Israel to Divide Issawiya Neighborhood from Rest of Jerusalem

JERUSALEM, October 19, 2015 (WAFA) – The Israeli authorities last night began installing a security fence that disconnects the neighborhood of Issawiya, just northeast of Jerusalem, from the rest of the city, according to media sources.

Witnesses said Israeli security forces started to unload huge concrete blocks and barbed wires to separate Issawiya from the adjacent Sur Bahir neighborhood, as well as from the nearby illegal settlement of Armon Hanatziv.

Since early morning, there has been a huge traffic jam in the area due to the Israeli measure, and civil servants and students reported facing a series of obstacles reaching their workplace or schools.

Local Palestinians also complained that by installing these barriers between the neighborhood and nearby areas, Israel is turning Issawiya it into a big prison.

Israeli police also set checkpoints at the entrances of the neighborhood in the morning, and are provocatively searching and investigating passengers, according to Wadi Hilweh Information Center.

This comes a day after Israeli forces began installing a large concrete wall separate to Palestinian neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukabbir from the illegal Israeli settlement of Armon Hanatziv.

A few days ago, the Israeli cabinet announced that Israeli police would be entitled to ‘impose a closure on, or to surround, centers of friction and incitement in Jerusalem, in accordance with security considerations.’

The cabinet also approved the revocation of residency status for Palestinians who carry out attacks on Israeli targets.

Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has called the Israeli government’s response to recent escalation in the area as ‘the very inverse of what ought to be done’ toward ending the violence.

‘The events of recent weeks cannot be viewed in a vacuum, isolated from the reality of the ongoing, daily oppression of four million people, with no hope of change in sight,’ the group said in a statement last week.

At least 44 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in violence that has escalated since the beginning of October.