Middle East Monitor / February 25, 2020
Last week in a dawn raid, Israeli police shut down a 60-year-old Palestinian bakery and arrests the owner’s son in the Old City of occupied Jerusalem.
According to local sources, police forces stormed the Bab Hitta area in the Old City and shut down the bakery, owned by the Abu Snaina family. The son of the owner, Naser Abu Snaina, was arrested during the incident.
A video released on the Facebook page of Wadi Hilweh Information Centre, a Silwan-based watchdog, shows footage of the closed bakery shop in the Bab Hitta neighbourhood, named after one of the doors leading to Al-Aqsa Mosque; the Gate of Remission.
It has been alleged that the reason for the forced closure was that the bakery had been providing baked goods to Palestinian worshippers headed to Al-Aqsa Mosque to pray. The bakery was ordered to cease providing ka’ak, an oval shaped bread with sesame seeds to the worshippers. IMEMC News explained that many Palestinians think of ka’ak as “the essence of Palestine”, and the smell of the sesame bread fills the streets of Jerusalem in the early morning hours.
The Israeli municipal authorities did not say why it was a problem for the bakery to be distributing ka’ak to worshippers, but Palestinian analysts say that it appears to be part of the ongoing campaign against the mosque and the people who pray there and could be related to the bakery distributing ka’ak to worshippers during the “Great Dawn” campaign across the West Bank, when unprecedented numbers of Palestinians turning out for the dawn prayers as a new alternative to protesting against the so-called “deal of the century” endorsed by the administration of US President Donald Trump and Israeli plans to annex the whole of the occupied West Bank.
Last week footage also circulated on social media showing Israeli soldiers attacking an elderly Palestinian woman for handing out chocolates to worshippers as they attended Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque.