[News] Tension builds in Jerusalem as settlers threaten to invade the Al Aqsa mosque
news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Apr 15 11:00:08 EDT 2009
Tension builds in Jerusalem as settlers threaten to invade the Al Aqsa mosque
Wednesday April 15, 2009 17:00
by Ghassan Bannoura - IMEMC News & Agencies
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Tension is mounting in the old city of Jerusalem as Israeli settlers
and right-wing groups announced on Wednesday that they are planning
to invade the courtyard of the Al Aqsa mosque some time on Thursday.
Local sources in Jerusalem report that Israeli police and army have
brought reinforcements into the old city to deal with any trouble.
Palestinian NGOs and religious leaders have called upon Palestinians
to come to the Al Aqsa on Thursday to foil the settlers.
The settlers say they will hold a rally in the old city on Thursday
to mark the end of the Passover holidays. Israeli media sources
report that the rally maybe the largest since Israeli occupied the
city of Jerusalem in 1967.
Tension has been rising since Tuesday when Israeli police ordered two
Palestinian families to leave their homes in the Sheikh Jarah
neighborhood, near the old city.
The homes are owned by the Al Ghawi and Hannon families. Sheikh
Jarah is a predominantly Palestinian neighborhood. The Palestinians
living there were originally refugees from the 1948 war. During the
1950s the Jordanian government granted them rights over the land.
Israeli settlers claim the land was formerly owned by Jews before the
creation of Israel. In late 1970s settlers applied to the Israeli
high court which ruled in their favor.
Palestinian families living there managed to acquire documents from
the Ottoman Archives in Ankara which show that the land was
previously owned by Palestinians. However the Israeli courts refused
to recognize their validity.
Both the Al Ghawi and Hannon families appeared in court last week to
appeal the Israeli government's decision but were unsuccessful.
Since Thursday, international and Palestinian supporters have
gathered at both the homes to show solidarity with the two families.
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