Adalah to Israeli attorney general, national police chief: End violent police incursions into Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound immediately

Israeli police employing excessive force and extreme violence, wounding hundreds of Palestinian worshipers and emergency medical staff; Israeli police also blocking Palestinian worshipers from traveling to Al-Aqsa Mosque during Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel sent an urgent letter this evening, Saturday, 8 May 2021, to senior Israeli officials demanding they immediately order Israeli police forces to halt their violent incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and refrain from excessive violence against Palestinian worshippers and emergency medical staff in and around the site, located in the Old City of Jerusalem, which have wounded hundreds.


In his urgent letter to Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and Israeli Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai, Adalah Attorney Wesam Sharaf stressed that the Israeli police incursions into the mosque compound, and the use of extreme violence and deadly weapons against Palestinian worshipers and medical staff is illegal, endangers the lives of worshipers, and violates their right to freedom of worship.


Adalah also demanded that Israeli police reopen the roads to Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque immediately to allow Palestinian worshippers to access the area as Muslims mark Laylat al-Qadr tonight.


CLICK HERE to read the letter [Hebrew]


“There is no need to overstate the constitutional status of the right to worship,” Adalah Attorney Sharaf wrote in the urgent letter. “The [Israeli police’s] dispersal of prayer sessions using excessive force and disproportionate and abusive means constitutes a grave violation of the constitutional right of worshipers to freedom of worship, in a manifestly disproportionate manner. The [Israeli] police exceed their authority when they disperse prayers sessions – particularly during the month of Ramadan – while making use of exceptional methods.”


Adalah also stressed that the Israeli police’s documented use of life-threatening weaponry and harm of emergency medical personnel is a violation of international law.


Adalah commented:


“Rather than protecting Palestinian worshipers and their right to freedom of worship, Israeli police are aiding extremist Israeli settlers sowing violence and fear among the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem and visiting Muslim worshippers. If there is not an immediate about-face in the Israeli police handling of the situation, bloodshed and further harm to innocent people may well be expected during tonight’s marking of Laylat al-Qadr."


CLICK HERE to read the letter [Hebrew]