Border Police enter Issawiya in East J’lem; 3 injured, 2 arrested

Israeli border police (Magav) injured three Palestinian residents of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya today, according to village sources. Magav also arrested two Palestinian residents of Issawiya, including lawyer Shireen al Issawi. 

For reasons that were not immediately clear, border police reportedly attempted to enter the al Issawi residence, which, Maan News Agency reports, is home to Samir al Issawi, who was released in the prisoner exhange that freed Gilad Schalit. Laila al Issawi, Samir’s mother, blocked the doorway and her daughter Shireen informed the Magav that they could not enter without a warrant. The border police reportedly pushed Laila al Issawi out of their way–causing the woman to fall and hit her head against the wall– and beat Shireen al Issawi. Both Shireen al Issawi and her brother, Samir al Issawi, were arrested. Due to their injuries, Shireen al Issawi and her mother were taken to the hospital.

Rami Bardawi, also a resident of Issawiya, was reportedly struck by a tear gas canister. At the time of writing, he was at a local hospital, waiting to be examined.

Today’s incident points to escalating tensions in the East Jerusalem neighborhood.

Israel hopes to use part of the village’s privately-owned lands for a national park; Israeli forces have gone to the neighborhood twice in recent weeks and attempted to make way for construction. When Israeli forces arrived last week with bulldozers, Palestinian and Jewish Israeli activists attempted to protest. Five Jewish Israelis and one Palestinian were detained and released.

A Jerusalem court has since issued an injunction ordering the state to stop construction until there is a decision in the residents’ suit against the national park, which is expected to be heard in the Supreme Court.

A version of this post first appeared on the Alternative Information Center’s website.