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Israeli Government Targets Educational Institutions, Escalate Settlements Activities

Israeli settler violence – with IDF complicity – is becoming more and more commonplace, even targeting elementary schools. The government has also approved extensive Israeli settlement expansions and Jewish-only roads to be built on Palestinian land, which will result in isolation of Palestinian communities and loss of olive trees.

In addition, Jerusalem has seen an increase in extremist Jewish visits to the Al-Aqsa mosque.

By Madeeha Araj, The National Bureau for Defending Land and Resisting Settlements
Translation by If Americans Knew | November 14, 2018

School attacks and demolitions

In a clear violation of all laws and human rights principles, including the right to education and access to educational institutions, many Palestinian schools in the countryside and Bedouin communities were attacked by Israeli soldiers and settlers.

The Oref and Luban Sharqeia schools south of Nablus were attacked. 7 students were injured during the attack.

There were also shooting attacks by settlers and the Israeli occupation forces in the yard of Al-Tahadi 5 Elementary School in the village of Beit Ta’mir, east of Bethlehem, and the Tahadi 10 School in the Ibzik area in the occupied Northern Valleys. A number of caravans used as classrooms were destroyed.

The Israeli occupation forces handed down notices to demolish the Dabba Elementary school in Mafasser Yatta, south of Hebron, and to expel its teachers and students. They also hindered access to a school on Ramallah’s main Nablus Street.

Within the context, the racist “Rajavim Institution” filed a case in an Israeli court to demolish the Tahadi school in the area of ​​Beit Ta’mir, east of Bethlehem, which has been subjected to demolition since it was demolished on the first day of the scholastic year of 2016-2017. This racist institution is responsible for monitoring Palestinian homes in Area C, and it is always directing the Israeli Civil Administration to demolish houses and stop construction there.

Settlement expansions

At the same time, the Israeli occupation government escalated the open war against the Palestinian people. The Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee approved the construction of 640 new settlement units in the Ramat Shlomo settlement on Palestinian land in Shufat. It is located between Ramat Shlomo and Beit Hanina in Jerusalem.

Some of these lands were expropriated from the Palestinians under the pretext of using them as public areas.

The construction of those new settlement units will lead to the encirclement of the Palestinian neighborhoods adjacent to the settlement and their isolation from any natural demographic expansion or growth.

The administrative committee of the settlement of Ramat Shlomo said that the decision to establish 1,500 settlement units includes two entrances to the south and east of the settlement, in addition to expanding the northern road with St. 443, and the tendering of 640 settlement units,

The so-called Appeals Committee of the Israeli Planning Council in Jerusalem rejected projects submitted by Palestinian Human Rights organizations aimed at stopping excavations and digging tunnels in Silwan, while approving settlement projects that penetrate Palestinian neighborhoods.

During a closed discussion and without prior announcement, the committee responded to the Silwan “alternative project” As an alternative structural plan for the municipality of the occupation after an objection by the Alad settlement association. Alad oversees the so-called King’s Garden, and rejected the request to reveal the level of excavations under the town of Silwan – Wadi Hilweh and Al-Ain area, and considered that as out of its jurisdiction.

The committee also approved the linking of the settlement of Ramat Shlomo with bypass road 443 Modi’in – Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, on Route 21, which runs through the village of Shu’fat and isolates it from the thousands of dunums between St. 21 and 443 on the Jerusalem – Tel Aviv road.

Land seizure

In the Ramallah Governorate, the Israeli occupation forces seized 155 dunums of land in the western village of Laban to expand the settlement of Beit Aryeh, and open settlement roads to connect the settlements northwest of Ramallah into the settlement of Ariel in the West Bank Occupied West Bank.

There was also a decision to seize 2 dunum from Khallet al-Shamiya, 141 dunums from the village of Al Asfoura and 12 dunums from Masodiya area, with the aim of constructing the aforementioned bypass road to the settlement of Beit Aryeh.

In the Jordan Valley, the Israeli occupation forces seized 356 dunums of land near the village of Makhoul in the northern Jordan Valley, where one of the shepherds found the notification when he had his livestock in the area. Hr poinyrf out that the occupation placed the notification days ago at an electric columns feeding the army camps. The lands are located in four numbered basins 223, 224, 221 and 226.

The Israeli occupation forces have also put a number of notices at the olive farms that stated the uprooting trees within 45 days.

The lands belong to citizens Izat Ahmed Rashaida – 40 trees, Amer Hamil – 45 trees, Hassan Mahmoud Humil – 25 trees, Omar and Mah’d Saleh Sawafta – 150 trees. The trees are between 2-20 years old.

Settlers and Knesset members in Al-Aqsa mosque

Part of the occupation policy is aimed at providing personal security to the religious settler groups, who have been recently roaming the Old City, especially the roads leading to the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Moreover, the Israeli authorities have begun to expand the monitoring network around Al-Aqsa Mosque and the surrounding areas.

The agreement includes the planting of more than 500 smart monitoring cameras in a project called the “Kikra 2000.” Meanwhile the Israeli police allowed a number of Knesset members to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Police in Jerusalem, Major General Yoram Halevy, have quoted as saying: “If the situation continues the same in Al-Aqsa, restrictions on visits by members of the Knesset will be removed”.

In an attempt to legitimize the daily incursions of settlers by the Israeli government’s into the Al-Aqsa Mosque, PM Netanyahu allows Israeli right-wing members to break into the Aqsa once a month instead of one per 3 months. Thus Netanyahu allowed MK Shuli Maallem Raafaili of the far-right Jewish party to storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which the Israeli-Yemeni parties call it the Temple Mount.

This decision reflects the adoption of the recommendation of the Jerusalem District Commander, Yoram Halevy, to allow Knesset members to visit the area without any restrictions. For his part, Shuli Maalem, a member of the Israeli Knesset led a provocative incursion into the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and toured it. It is said that a similar storm led by the extremist rabbi, MK, Yehuda Glick of the blessed mosque and carried out tours throughout the mosque.

The National Bureau said that “the continued violation of the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque requires the intervention of the international community to pressure the occupation authorities to stop such acts and to abide by the provisions of international humanitarian law.”

November 17, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Israeli archaeologist denies Jewish ties to Al-Aqsa Mosque

MEMO | October 13, 2016

15hillary184An Israeli archaeological expert has asserted that there is no relation between the Western Wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and an ancient Jewish temple, Al Jazeera reported today. This will likely serve to undermine Israeli excavations of the site.

Meir Ben-Dov, an Israeli archaeological expert who is author of many books about Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, further asserted that the Wailing Wall, the Jewish name for the Western Wall, has no sacred significance in the Jewish faith.

In related news, UNESCO members are expected to vote on a resolution that denies Jewish links to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Western Wall, known as the Buraq Wall to Muslims, agencies reported on Thursday.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz said that the resolution is expected to pass by a large majority, referring this to the inability of Israeli lobbying to persuade UNESCO members not to support the resolution.

“Israel has made efforts to block the resolution or at least soften it, but succeeded only in swaying the positions of a few member states,” Haaretz stated.

The Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and Sudan pushed the draft resolution forward that declares that Jerusalem is holy for all the three Abrahamic religions of Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

The draft also includes a section that stresses that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is sacred only for the Muslims, referring to it as Al-Haram Al-Sharif, or the Sacred Sanctuary.

In April, UNESCO’s executive board ratified a similar resolution, which was supported by a number of European countries, including France.

However, after a “harsh” telephone call between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and French President Francois Hollande, France promised not to support any such resolution in the future.

October 13, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israeli official calls for occupying Damascus

MEMO – January 4, 2016

A senior Israeli official called on Saturday night for the occupation of the Syrian capital Damascus based on the teachings of the Jewish holy book the Torah, Felesteen newspaper reported.

During a TV show on the Israel’s Channel 2, Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset Bezalel Smotrich said that Israeli borders are beyond the current borders and Jerusalem’s borders reach Damascus based on the Torah.

Smotrich, member of the extremist Israeli party Jewish Home, suggested that Israel temporarily accept the current borders, which include the Golan Heights and the occupied West Bank, stressing that it has to work to achieve what was dictated by the Torah.

Meanwhile, the MK reiterated that the extremist Israeli settlers who burnt the home of the Palestinian Dawabsheh family were not terrorists. He said such acts are only considered a kind of terror when they are carried out by the “enemies of the Jewish people who are Arabs”.

He also called for the settlers’ leaders to control all the lands of the occupied West Bank, considering it Israeli land.

In addition, he stressed that anyone who does not accept Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank “must be expelled from this land,” adding that there are 20 Arab countries which can be their destination.

He went on to stress the importance of building a Jewish temple in place of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

January 5, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, War Crimes | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

US and Israel’s Insulting Solution to Restore Calm in Palestine

By Stephen Lendman | The Peoples Voice | November 1st, 2015

During his Senate years, no congressional member was more one-sidedly pro-Israeli than John Kerry. It shows in his current capacity, blaming Palestinian victims for Netanyahu’s high crimes.

It’s hard believing his latest scheme, concocted in cahoots with Israeli officials, their absurd way to restore calm in East Jerusalem – supposedly to show Israel won’t change its holy site status, a smokescreen showing nothing.

The proposed idea calls for installing round-the-clock security cameras on what Arabs call al-Haram al-Sarif, the Noble Sanctuary – what Jews call the Temple Mount. Longtime Israeli collaborator Mahmoud Abbas approved. So did Jordanian King Abdullah, both part of the problem, not the solution.

Israel will maintain full control over recorded footage, revealing or concealing whatever it wishes – easily able to produce fake footage to show what it wants, claiming it’s legitimate.

This scheme fools no one. Over the weekend, Kerry sounded buffoon-like, saying: “I am pleased that Prime Minister Netanyahu has reaffirmed Israel’s commitment to upholding the unchanged status quo of the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, both in word and in practice.”

He absurdly called installing cameras “a game-changer in discouraging anybody from disturbing the sanctity of this holy site. Netanyahu “reaffirmed” nothing, not now, earlier or ahead. Kerry’s remarks were willful deception.

Netanyahu and Abbas “expressed their strong commitment to ending violence and restoring calm as soon as possible,” he added – code language for wanting Palestinians to continue agreeing to be treated like dogs, leaving the deplorable status quo unchanged, victimizing an entire population, letting Israel continue stomping on it at its discretion.

PA Prime Minister Riyad al-Maliki blasted the camera-installing scheme, saying: “We are falling into the same trap once again. Netanyahu cannot be trusted. Who will monitor the screens of these cameras?”

“Who will record the movements of those worshipers wishing to enter? How will these cameras be employed, and will the recordings later be used to arrest young men and worshipers under the pretext of incitement?”

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said “(t)his is a despicable attempt by Netanyahu, with American collusion, to entrench the Zionist control of Al-Aqsa Mosque by granting the occupation the right to authorize and prohibit Muslims to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

He called Kerry’s statement “pathetic” – an attempt “to beautify the Zionist Judaizing project and rescue Netanyahu from the crisis he is in as a result of his racist, extremist policy.”

Maliki failed to explain the issue for Palestinians goes way beyond assuring the sanctity of Islam’s third holiest site. Longstanding occupation harshness is the root cause of justifiable popular anger – led by a new generation of youths, wanting fundamental freedoms everyone deserves.

The only way to stop daily violence and persecution in Palestine is by ending occupation and effectively challenging US imperial lawlessness.

Washington arms and funds Israel’s killing machine. Without its support, real change is possible. With it, longstanding state terrorism persists, Palestinians blamed for Israeli high crimes, on their own with no outside help against a ruthless occupier.

Kerry, Netanyahu, Abbas, and Abdullah changed the subject, ignored the fundamental issue vital to address equitably to change the destructive dynamic on the ground.

Courageous, justifiable Palestinian resistance won’t end until long abused people are free from repressive occupation.

The only solution is revolutionary change, justice for a long-suffering population too intolerable to accept any longer.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks World War III”.

November 1, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Misunderstandings About Jerusalem’s Temple Mount

By George Wesley Buchanan | Washington Report on Middle East Affairs | August 2011

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While it has not been widely published, it assuredly has been known for more than 40 years that the 45-acre, well-fortified place that has been mistakenly called the “Temple Mount” was really the Roman fortress—the Antonia—that Herod built. The Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque are contained within these walls. The area is called the Haram Al-Sharif in Arabic.

The discovery that this area had once been the great Roman fortress came as a shock to the scholarly community, which had believed for many years that this ancient fortress was the place where the temple had been. This news was preceded by another shock, when the English archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon discovered in 1962 that the entire City of David in the past had been only that little rock ridge on the western bank of the Kidron Valley. Less than 10 years later the historian Benjamin Mazar learned that the Haram had undoubtedly been the Roman fortress.

In biblical times the Haram was not a sacred place. Instead it was the place that Orthodox Jews considered defiled and the most despised place in the world. Within these walls were found no remnants of any of the earlier temples but rather an image of Mars, the Roman god of war. The 1st century Jewish Roman historian Titus Flavius Josephus said the Romans always kept a whole legion of soldiers (5,000-6,000) there, and that there were stones in its walls that were 30 feet long, 15 feet thick, and 71/2 feet high. While excavating the area, Mazar found these very stones there in the Haram—not in the temple.

He and the local Muslims also discovered there three inscriptions, honoring the Roman leaders in the war of A.D. 66-72—Vespasian, Titus, and Silva—and Hadrian in the war of A.D. 132-135, for their success in defeating the Jews in the wars. Appropriate inscriptions for a Roman fortress, but impossible for a temple that had been destroyed in A.D. 70—65 years before the inscriptions had been made. Mazar shared these insights freely with other participants in the excavation, such as Herbert Armstrong and Ernest Martin.

Mazar also knew at once that the temple instead was stationed 600 feet farther south and 200 feet lower in altitude, on Mount Ophel, where the Spring of Siloam poured tons of water under the threshold of the temple every minute (Ezek 47:1), after which the water was distributed wherever it was needed. This marvelous little City of David was unique in having running water 3,000 years ago. Aristeas, Tacitus and 1 Enoch tell of the inexhaustible spring water system that was indescribably well developed, gushing tons of water into the temple area for sacrifices. Hezekiah’s tunnel directed water under Mount Ophel to the Pool of Siloam.

Herod’s fortress, on the other hand, was unequipped for sacrifices, because it had only 37 cisterns to provide water in the Haram.

After two violent wars with Rome, the City of David was so completely destroyed that it could not be recognized as a city. The Roman emperor Hadrian decreed that it would be used as an area where the Upper City could dump trash and garbage. It continued in that condition for hundreds of years. The Upper City developed, and people forgot what a marvelous little city this had once been. They simply guessed where strategic locations in the City of David must have been in the Upper City. Of course, this was a normal mistake.

Now, 50 years after Kenyon’s discovery, scholars like Leen Ritmeyer, Eilat Mazar and Hershel Shanks have recently written books as if no one knew that the Haram was the Roman Fortress and that Solomon’s, Zechariah’s and Herod’s temples all were located near the Spring of Siloam. Tourists are still mistakenly told that the Haram is the Temple Mount, that David’s citadel is near the Jaffa Gate, and that Mount Zion and the place where the Last Supper was held are all in the Upper City.

Israel’s antiquities authority has been digging a tunnel from under homes in the Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan to the Western Wall Plaza. According to a recent “60 Minutes” interview, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat wants to create King’s Garden, a Bible-themed tourist park “adjacent to the City of David,” which requires demolishing 22 Arab homes in Silwan. The purpose of archeology is to provide archeological insights, of course, but excavations between the City of David and the old Roman fortress (the Haram) also have an anti-Arab political agenda.

It is not likely that a fourth temple will ever be constructed, either in the City of David or in the Haram. Israel already has diverted the water formerly used for sacrifices away from the former temple area and is making the City of David into a park. Orthodox Jews would oppose having a temple in Herod’s hated fortress. Jews had no interest in the Haram until after the Crusades, when they misunderstood that it was the Temple Mount. If the temple were ever built, it would have to be placed somewhere in the Upper City or a suburb of Jerusalem—not in its former site or in the old Roman Fortress.

Because innocent Evangelical Christians in America, under the guidance of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and John Hagee, have not been informed of these facts, they have thought there was some biblical or religious reason why it was necessary to destroy Islam’s third most sacred building in the world, together with the al-Aqsa mosque. It is my hope that, once Christians learn of this mistake, they will stop following Mars and Phineas (Num 25; Ps 106:30-31) and work as zealously for peace, following the teachings of Abraham, the 8th century prophets (Mica 6:8), Jesus, and Paul, as they once worked to promote war in the Middle East. This would make a tremendous difference to Jerusalem—and to the world.

George Wesley Buchanan has been a United Methodist minister since 1944 and a professor at a theological seminary since 1960, emeritus since he retired in 1991.

October 18, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Warmongering | , , , | 1 Comment

Jewish hate preacher issues ruling for prayers inside Al-Aqsa

MEMO | March 12, 2015

An extreme right-wing Jewish hate preacher has issued a ruling which urges Jews to hold their prayers inside Al-Aqsa Mosque. Rabbi Dov Lior is one of the most influential of the hard-line national-religious rabbis. He served as chief rabbi of the Kiryat Arba settlement near Hebron, home to mass-murderer Baruch Golstein, who massacred 29 Muslims while they were praying in Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque in 1994.

jewish-jews-al-aqsa-dome-of-the-rockFollowing Lior’s ruling, another extremist, Rabbi Jacob Heydimann, performed the Purim prayer inside the mosque compound with police protection. The mosque guards were removed by the Israeli police. The latest declaration encourages extremist Jewish groups who have increased their calls to enter Al-Aqsa by force and hold more prayers within the Noble Sanctuary.

Lawyer Aviad Visoli, who represented US-born Jewish extremist Yehuda Glick when he was banned by the police from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque, claimed that every Jew has the right to pray on the “Temple Mount” [Al-Aqsa Mosque compound]. “Praying there is no longer considered a legal violation after the Israeli Supreme Court ordered Glick to be paid half a million shekels in compensation for removing him from the Temple Mount [sic] for performing his biblical prayers there,” said Visoli. “The police must act to allow Jews to pray on the Temple Mount [sic] freely.”

It is on that basis, he added, that Lior has issued his latest ruling.

March 12, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel ‘destroyed’ Islamic archaeological sites in Silwan dig

Ma’an – 19/03/2014

JERUSALEM – The Israel Antiquities Authority has destroyed several ancient archeological sites and antiquities as a result of a controversial dig in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage said Tuesday.

The authority recently began the final stage of archaeological excavations at the site, which is located in the Wadi Silweh area only 20 meters from the walls of the Old City, the foundation said in a statement on Tuesday.

As a result of the excavations, several ancient Islamic archeological sites and antiquities have been destroyed, including a cemetery that dated back to the Abbasid caliphate.

Additionally, the dig has damaged relics that date back to the Jebusite Canaanite era in the second millenium BC, the Al-Aqsa foundation alleged.

The excavations are the continuation of an Israeli project to build a biblical park in the area alongside the City of David archaeological park, and will feature a “museum of Jewish history” and a “Jewish national park.”

The excavation site measures around six dunams (1.5 acres) and runs 20 meters deep in some places.

The excavations are connected by a network of tunnels that “the Israeli occupation has been digging under and around Al-Aqsa Mosque,” the statement said, pointing out that the third-holiest site in Islam is located only 100 meters from the site itself.

The foundation said that the Ir David Foundation — commonly known as Elad — is funding the excavations as part of a plan to build a seven-story building which will serve as a Jewish cultural center.

The excavation site is located on what used to be private Palestinian land owned by the Siyam family from Silwan. The land was confiscated by Israeli authorities for the dig.

Israel frequently permits excavations and archaeological digs in East Jerusalem, specifically around the Al-Aqsa mosque and in the Silwan neighborhood, that threaten the structural integrity of Palestinian homes and holy sites in the area.

Critics charge that the digs search for ancient Jewish ruins at the expense of existing homes, and that Israeli archaeologists often ignore and even damage non-Jewish artifacts.

In 1967, Israel demolished the 800-year-old Moroccan Quarter of Jerusalem, displacing 650 Palestinians and destroying numerous mosques, homes, and holy sites, in order to build a plaza in front of the Western Wall.

Israel also evicted around 6,000 Palestinians from nearby areas in order to massively expand the city’s historical Jewish Quarter.

The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.

March 19, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Most Jews want to perform Jewish rituals in Al-Aqsa Mosque

MEMO | March 13, 2014

jewish-jews-al-aqsa-dome-of-the-rockSome 78 per cent of religious Jews want to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque compared to only 18 per cent from the national Haredim, a new poll has revealed.

Published by Maagar Mohot and conducted in cooperation with the Temple Organisations, the survey showed that 45 per cent of secular Jews wanted to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque.

About 80 per cent of the national religious Jews believe that entering Al-Aqsa Mosque has to keep up with the teachings of Judaism, which stipulate carrying out religious rituals upon accessing certain places inside the mosque.

Regarding tourism visits to the mosque, the poll showed that 68 per cent of the national religious Jews want to enter Al-Aqsa as tourists, compared with 60 per cent of secular Jews and 20 per cent of Haredim.

The poll showed that 73 per cent of national religious Jews support building a Jewish temple in Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Commenting on the results of the poll, Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Islamic Heritage said that this reaffirms that all facets of Israeli society want to invade Al-Aqsa Mosque and build a Jewish Temple in its place.

March 14, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Al-Aqsa vs. Israel: The Lurking Danger Beneath

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While the danger of Al-Aqsa Mosque collapsing is very real, it is a representation of the mentality that rules Israel. (Photo: Mahfouz Abu Turk)
By Ramzy Baroud | Palestine Chronicle | March 12, 2014

Something sinister is brewing around and below al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem, and it has the hallmark of a familiar Israeli campaign to strip the Mosque of its Muslim Arab identity. This time around, however, the stakes are much higher.

The status of al-Aqsa mosque is unparalleled within the context of Muslim heritage in Palestine itself. It is also the third holiest Muslim shrine anywhere. But equally as important, it is a symbol of faith, resistance and defiance. Its story of struggle and perseverance goes hand in hand with the very modern Palestinian struggle for rights, freedom and identity. Praying at al-Aqsa at times seems like an impossible feat. Many Palestinians lost life or limbs simply trying to gain access to the mosque.

In a statement released on March 7, the Palestinian Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs said Israeli forces carried out 30 attacks against Al-Aqsa Mosque and other holy sites during the month of February alone. Most of the attacks targeted Al-Aqsa itself. While the recurring violations at Al-Aqsa were led by Jewish settlers, according to the statement, they have done so under the watchful eye, protection and support of the Israeli police and army.

Most alarming about these attacks is their political context, which indicates that a great degree of coordination is underway between politicians, security forces and Jewish settlers.

In anticipation of a Palestinian backlash, on March 04, an Israeli court sentenced Islamic leader Sheikh Rade Saleh to eight months in prison for ‘incitement’. The Sheikh is the most outspoken Palestinian leader regarding the danger facing Al-Aqsa. Why silence Sheik Saleh now when the attacks against al-Aqsa are at an all time high?

It was on February 25, 1994, that US-born Jewish extremist Baruch Goldstein stormed into the Ibrahimi Mosque in the Palestinian city of al-Khalil (Hebron) and opened fire. The aim was to kill as many Arabs as he could.

At that moment, nearly 800 Muslim worshipers were kneeling down during the dawn prayer in the holiest month of the Muslim Calendar; Ramadan. He killed up to 30 people and wounded over 120. Exactly 20 years later, the Israeli army stormed al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest Muslim site, and opened fire. The timing was no accident.

Like the rest of the West Bank, Al-Khalil is facing the dual challenge of armed Jewish settlers and Israeli occupation soldiers; the latter enforcing the military occupation, while providing further protection to the settlers. The settlers, extremists from the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba, often attack Palestinian residents of the town with complete impunity. Interestingly, many of Kiryat Arba settlers are Americans, as was Baruch Goldstein.

It was not enough that Israeli soldiers within the vicinity of the Ibrahimi Mosque allowed Goldstein – armed with a Galil rifle and other weapons – access to the mosque, but they opened fire on worshipers as they tried to flee the scene. Israeli soldiers killed 24 more and injured others. Goldstein, now a hero in the eyes of many in Israel, is often blamed solely for the massacre in al-Khalil. But in fact, it was a mutual effort between Goldstein and the Israeli army.

This symbiotic relationship between the army and settlers, which dates back to the early days of the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, continues.

While Israeli bulldozers dig into Palestinian land during the day, leveling mounds of ground and destroying olive groves for settlement expansion, heavy machinery burrows beneath the Old City of al-Quds, Jerusalem, at night. The Israelis are looking for evidence of what they believe to be ancient Jewish temples, presumably destroyed in 586BC and AD70. To fulfil “prophecy”, Jewish extremists believe that a third temple must be built. But of course, there is the inconvenient fact that on that particular spot exists one of Islam’s holiest sites: The Noble Sanctuary, or al-Haram al-Sharif. It has been an exclusively Muslim prayer site for the last 1,300 years.

The Noble Sanctuary, located in Jerusalem’s Old City, is the home of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. The site has been under constant threat, attacks, acts of arson and military violence for nearly five decades. The few Muslim clergy – belonging to the Islamic Trust which manages the area, along with the custodianship of Jordan – are mindful of the ever-lurking Israeli threat that oftentimes turns deadly. It was no surprise that late Israeli leader Ariel Sharon chose that exact place to carry out his proactive ‘tour’ of al-Aqsa compound in 2000. Many unarmed Palestinians, mostly worshipers, died on that day. Thousands more were lost in the following months and years as the entirety of the occupied territories and Palestinian towns inside Israel exploded with unprecedented fury. Sharon was later elected Prime Minister of Israel.

That same dangerous combination – rightwing politicians allied with religious zealots – is at work once more. They are eying Al-Aqsa for annexation, the same way the Israeli government is laboring to permanently annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank, to preclude any future settlement with the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas.

The Israeli Knesset (Parliament) chose the 20th anniversary of the Goldstein massacre of Palestinians in al-Khalil to begin a debate concerning the status of Al-Aqsa compound. Right-wingers – which constitute the bulk in the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – want the Israeli government to enforce its ‘sovereignty’ over the Muslim site, which is administered by Jordan per the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty of 1994. Israeli MP Moshe Feiglin, is the man behind the move, but he is not alone. Feiglin is a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, and has strong backing within the party, the government and the Knesset.

A major backer of Feiglin’s initiative is Miri Regev, also a far-right Likud member. Regev is demanding that the government establish separate prayer times for both Jews and Muslims in Al-Aqsa Compound. The model she wishes to duplicate is no other than the Ibrahimi Mosque. “We will reach a situation where the Temple Mount will be like the Cave of the Patriarchs, days for Jews and days for Muslims,” she said.

Of course, Regev omitted the fact that 20 years ago to the day, a Jewish extremist and Israeli troops killed and wounded hundreds of Palestinians kneeling for prayer.

On the next day following the Israeli government debate, a thundering sound was heard around 3 AM in the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood of Silwan, located south of the Old City of Jerusalem. Residents heard the “sounds of heavy duty machines digging under their houses throughout the night,” Ma’an reported. Then, a large wall suddenly collapsed, while a few houses sustained damage. The Israeli underground network of tunnels is growing, as some of these tunnels connect Wadi Hilweh to the Western Wall to Al-Aqsa.

While the danger of Al-Aqsa Mosque collapsing is very real, it is a representation of the mentality that rules Israel: one of annexation and military occupation, with no regard whatsoever to Palestine’s holiest site, also revered by over 1.6 billion Muslims around the world.

Ramzy Baroud is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author and the editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is “My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story” (Pluto Press, London).

March 13, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli police detain Palestinian woman near al-Aqsa Mosque

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Ma’an – January 13, 2014

JERUSALEM – Israeli police officers detained a young Palestinian woman Sunday morning as she tried to enter the al-Aqsa Mosque compound through the Chain Gate.

Witnesses told a Ma’an reporter that Hiba al-Taweel, a student who takes courses on Islamic teaching in the compound, was detained.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld was not familiar with the incident.

Separately, more than 30 Jewish Israelis led by right wing extremist Yehuda Glick toured the al-Aqsa compound on Sunday.

Yehuda Glick is an American-born Israeli and the chairman of the Temple Mount Heritage Fund, an extremist Jewish organization focused on “strengthening the relationship between Israel and the Temple Mount.” He has been previously banned by Israeli authorities from entering the compound due to provocations while on the site.

Critics charge that the Fund actually leads tours to the site with the intention of leading Jewish prayer there — currently banned under Israeli agreements — and encouraging Jews to destroy the Al-Aqsa mosque and build a Jewish temple there.

Because of the sensitive nature of the Al-Aqsa compound, Israel maintains a compromise with the Islamic trust that controls it to not allow non-Muslim prayers in the area. Israeli forces regularly escort Jewish visitors to the site, leading to tension with Palestinian worshipers.

The compound, which sits just above the Western Wall plaza, houses both the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa mosque and is the third holiest site in Islam.

It is also venerated as Judaism’s most holy place as it sits where Jews believe the First and Second Temples once stood. The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.

According to mainstream Jewish religious leaders, Jews are forbidden from entering for fear they would profane the “Holy of Holies,” or the inner sanctum of the Second Temple.

Al-Aqsa is located in East Jerusalem, a part of the internationally recognized Palestinian territories that have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.

January 13, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hamas: Any peace treaty with Israel is not binding for the Palestinian people

Palestine Information Center – December 5, 2013

GAZA — Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahhar said that any conciliatory agreement resulting from the current negotiations between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the occupation is non-binding for the Palestinian people.

Zahhar made his remarks during a special session held on Wednesday by the Palestinian legislative council to discuss the report that was submitted by its political committee on the negotiations between the PA and the Israeli occupation regime.

Zahhar called for forming a national front opposing the peace negotiations with the occupation and addressing their detrimental impacts on Palestinian rights and constants.

“The Palestinian negotiators are illegitimate, they neither represent the national consensus nor have the majority that allows them to speak on behalf the Palestinian people,” the Hamas official stated.

He affirmed that the Fatah faction took the Palestinian cause to a dangerous level in its negotiations with the Israeli occupation and waived many Palestinian rights, noting that the results of the negotiations had been settled in advance by the US sponsor in favor of the occupation.

Fatah chose to obey America in order to protect its presence as a representative of the people and insure financial support, he stressed.

Continuation of negotiation condemned

Dr. Ismail Radwan, Minister of Religious Affairs in Gaza, condemned the continuation of negotiation between Israeli and Palestinian authorities despite the national consensus on its rejection.

During his participation in a workshop concerning the current Palestinian situation, Radwan said that the Palestinian situation is “painful” in light the continued detention of thousands of Palestinian behind Israeli bars, escalated Judaization schemes, and security coordination between Israeli and Palestinian forces, in addition to the Islamic nations preoccupation with their internal problems.

Radwan praised the workshop, which contained participants from all Palestinian political parties, considering it a contribution to national reconciliation.

English: The Al Aqsa Mosque

Radwan pointed to the Israeli settlers’ escalated break-ins into al-Aqsa mosque under Israeli forces’ protection in total disregard of Muslims’ feelings and freedom of religion.

He said that the continued Israeli violations in al-Aqsa Mosque aim at imposing a new fait accompli in al-Aqsa Mosque and toward building their alleged Temple on its ruins, stressing that what is happening to Jerusalem is a shame on leaders of the Islamic nations.

He praised the steadfastness of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem who continue to defend al-Aqsa Mosque.

Radwan said that the unfair Israeli siege on Gaza aims at undermining Palestinian resistance, praising Gazan people’s steadfastness.

Radwan called on the Fatah movement to implement Doha and Cairo agreements that stipulate the formation of a national unity government and achieving national reconciliation.

Commenting on a statement by one of the participants, Radwan stressed that resistance is a “red line”, adding that it is a strategic option for the Palestinian people.

Freedom is guaranteed to all Palestinian people under the rule of law, he finally said in response to a question by one of the participants.

December 6, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Calls for dividing Al-Aqsa temporally and spatially between Muslims and Jews

Palestine Information Center – 05/11/2013

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowments and Heritage said Israeli groups seek to enact laws and regulations aiming at partitioning the Aqsa Mosque between Muslims and Jews, and defining times and areas where collective and individual Jewish prayers can be held.

The Foundation said in a statement that Israeli ministers, MKs and party members, in addition to Israeli organizations and decision-makers, are seeking to reach a political and religious consensus to change the status quo in the Aqsa Mosque, and turn it into a Jewish holy site under the occupation authority.

It stated that the Knesset Interior Committee held a session on Monday in this regard, attended by Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Eli Ben Dahan who called on the new “Chief Rabbinate” to issue an advisory opinion allowing Jews to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

For her part, the head of the Knesset Interior Committee, Likud party member Mary Rigab, pointed out that the aim of holding the consecutive sessions is to enact regulations that will define the times and areas where Jewish prayers will be held in the “Temple Mount”, regardless of the opinion of the “Chief Rabbinate”, and regardless of the threats of a third intifada.

November 5, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , , , , | Leave a comment