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Soldiers storm Aqsa


28 May 2013

Soldiers storm Aqsa

Dozens of female Israeli soldiers on Monday stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem’s Old City. The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage said that the soldiers in their uniforms stormed the complex through the Al-Magharebah gate that connects the mosque with the Al-Buraq Plaza (the Western Wall Plaza).

The foundation said that the group was divided two or more smaller groups that toured the compound. It added that the groups performed military march in the Muslim’s third holiest shrine. It added that the soldiers “started provoking the Muslim worshipers.” The foundation warned that the daily storming of the Muslim’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.”

On Sunday, Israeli Knesset Member toured the holy place on the eve of her wedding as part f Jewish custom that brides visit the place before their weddings. The rightist Israeli channel 7 television said that Hotovely, of ruling Likud party, arranged her visit with top police officials, explaining that the purpose of the visit was personal, not political. However she said after the visit that “this is the holiest spot for the Jewish people, and all Jews should have free access to it. The limitations on visits to the Mount (Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound) by public officials are improper.”

Meanwhile, extremist Jewish settlers punctured the tires of four vehicles belonging to Palestinians in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Shmuel Ben Ruby, spokesman of Jerusalem police, said that an investigation has been launched into the incident. The Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood is particularly vulnerable to illegal Israeli settlement policy because it connects Jewish West Jerusalem, the Old City and Israeli settlements to the north and east.

Palestinian sources said that at least 28 families of Sheikh Jarrah face eviction from their homes. Israel evicted dozens of Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah on in the past two years. Israeli police cited a ruling by High Court of Justice that the houses belong to Jewish settlers and that the Palestinian families had been living there illegally. The neighborhood was built by the UN and Jordanian government in 1956 to house Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war.

However, with the start of the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, following the 1967 war, occupiers began claiming ownership of the land the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood was built on. Israel captured East Jerusalem in the June 1967 War, annexed it in 1980, and has since built settlements there that are home to some 300,000 Jewish settlers. Control over the city has been seen as the most sensitive and thorniest issue of Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Palestinians hope to make East Jerusalem the capital of their future state but the Israel says the city is its eternal capital. SAUDI GAZETTE

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