09.03.18 | Jerusalem, Issawiya. | Residents conduct Friday prayers on the road in protest

Issawiya Night Raids

Residents of the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya pray on the road in protest. Israeli military and police stand in the background, watching and filming the participants. The entrances to Issawiya are subject to closure as a means of collective punishment. Blockading entire communities for crimes such as stone-throwing is a signature practice of the occupation. Another is raiding homes before dawn – the night before the protest, the army had taken seven people. The night before that: six. The record, from last October, stands at 51 people in one night. Muhammed has been taken before, many times. The community leader walks with a crutch after catching an Israeli bullet at a protest four years ago. He spent eight years in Ashkelon prison in the 90’s, where he cooked falafel for Mordechai Vanunu, the nuclear whistle-blower held in solitary confinement. “Every day, we shouted good morning to him in Hebrew.” Muhammed cannot count the number of times the soldiers have raided his home. But he knows they usually come after two in the morning. I asked if this frightens him. He shrugged; “Is the city afraid of the sea?”

09.03.18 – Jerusalem, Issawiya. Israeli security forces watch over residents praying on the road in protest.

09.03.18 – Jerusalem, Issawiya. Two boys at Friday protest.