Israeli Forces Assault Palestinian Worshipers

Israeli Forces Assault Palestinian Worshipers

by Stephen Lendman ( – Home – Stephen Lendman)

The Al-Aqsa Mosque is Islam’s third holiest site after Mecca’s Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina.

After closing Al Aqsa last Friday in response to lethal shootings of three Palestinians and two police officers, Israel gradually re-opened what never should have been closed in the first place – an insult to Muslims worldwide.

Instead of apologizing for the affront, what Israel would never do about anything relating to Palestinian rights, unacceptable metal detectors were installed at the compound’s entrances.

Netanyahu ordered them, late Saturday saying “I instructed that metal detectors be placed at the entrance gates to the Temple Mount. We will also install security cameras on poles outside the Temple Mount which give almost complete control over what goes on there.”

Most Palestinians reject Israel’s actions, praying outside the mosque instead of accepting the insult to their dignity and religious rights.

The Waqf Islamic endowment running Al-Aqsa rejected Israeli-installed metal detectors. Al-Aqsa director Sheikh Omar-Kiswani called the action “a dangerous and unprecedented move to impose (Israeli) control over” the mosque and compound.

Over the weekend, Israeli security forces attacked Palestinian worshipers outside the compound. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society reported four Palestinians arrested, 18 others injured.

Tensions are high over fears that Israel intends changing the status quo in Jerusalem, as well as at the mosque and compound.

Since Friday, dozens of worshipers and Waqf employees were lawlessly detained, along with Jerusalem grand mufti Sheikh Mummad Hussein, the highest Palestinian religious figure. Hours later he was later released.

On Monday, a statement he co-signed along with the Waqf council chairman urged Palestinians to go to Al-Aqsa to pray, along with joining the boycott of Israeli-installed metal detectors.

“If metal detectors continue to be imposed as the only way to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque, we urge our people to continue to perform prayers in front of the gates or in the streets and alleys of Jerusalem,” the statement said.

Hamas called Israel’s action an intent “to tighten (its) grip on Al-Aqsa,” stressing “(t)hese unprecedented measures will not be successful.”

“They will fail to provide security for the Zionists and fail to strip our people of their right to Al-Aqsa Mosque and the right to pray freely inside it.”

On Sunday, PA officials met to discuss Israel’s unacceptable actions – achieving nothing beyond saying the status of Al Aqsa and Jerusalem’s Old City should remain unchanged, opposing Israel’s move but doing nothing to challenge it.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights denounced Israel’s affront, calling it “part of (its) policies applied to create a Jewish majority in the City, and part of (its illegal) collective punishment policy in the Palestinian territory.”

Unaccountable occupation harshness terrorizes Palestinians daily, the cross they bear for being Muslims in an apartheid Jewish state.

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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

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