A Documentary Report
The Major Israeli Crimes, Aggressions
and Violations Committed
Against Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque
Mahmoud Abdullah Awwad
The Royal Committee for Jerusalem Affairs
1st Edition, Amman 2003
1. Changing the Area of Jerusalem
A- Before 1948 War :
Prior to the 1948 War, the municipal area of Jerusalem was a little less than 20 square kilometers. It included the old walled holy city and the new city, which developed outside the walls. The area of the old holy city within the walls totaled around 860 dunums i.e. less than one square kilometer (1).
The remaining nineteen square kilometers or so constituted the new city. The Jews at that time owned a little more than 25% of the new city area (i.e. nearly five square kilometers).
Inside the old walled holy city the Jews owned not more than five dunums (or about one half of one per cent).
B- Math The 1948 War :
At the end of the war and the Armistice Agreement (1949), the area seized by the Israelis exceeded 84%, (over 16 sq. km) all of which lies in New Jerusalem outside the walls.
Since then, a new spurious terminology was added to the city nomenclatures when it came to be called "West Jerusalem" which has been controlled by the Jewish state after its establishment in the year 1948. The eastern part (including the old walled holy city) has been given the name of "East Jerusalem". Its area after the 1948 occupation amounted to 2.2 sq. km., in other words, less than 12% of the municipal area of Jerusalem prior to the 1948 War. The remaining part was a "no-man's land" or under the control of U.N. representatives.
- The Jewish authorities enlarged the municipal area of “West Jerusalem” to nearly 38 sq. km while the Jordanian government expanded the municipal area of “East Jerusalem” to about 6 sq. km. during the period 1948-1967.
- When Israel launched its aggression in June 1967, it occupied “East Jerusalem” in addition to what was left of Palestine (that was known as the West Bank and the Gaza Strip).
- Three weeks after the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem in June 27/1967, Israel dissolved the municipal council of Arab “East Jerusalem” and placed the city under the jurisdiction of the Israeli laws and administration, annexing it thereby to the western part of Jerusalem.
- In June 1968, Israel confiscated around 66 sq. km. of the lands of 28 Palestinian villages and cities around the city of Jerusalem and expanded the municipal boundaries, thereby raising the area of “East Jerusalem” to approximately 72 sq. km. These areas were annexed to “West Jerusalem”. This raised the area of the So-Called United Jerusalem Municipality to 110000 dunums (110 sq.km.). Several years later, Israel expanded the “West Jerusalem” municipal area by 15 sq. km. to total 53 sq. km. This brought the sum total of the municipal area of the so-called United Jerusalem to 125 sq. km., (i.e. 125000 dunums in the year 1992).
- On August 30/1980 the Knesset, announced the annexation of occupied “East Jerusalem” to Israel and uniting it with the western part into what Israel calls the "United Capital of the State of Israel" under Israeli absolute sovereignty. At present, the area of this "united capital" exceeds 127 sq. km. by virtue of continued seizures and expansions at the expense of Palestinian territory.
- On the other hand, the area of what Israel calls Greater Jerusalem ranges between 400 and 600 sq. km. (400000-600000 dunums).
- And when it is seized by delusions, Israel expands what it calls metropolitan Jerusalem to cover an expanse of over 1000 square kilometers (one million dunum).
II Demographic Change
A. The Number of Palestinians in Jerusalem:
- In the year 1918, a little less than one year after the British occupation of the City of Jerusalem, Palestinians in the old and new Jerusalem totaled 30,000.
- In the year 1948 when Israel was established, their number was 65,000 in both parts of the city. In the immediate aftermath of the 1948 War, Israel expelled the inhabitants of the villages surrounding Jerusalem and some of the Palestinian residents of the city. They totaled almost 85,000 in number. Their houses and land were seized by Israel.
- From the year 1948 and until the 1967 occupation, their number in East Jerusalem (including the old city) amounted to 83000.
- Since the occupation of 1967 and until the Intifada of the year 2000, their number in expanded “East Jerusalem” (including the old city) was 215000.
- Israel forced 50000 Palestinians to live outside expanded Jerusalem. It should be noted here that the apparent rise in numbers since the 1967 occupation resulted from the annexation of the inhabitants of some Palestinian villages to what is called the United Jerusalem Municipality.
B. The Number of Jews in Jerusalem:
· Since the first Jewish mass immigration in the year 1882 and until 1918 that was shortly after the British occupation of Jerusalem, the number of Jews in both the old city and the new city of Jerusalem was 10,000.
· In the year 1948 when Israel came into existence, they numbered 99,000 in both Old and New Jerusalem. This sharp rise in numbers was due to the British encouragement and sponsorship of Jewish immigration during the British Mandate.
· Between the 1948 catastrophe and the 1967 setback, the Jews numbered 197,000 in the western part of Jerusalem.
· Since the occupation of 1967 and until the Intifada of the year 2000, their number rose to 280000 in the western part of Jerusalem while the number totaled 180000 in the eastern part (including the old city) with a grand total of 460,000 in both parts. The rise resulted from the confiscation of the lands of Palestinian villages to the east of Jerusalem and the settlement of new Jewish colonists after the inclusion of the eastern and western parts into each other within the so-called United Jerusalem Municipality. To this should be added the colonial settlers of the settlement blocs of the third tier settlements encircling the so-called United Jerusalem Municipality whose number ranges between 40,000 and 50,000 colonial settlers.
III- Israeli aggressions inside the Old City.
A. Demolition and Seizure:
In the aftermath of the Israeli occupation of the old city of Jerusalem in the year 1967, Israel, in the years 1967 and 1968, seized 116 dunums inside the old city in the quarters of al-Shurafah, al-Magharibah, al-Silsilah and al-Maydan. Six hundred buildings were demolished that contained over one thousand living quarters and about four hundred and fifty stores and two mosques that were owned by six thousand Palestinians, all of whom were evicted. On that site, the Israelis built houses in what they called the "Jewish Quarter" where the Jews used to own five dunums only. Before the 1967 occupation, the place was called Harat al-Yahud (quarter of the Jews). About 2500 Jewish colonial settlers are living there at the present time. Later, Israel seized more land in that neighborhood. According to some sources, the seizures amounted to about 170 dunums. This was done after Israel confiscated the "Buraq" wall or western wall and its front courtyard. The area was expanded manifold by the Israelis who also took the key of al-Magharibah Gate that leads to the Wall and the courtyard. Israel then tightened its hold on the Haram outer gates as well as over and above many historical Islamic buildings.
Since the occupation of East Jerusalem, Israel has undertaken a series of excavations from the year 1967 and for 33 years on end. These excavations totaled twelve intensive ones, especially in the south and the west. The digging operations were carried out around and under the walls of the Haram and is taking an inside direction towards the Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Holy Rock. These diggings exceeded the total number of the ones carried out by the Europeans throughout the entire century that preceded Israeli occupation.
The ostensible pretext for making these excavations was to unearth the traces and ruins of the alleged "Temple" although all the previous European and the recent Israeli excavations have not yielded even a shred of evidence of any Jewish presence there, not to mention the remnants of the "temple" itself in this area. On the contrary, numerous Islamic and some Roman and Greek archeological relics have been found. But these excavations had other aims and designs, the most important of which are the following:
1. Excavation of the tunnels, water canals and wells or reservoirs that exist under the Haram have been going on so as to weaken the foundations of the two mosques, especially from the south in order to render their demolition easier as a result of the thundering sounds of war planes that may fly above them or as a result of an earthquake. UNESCO attested that it is dangerous to use chemicals for exploding rocks in those tunnels because of their adverse affects on the foundations of the Islamic buildings. The excavations have also led to the collapse and cracking of several religious and historical buildings such as the Ottoman Mosque, Ribat (sufi or poor hospice) al-Kurd, the Manjakiyyah School, which is the headquarters of the Muslim Council, al-Jawhariyyah School, al-Zawiyah (prayer room) al-Wafa'iyyah and al-Shehabi House.
2. Attempts to weaken and distort the Islamic character of the Haram precincts through highlighting the monuments of other nations, even if they are not Jewish.
3. Detection and construction of secret passageways in order to storm the Holy Haram when the opportune time comes. To this may be added other aims and designs such as preparation of sites that may be helpful in building the so-called "Temple" in the future and preparation of local and world public opinion to accept the Israeli aggressive schemes against both the Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock, on the assumption that the area is a Jewish spot on which the "Third Temple", as Israelis call it, will be established.
C. Seizure of Buildings:
The gang called Ateret Kohanim focuses on seizing the houses and lands of Palestinians inside the Old City. Another gang is El'ad, which is active in purchasing houses and lands in the village of Silwan that they call David's Village. Both of these organizations have so far succeeded (with support and financial backing by Muscovitch, the wealthy American Jew who owns gambling halls in U.S.A.) to acquire over fifty Muslim houses and sites through torture, pressure, threat, blackmail and inducement. One of these ill-gotten acquisitions is the house taken over by Sharon in the Muslim Quarter inside the city. They also acquired land in the Quarters of Ras al-Amud, Bab al-Sahirah (Herod's Gate) Sheikh Jarrah and surrounding areas as well as settling 15 Jewish colonial families and students of a Jewish religious school in Silwan.
IV. Noiseless Transfer
Israel uses all ways and means of pressure to choke the Palestinians in Jerusalem and to force them to leave the city in what is called noiseless transfer. These methods include:
1. Prevention of the return to Jerusalem of any Palestinian who leaves the city for a certain period of time.
2. Confiscation of the identity card of anyone who fails to prove that Jerusalem is his center of livelihood.
3. Demolition of non-licensed houses, taking into account that licensing fees are extremely high and licenses require many years to obtain.
4. Raising the level of taxes on buildings and commercial stores to the point where the Palestinians cannot afford them.
5. The services offered to the Palestinians are too poor compared to the heavy taxes they pay (and with the services offered to Jews) including education, medical treatment and public utilities.
6. Palestinians are prohibited from using more than 75% of the land for building only two storeys while the Jews utilize 300% and for 8 storeys:
Thus the end result was :
1. Fifty thousand Jerusalemite Palestinians were made to live outside the boundaries of the United Jerusalem Municipality.
2. Twenty-one thousand Jerusalemite children were not registered on their parents' identity cards.
3. Sixty percent of the Jerusalemite Palestinian families live below the poverty line.
4. Seventy percent of the Jerusalemite Palestinian children are below the poverty line.
5. 8.4 persons is the occupancy rate for a Jerusalemite Palestinian house compared to 3.6 persons for a Jewish house.
6. Six thousand residence permits have been confiscated from Jerusalemite Palestinians.
7. Two thousand Jerusalemite Palestinian houses have been demolished.
8. Only five thousand Palestinian Christians remain in Jerusalem compared to eighteen thousand five hundred Christians who were in the city when it was occupied in 1967.
V. The Catastrophe That Threatens The Aqsa Mosque
The ultimate aim of the Jewish religious extremists and Zionists is to demolish the holy Aqsa Mosque and the holy Dome of the Rock, so as to build the so-called "Temple" on their ruins. They have begun that since the day when the Israeli troops commanded by Mordachai Gor captured the Holy Haram in 1967. On that day he shouted twice from the wireless set he was holding : "The Temple Mount is in our hands!!" This process is being done within a series of methodically organized practices, frequent aggressions and carefully engineered plans in an attempt to underscore the religious legality of the "Jewish State", which was established on a racist and religious basis. Another motive lies in the Zionist Jewish belief that redemption and salvation of the Jews will only be accomplished through purging the Temple Mount of these two pagan buildings and rebuilding the alleged Temple on their site. They also believe that at that time their Messiah will come and destroy the Amalekites - the Palestinian Arabs - and liberate the Land of Israel (Palestine) from the aliens, and fight the kings of the earth in the battle of Megiddo in the north of the Palestinian coast where blood will be shed so profusely that it will flow as high as the reins of horses and extend to a distance that will go further than Damascus. The Jews' Messiah will win the battle and all nations will submit to him. He shall then set up the Kingdom of David, which will last for over one thousand years or may even last as much as six thousand years (which the Jews claim to be the life span of the entire creation).
This corrupt belief is not a mere fictitious dream that haunts the brain of a sick Jewish rabbi like Ovadia Yosef (the head of Shas) or the illusion of a military victory that dwells in the heart of a murder - addicted general like Sharon or a mere fantasy that preoccupies a deluded political leader like Netanyahu, but a deliberately calculated scheme that the Israeli governments have been trying to bring into reality since the aggression of 1967. This scheme is a goal of all Israeli governments regardless of whether they are leftist or rightist or religiously or secularly oriented, starting from Ben Gurion and ending up with Barak and from Begin up through Shamir. There are no basic differences between these governments except about the right timing and the right action that tallies with the perspective of each, and within the context of the political and military circumstances at the Jewish, Arab and international levels.
The following is a summary of the outrageous actions committed by Israelis against the Aqsa Mosque:
A. Massacres, Fires and Destruction
· Shlomo Gorin, the chief rabbi of the Israeli army, in 1967 asked General Uzi Narkis to blow up the Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock Mosque.
· The Australian Zionist Jew Michael Denis Rohan sat fire to the Aqsa Mosque on August 21, 1969, which led to the burning down of one third of the Mosque including the minbar (pulpit) of Nur al-Din that Salah al-Din had brought with him from Aleppo to be installed in the Aqsa after the liberation of Jerusalem from the Crusaders' hands.
· Dozens of Palestinians were injured by Israeli police as a result of the resistance of the Palestinians to the gang called the Trustees of the Temple Mount and the Kakh Gang led by Meir Kahana when they tried to force their way to the Aqsa Mosque on August 14, 1979.
· An armed band that consisted of Kiryat Arba' colonists tried to storm the Aqsa Mosque on March 2, 1982.
· The Temple Mount Trustees and Kahana's gang placed a fake bomb at one of the Aqsa Mosque gates with a timing set, a transistor and a threatening letter on April 8, 1982.
· The Israeli soldier, Harry Goldman, forced his way into the Aqsa and opened fire on worshippers killing two Palestinians and wounding sixty others on April 11, 1982.
· A final warning and threat to murder some of the Muslim waqf officials were sent by some Zionist gangs on May 20, 1982 if they were forbidden from performing their religious rites in the Aqsa Mosque.
· Yoel Lerner, one of Kakh gang members and leader of "the Living, the Ever Watchful" gang was arrested on July 25, 1982 when his plan to blow up the Dome of the Rock was discovered.
· On March 10, 1983 a cache of arms and sketches of the Aqsa Mosque were found at the house of Israel Ariel, the second - in - command of Meir Kahana's gang, and also in houses of other members. This was preceded by arresting a number of armed terrorists while they were trying to break through to the Marwani prayer place. On the same day an armed terrorist group was arrested dressed in Israeli military uniforms. They were trying to storm the Haram of Jerusalem from its southern side and to settle inside.
· On March 11, 1983 Jewish terrorists failed to storm the Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock in order to establish a Jewish religious center there.
· On March 12, 1983 Jewish terrorists dug a number of holes under the southern wall of the Aqsa Mosque with the intention of storming it.
· A horrible massacre was perpetrated by the Israeli forces on August 8, 1990 killing 22 worshippers and wounding two hundred others inside the Holy Haram.
· On September 24, 1996 sixty-two Palestinians were martyred and hundreds were wounded by Israeli troops in the Aqsa uprising after the Aqsa tunnel was opened.
· An attempt was made by Zionist terrorists to storm the Aqsa and seize the Mosque on June 20, 1997.
· Israeli troops broke into the Mosque, violated its sanctity and severely beat up a Palestinian who was inside the Mosque courtyards on August 26, 1998.
· On September 13, 1999 the Israeli government discussed plans to impose its hegemony on the Holy Haram through the installation of an electrified fence and electronic doors to replace the police guards.
· On October 30, 1999 it was revealed that the countdown had begun towards the destruction of the Aqsa Mosque.
· A former Israeli policeman was arrested on November 25, 1999. He was planning to carry out a terrorist operation in the Holy Haram.
· On September 28, 2000 Sharon made a very provocative "visit" to the Aqsa Mosque. Realizing how unwelcome the visit was to the Arab and Muslim side, he was surrounded with an escorting force consisting of about one thousand troops, policemen and border guards. The "visit" aimed at stressing Israeli control over the Mosque. The "visit" ended up with killing five Palestinians and wounding dozens of others. Thus, this triggered the second Intifadah (or Aqsa Intifadah) which has so far cost Palestinians 700 dead and tens of thousands wounded (thousands of them with permanent disabilities). More than 225 Jews were killed and 2000 wounded.
· On July 29, 2001 the "Temple" gang attempted to lay the "foundation stone" of the alleged Temple inside the Haram. The attempt was thwarted by the Muslims who suffered twenty causalities in the process.
B. Aggressions and Violations:
At the outset, the fanatic Israeli religious gangs whose known number total twenty-five (in addition to other groups and organizations) started with emphasizing the nomenclature of "Temple Mount" instead of the Aqsa Mosque. This was done after Israel had seized the Buraq Square and the Buraq Wall, which they called the Western Wall of the so-called Temple. These gangs adopted the following ways, means, and attempts to extract what they call "Jewish rights" to achieve the following goals :
· Visiting the Aqsa Mosque.
· Performance of individual prayers in the Aqsa.
· Performance of collective prayers in the same.
· Partition of the Aqsa.
· Building a synagogue there.
· Laying the foundation stone of the alleged
· Rebuilding the alleged Temple there.
· Destruction of the two holy Mosques; the Aqsa
and the Dome of the Rock.
To achieve these criminal designs these gangs and organizations staged scores of demonstrations, marches and attempts of forcible entry into the Mosque. They also tried to obtain rulings from Israeli courts that confirmed the "right" of the Jews to perform prayer rites and ceremonies inside the Haram. In this respect, one may notice that the police tried at first to ban the entry of those gangs and groups to the Haram and the courts used to reject their demands with the same purpose. But owing to the pressures mounted by prominent rabbis, and particularly the rabbis council of the West Bank colonial settlements, the security as well as the legal authorities began to gradually give way. The courts started to respond favorably to the gangs' petitions that have been receiving more sympathetic consideration from Israeli governments, which are now openly supporting their demands. Thus, a patent harmony is being noticed between those groups; the rabbis (the two Chief Rabbis in particular), the judiciary, governmental circles and the police.
Most prominent among these gangs (in addition to the "Temple Mount Trustees") are the "United Association of the Movements Working for the Temple" which in fact encompasses several splinters, "the Living, the Ever - Watchful" gang and the "Temple Mount Fund" that consists of American Jewish and Israeli gangs.
The Israeli government, courts and Jewish gangs have so far made the following on the road to their grand criminal design :
· Entry to the courtyards of the Aqsa Mosque : first as individuals and then collectively in groups like what happened on September 19, 1990.
· Silent performance of Jewish worship rites in the Aqsa main courtyards, which first took place on July 12, 1998.
· Consideration of measures to be taken for downsizing the Islamic presence in the Haram following a request by Barak, the former "leftist" Israeli prime minister. These demands and recommendations were published on April 6, 2001 after they were put before Sharon's government.
· Completion of the sketches and plans needed for building the synagogue in the Aqsa courtyard, which were presented to Prime Minister Sharon in April, 2001.
· Obtainment of a ruling from the Israeli High Court to the effect that the Jews have the "right" to lay the "foundation stone" of the so-called "Temple" inside the courtyard of the Aqsa Mosque. This was actually laid outside the Magharibah Gate on July 28, 2001.
· Completion of the building stones, tools, vessels utensils and other ritual requirements for building the "Temple".
· Barak formally opened the Khaldah Staircase on October 3, 1999 in the southern side of the Aqsa Mosque near the double door to facilitate entry to the Aqsa Mosque whenever needed or perhaps when the "Temple" is established.
· Early in July 2001, it was announced that the Buraq courtyard be lowered and deepened by six meters near the Western Wall. This, may have been done to lay down the groundwork and foundations needed for the construction of the "Temple" on that side in case the southern side was ruled out.
· For sometime, and at a site close to the Holy Haram, a three-dimensional model was displayed for building the "Temple" to replace the Aqsa Mosque. This can be seen on the internet.
· Several leaders of religious gangs and more than one rabbi have declared that the time is drawing near for the salvation of the Jews and building the so-called Temple, even if this leads to a world war.