Palestine, Mar 12: Israeli settlers have sealed a mosque in the Old City of the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds, a month after a United Nations report revealed that violence and vandalism committed by Israelis against Palestinians and their property have increased since the beginning of this year.
According to a report by the Palestinian Ma’an news agency on Monday, Israeli settlers spread an adhesive substance mostly on the lock of the door of Sheikh Makki Mosque earlier in the day, virtually making the door sealed shut.
The report, citing those responsible for maintaining the mosque, said the police were immediately informed of the incident and later on the substance was removed with some effort and the door reopened before taking some pictures of what was described as an act of vandalism against Muslims.
Last month, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a report, which covered the period from January 29 to February 11 this year, showed a weekly average of seven Israeli attacks resulting in injuries or property damage compared to an average of five in the same period in 2018 and three in 2017.
It said that the Israeli settlers also attempted to torch a local mosque in Deir Dibwan Village in Ramallah during the period.
According to the report, 425 Palestinian-owned trees had also been vandalized by Israeli settlers in three separate incidents in al-Khalil (Hebron) in the southern West Bank and in Jalud Village in Nablus, located in the northern West Bank.
Separately, Israeli settlers punctured the tires of 14 Palestinian-owned vehicles, spray-painted racist graffiti in al-Lubban al-Sharqiya and Huwwara villages, south of Nablus, and in al-Khalayleh, near the Jerusalem al-Quds district, the OCHA’s report further said.
About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.
Israel’s continued settlement expansion on Palestinian territories has been a major sticking point in Israeli-Palestinian talks, which have stalled since 2014.
Israeli settlers seal mosque in al-Quds amid rise of violence against Palestinians