Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Israeli assaults on Al-Aqsa Mosque increase

Israeli officials, protected by Israeli police officers, entered the Noble Sanctuary to perform religious rituals.

On the 43rd anniversary of the arson attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque by an Israeli extremist, Al-Quds International Institution has issued a report detailing the increasing number of Israeli assaults against the Noble Sanctuary. Observers believe that are all part of Israel's "Judaisation" programme for the Holy City and Islamic religious sites.

The report, which covers the year to 21 August 2012, shows a clear increase in the scale of Judaisation activities. So much so that the Institution says that the situation needs national, regional and international action to stop Israeli aggression against Al-Aqsa and the city of Jerusalem.

According to the report, the most serious issue is the attempt by Israel to divide Al-Aqsa Mosque between Muslims and Jews. Apparently, a Knesset Member for the National Union, Aryeh Eldad, has submitted a draft law for discussion which would allow Jews to perform Talmudic rituals in the mosque, at which times Muslims will be excluded. "The situation is reminiscent of the division of the Mosque of Ibrahim in Hebron," said the report.

Details have also been revealed in the report about the Israeli judiciary's attempts to stop maintenance works at Al-Aqsa on the pretext of protecting alleged Jewish remains. The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement presented a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court on 16 July 2012, the report said, asking for an immediate halt of construction and maintenance works in Al-Aqsa Mosque for this reason. It all adds up, it is claimed, to an attempt to cancel the role of the Islamic Waqf (Religious Endowment) authority in the mosque.

The head of the Temple Mount group, Gershon Salomon, also presented a petition to the Supreme Court in February in which he asked for a permission to perform Talmudic rituals on top of Al-Aqsa Mosque: "The petition was turned down, but the Supreme Court confirmed the right of all Israelis to perform Jewish rituals in the Mosque; that right is currently restricted because of public security concerns."

Substantial excavations by the Israelis have been reported, including the works to develop the so-called "City of David" to the north and west of the Old City of Jerusalem. A notable increase in excavations has been noted in the Silwan neighbourhood.

"Six new sites were opened during the last year," the report said, "four to the west of Al-Aqsa Mosque and two to the north." These bring the total of such excavations in and around Al-Aqsa to 47, all threatening the foundations of the mosque and sanctuary walls.

Physical incursions at the mosque have seen extremist Jewish groups, including senior Israeli officials, protected by Israeli police officers, entering the Noble Sanctuary to perform religious rituals.

Israeli aggression against Al-Aqsa Mosque has drawn some international support. During his recent visit to Jerusalem, the Russian president Vladimir Putin recognised the Western Wall as Jewish and called for the reconstructions of the "Temple". Documents from the British Mandate period demonstrate that the ownership of the Western ("Wailing") Wall lies with the Palestinians. More