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Israel’s Religious War On Jerusalem Condemned

The State Of Palestine Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Tamer Almassri has condemned the latest attacks by Israeli forces on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem which left hundreds of people injured.

The Islamic endowment that runs the site said Israeli police entered in force before dawn on Friday, as thousands of worshippers were gathered at the mosque for early morning prayers.

Ambassador Almassri accused Israel of igniting a religious war in occupied Jerusalem.

“Despite it currently being the blessed month of Ramadan, which is observed by about two billion Muslim people around the world, Israel has tried to provoke the Muslim people’s emotions once again.

“Israel is permitting extremist Zionist settlers to try and change the status quo in the Al-Aqsa mosque and East Jerusalem,” Ambassador Almassri said in a statement.

Videos circulating online showed Palestinians throwing rocks and police firing tear gas and stun grenades. Others showed worshippers barricading themselves inside the mosque amid what appeared to be clouds of tear gas.

It was the most serious violence at the holy site in nearly a year. Palestinians view any large deployment of police at Al-Aqsa as a provocation.

“Israel is imposing restrictions on the Muslims in Jerusalem and the West Bank by preventing them from visiting the Al-Aqsa mosque in order to perform their prayers and religious rites in the third most important mosque of the Islamic world and the first official Qibla,” he stated.


According to the international law and UN resolutions, Ambassador Almassri further stated,  the existence of these extremist Zionist settlers in East Jerusalem and the West Bank is illegal,

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“Nevertheless, these extremists possess full support from the Israeli apartheid government and its military and security apparatus.

“Since the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, they announced their intention to perform their sacrificial rites in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa mosque and to tarnish the Dome of the Rock and the walls of the mosque with the blood of their sacrifices. This ritual, in their false mythical beliefs, is considered to be the first step toward destroying the Al-Aqsa mosque and building their alleged Temple in its place,” he said.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians were expected to gather at Al-Aqsa for Friday afternoon prayers as Muslims observe the holy month of Ramadan.

Friday is considered to be a sacred day for the Muslims, especially in the month of Ramadan.

The mosque was later re-opened and some 60,000 people attended the main Friday prayers midday, according to the Waqf, the Islamic endowment that administers the site.

However, Israeli forces arrested four hundred and seventy-six Palestinians, including women and children, and  caused injury to one hundred and fifty-seven civilians, tens of those injured are in critical condition.

The crisis was further exacerbated as the Israeli security forces prevented paramedics from aiding the injured, according to Ambassador Almassri.

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“This behaviour does not only increase the rage amongst the Palestinian people but also within the entire Islamic world. Merely stating concern over the Israelis’ aggressive behaviour is not enough. What is required is decisive deterrent measures against the Israeli apartheid occupation regime,” he stated.

He vowed that the Palestinian people will continue to defend the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem and occupied Palestine.

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Multi-award winning journalist/photojournalist with keen interests in politics, youth, child rights, women and development issues. Follow Lovejoy On Twitter @L_JayMut

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