[News] Thousands arrive in Jerusalem to protect Al Aqsa Mosque from a major threat by Israeli settlers

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Apr 16 13:18:41 EDT 2009

Thousands arrive in Jerusalem to protect Al Aqsa 
Mosque from a major threat by Israeli settlers

16.04.09 - 10:29

PNN exclusive /  Maisa Abu Ghazaleh – Jerusalem 
is on high alert Thursday as Israeli settlers 
threaten to storm Al Aqsa Mosque. The Palestine 
Liberation Organization, religious and cultural 
institutions and NGOs have issued calls to 
Palestinians to fill the Muslim holy site in protection.

Israeli police and soldiers are filling the 
streets wearing riot gear and carrying heavy 
arms. Horses, jeeps and police cars are 
patrolling the streets. Palestinians are being 
blocked access to the city. Most of those able to 
arrive are coming from within Israeli boundaries (’48 Palestine).

The occupying Israeli administration announced 
last night it would impose restrictions on the 
entry of Muslim worshippers into Al Aqsa Mosque, 
among the most holy sites in the world for Islam.

A declaration was issued by Jewish communities 
and organizations to storm Al Aqsa Mosque and 
perform Jewish religious services inside the 
Muslim holy site. Israeli forces announced they 
would prevent Palestinians from entering the 
mosque if they are male and under 50 years of 
age. They made no specific mention of women.

Since early this morning dozens of Palestinian 
buses provided by the Islamic Movement leaders 
have been arriving; Palestinian flags are flying everywhere.

In a meeting with Sheikh Ikrima Al Sabri, head of 
the Islamic Supreme Council, he told PNN, "It is 
no secret that Jewish extremists are working to 
overtaking Al Aqsa Mosque and taking 
opportunities to implement their plans of 
aggression if they feel that this an appropriate 
time for them to control the mosque: and during 
this time in particular since the extreme right 
is dominant in the street as the Israeli 
government is. These incursions are not new but 
the new thing is to step up the numbers of Jewish 
extremists and the Israeli police guards aiding them. "

He added, "They are trying to impose a new 
reality in the courtyards of the Al Aqsa Mosque, 
not only for visits and tours of provocation, but 
to try to take an aggressive new step, a practice 
of religious rites in the plazas of the Al Aqsa 
Mosque. This is dangerous and we do not accept it 
and reject it, and we hold the Israeli government 
responsible for any harm that comes to the sanctity of the Al Aqsa Mosque.”

Palestinians began arriving at the Mosque 
yesterday hoping to pack it tightly, but calls 
are issued daily to keep a heavy presence as the 
Israeli threat is unending. The Israeli 
administration and settlers are in the process of 
overtaking the area around the Mosque as well, 
including the Silwan and Al Bustan neighbors via 
home demolitions and forced evictions. The 
Israelis are trying to create a “City of David” on the Palestinian land.

Citizen Walid said, “This attack requires the 
unity of our hearts to combat and our feelings 
toward Jerusalem and the holy Al Aqsa Mosque must 
be strong. We need to pause in unity to repel the 
Israeli attacks that are coming in various forms.”

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