JERUSALEM, April 3 (JMCC) – Palestinians prepared Saturday morning for the traditional Easter processional into the Church of the Holy Sepulcher amidst fears of clashes with Israeli police. Jerusalem
has been the site of a heavy police cordon since the start of the Passover holiday last week. Palestinian officials said they had managed to coordinate the entry into Jerusalem of five buses of Palestinian Christians from the West Bank
, but otherwise a closure preventing the entry of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip
remained in effect.
On Friday, some 200 protesters, including internationals and Israelis, demonstrated in the Sheikh Jarrah
neighborhood of Jerusalem
. The protesters waved banners calling for an end to the growing settler presence in the area occupied by Israel
Once the protesters dispersed, 89-year-old Nadia al-Kurd was taken to the hospital after settlers attacked her. The family filed a complaint with police, saying that the attack had been photographed.
The al-Kurd family was evicted from their Sheikh Jarrah home last year after a court ruled that the property belonged to Jews.
Settler organizations were seen throughout Jerusalem over the Passover week, collecting donations for expanding their presence in and around the Old City. There are currently some 70 settler outposts within the walled city, and an additional 40 outposts in the surrounding neighborhoods of Silwan
, Ras al-Amoud and Sheikh Jarrah.
Posters advertised support for “Beit Yonaton,” a settler home in Silwan that has been issued with a demolition order for illegal construction. Some 200 Palestinian homes in the same area have similar orders, but the municipality is seeking a compromise solution that would allow the lone settler home to remain in place.