Worshippers Barred From Aqsa Mosque
Sheikh Ra'ed Salah among demonstrators who reached Al Aqsa Mosque despite Israeli aggression
|(Jerusalem) Palestine News Network|
|Sunday, 18 February 2007|
Israeli forces prevented hundreds of Palestinians from protesting this morning at Moroccans (Maghrarbeh) Gate. Demonstrations have been ongoing in East Jerusalem and the Old City since the Israeli government began the public phase of the destruction in the area of Al Aqsa Mosque. The Israeli response has been widely described as brutal.
The Al Aqsa Institution and the Islamic Movement inside the Green Line issued the daily denunciations of the continuing excavation under the Mosque and the destruction at the Gate.
Hundreds of people made their way through a maze of additional checkpoints to arrive from cities throughout the West Bank for Sunday demonstrations. Several bus loads arrived, but as soon as the passengers disembarked, Israeli soldiers surrounded them and forced the people back into the buses.
One the other hand, several Zionist groups say they have the consent of Israeli police to conduct a sit-in this evening in support of the destruction and excavation at the Muslim holy site, claiming the existence of a temple that has never been found. Among them are Jewish members of the Israeli Knesset.
As part of the Israeli campaign to arrest demonstrators throughout the past two weeks, several Muslim officials were put in jail and sentenced to stay away from Al Aqsa Mosque. According to an Israeli court, the head of the Islamic Movement inside the Green Line, Sheikh Ra'ed Salah, is not allowed to be within 150 meters of the Muslim holy site for a period of 60 days. He is among the demonstrators.
And also today, an Israeli court is trying Chief Palestinian Justice, Sheikh Taysir Tamim,i for praying without a permit and inciting demonstrations. Tamimi says the Israeli government has no legitimate authority in the city of Jerusalem, a position which the United Nations agrees with, and therefore has no right to try him on any count.