Human Rights Watch condemned the measures, calling them a “recipe for harassment and abuse.”
“Locking down East Jerusalem neighborhoods will infringe upon the freedom of movement of all Palestinian residents rather than being a narrowly tailored response to a specific concern,” it said in a statement.
The police lockdown comes after what reports said was the most violent day since Israel began imposing controversial new rules on the al-Asqua Mosque compound late last month, setting off a new wave of protests against the occupation, which have been met with brutal force.
As Brad Parker, an attorney and international advocacy officer with Defense for Children International, wrote Tuesday, the recent relaxing by the Israeli government of “live-fire” rules has given Israeli police a “green light” to use live ammunition against Palestinian stone throwers, who are mostly youths—amounting to what he says is effectively a “war on Palestinian children.”
Since that time, 366 Palestinians have been shot with live fire, 932 with rubber-coated steel bullets, and 2,365 have been injured by tear gas, according to the Red Crescent. Dozens of Israelis have also been injured, mainly in rogue stabbing attacks.
However, as critics have noted, much of the mainstream media reporting has focused on the violence against Israeli citizens and have either neglected to include the context of the ongoing occupation or have buried the significant number of Palestinian fatalities.
Yousef Munayyer, the executive director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, told Al Jazeera that news outlets that fail to disclose “the conditions that Palestinians live under that is really fueling the resentment and the anger that is leading so many of these young Palestinians to take actions themselves in these way — in stabbings, in protests” are failing to provide their audiences with information vital to making sense of tragic events.
International protests in solidarity with Palestinians are planned for this coming weekend.
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