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15 Jul, 2013

Fanatic Jewish settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque Complex


Ramallah, 15 July 2013 (IINA) – A group of fanatic Jewish settlers yesterday stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque Complex in occupied Jerusalem for prayers, a Palestinian official said. Sheikh Najeh Bkeirat, the Al-Aqsa Mosque Complex manager, said that 180 settlers, including 18 rabbis, entered the compound through the Al-Magharebah gate.

Bkeirat added that settlers walked around the Al-Aqsa Mosque plaza under the heavy guard of Israeli police and Border Guard officers. The group started provoking the Muslim worshippers. The official said that the almost daily storming of Islam’s third holiest shrine is part of the Israeli measures to Judaize what has been left of Jerusalem “by intensifying the Jewish presence in it.” He warned that “the visits of Jewish settlers during the blessed month of Ramadan may provoke Muslims.”

The development comes two weeks after Rabbi Yaakov Medan of Har (Mount) Etzion seminary said that the Israeli internal intelligence service Shin Bet supports the visits.

“The Shin Bet Jewish Division Director told me that Jewish presence on the Temple Mount (Al-Aqsa Mosque complex) is essential for maintaining our sovereignty. He told me that in order to accommodate this trend he would increase the number of agents and security personnel on the Temple Mount,” Medan told participants in the Begin Center Conference on the complex on Friday.

Several Jewish rabbis say that the Halacha (Jewish religious law) forbids Jews to ascend to the complex, both because of its sanctity and because of the political repercussions their presence may have. Palestinian Minister of Awqaf and Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash urged the Palestinian people to intensify their presence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque Complex during Ramadan despite Israeli restrictions.

On the same day, fanatic Israeli settlers  attacked a house belonging to a 65-year-old Palestinian and located in an area in central of ‘Gush Etzion’ settlement compound, south of Bethlehem, according to security sources.

They told the Palestinian news agency WAFA that a group of settlers from illegal ‘Gush Etzion’ settlement compound attacked at dawn the house of Salah Shaheen, 65, with stones and empty glass bottles, causing financial damage to the house and spreading panic and fear among the house residents.

Palestinians living in the mentioned area in the central of the settlement compound are constantly subjected to settlers’ harassments in an aim to force them to leave their land in order to seize it for the benefit of settlement expansion.

Also on July 15, the WAFA news agency reported, life in the Arab sector inside Israel came to a standstill Monday heeding calls by the Arab Follow-Up Committee to observe a general strike in all sectors to protest what was described as an Israeli government ethnic cleansing plan aimed at evicting thousands of Bedouins from their land in the Naqab desert, south of Israel, which will eventually be expropriated.

The so-called Praver Bill, which calls for the eviction of the Arab Bedouins from their land and to concentrate them in certain areas, and which will allow the government to take over their land, passed a first reading in the Israeli parliament causing great alarm and charges of ethnic cleansing among the two million indigenous Arab population in Israel.

The Follow-Up Committee also called for 15 protests during the day in the major Arab cities in Israel with the main protest taking place in Beer Sheba in the Naqab.

The protests are reminiscent of the 1976 Land Day protests where thousands of Arabs in Israel demonstrated in various cities, but mainly in the Galilee, against similar Israeli plan to expropriate their land. Six Arabs were killed in the clashes with the Israeli police on that day.