Why is East Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate a Hotspot for Tensions?
Damascus Gate is a center of Palestinian cultural life, but Israeli forces regularly attack Palestinians in the plaza.
The Damascus Gate, or Bab al-Amud – as it is known in Arabic, has re-emerged as a flashpoint between Palestinians and Israeli forces in occupied East Jerusalem.
Since the start of Ramadan on April 2, Israeli forces, including undercover units, have assaulted and arrested Palestinian residents in the Damascus Gate area on an almost daily basis. Hundreds of others were arrested from Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
Similar scenes were documented last Ramadan during protests against Israeli attempts to forcibly displace Palestinians in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood and Israel’s 11-day war on Gaza.
The Damascus Gate is an Ottoman-era plaza, which has been in its current form since 1537. It is the largest of the seven open gates to Jerusalem’s Old City, which lies in East Jerusalem.
Israel militarily occupied the Palestinian-majority East Jerusalem during the 1967 war and annexed it in breach of international law. The majority of countries around the world do not recognise Israeli sovereignty in East Jerusalem and consider it occupied territory.
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