al aqsa mosque


Al-Aqsa Mosque (‘the Farthest Mosque’) is the third holiest site in Islam and is located in the Old City of Jerusalem. Having Jewish settlers, backed by the Israeli Defense Forces, violating this holy sanctuary is an act of brazen aggression that was surely calculated to raise the ire of Palestinian Muslims and the entire Muslim world!

What is Israel playing at? Are they trying to start another open conflagration? How would the State of Israel react if Palestinian Muslims stormed the ‘Wailing Wall’ and tried to defile it?

I expect that we will hear cries of outrage reverberating around the Muslim world. I fear that all we will hear from ‘the West’ is a deafening silence. This is surely the perfect opportunity for the US President to make a strong statement that shows he is genuinely concerned for the people of Palestine and for Muslim religious sensitivities, but what would it take to make this happen?

Father Dave

Al Aqsa Mosque

Al Aqsa Mosque


Illegal Settlers Storm Al-Aqsa Sanctuary, Attacks Escalate

A group of illegal Israeli settlers trespassed into Al-Aqsa Sanctuary again on Sunday, flanked by Israeli soldiers. The extremist settlers stormed the sanctified area in small groups, some practicing Talmudic rituals in the courtyard of the Al-Aqsa Sanctuary.

This latest incident reflects the escalation of attacks which violate Palestinian legal rights over the holy Sanctuary. Since the beginning of the year, there has been an alarming rise in the number of occasions Israeli forces, settlers and politicians have stormed the Al-Aqsa Sanctuary.

Following the public call by main stream Israeli Politician like Moshe Feiglin and Jeremy Gimpel, for the destruction of al-Aqsa Sanctuary, Israeli trespassers have become bolder and more audacious. A recent parade by over a hundred female Israeli soldiers at the Sanctuary was an unspoken threat to Palestinians. In continuing acts of aggression, scores of settlers accompanied by over a hundred soldiers have entered the Al-Aqsa Sanctuary. The Israeli state appears to be aiding and abetting extreme elements from Israeli society in violating the Palestinian rights over the land.

Sheikh Raed Salah, the leader of the Islamic movement from the pre-1948 Palestine, warned that Israel is trying to isolate Al-Aqsa Sanctuary from the Palestinians. Other steps have included demolishing the facades of a number of historical buildings in the Buraq Square adjoining the Aqsa Sanctuary. The Palestinians are calling for solidarity from the international community in defending the holy sanctuary.

Friends of Al-Aqsa is deeply concerned about these reports and this latest incident is a reminder of the clear and present danger the Al-Aqsa sanctuary faces. Being mindful of this aggression is the first step to preventing further trespasses and graver dangers posed to Al-Aqsa sanctuary by Israelis intent on its destruction. Now is the time for action – by lobbying your local MP and encouraging him/her to raise the issue of attacks on the Al-Aqsa sanctuary in Parliament.

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From Father Roy:   The underlying causes of anti-Semitism must sooner or later be addressed.  The highlights in the following report are mine.   Peace.

By KARIN LAUB 07/24/12 02:45 PM ET AP

West Bank Evictions

Palestinian women walk towards an Israeli checkpoint on their way to pray at the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem on the first day off the Muslim holy month of Ramadan near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Friday, July 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)  

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Israeli Defense Ministry wants to evict hundreds of Palestinians from eight hamlets in a West Bank area the military has designated as a firing zone, rights activists said Tuesday, portraying the decision as a new Israeli land grab.

The firing zone, one of several in the West Bank, covers several thousand acres close to the border with Israel. Hundreds of Palestinian herders and farmers live there for part of the year in caves and shacks.

Israel’s government and Palestinian residents of the area have been waging a legal battle for more than a decade. The Defense Ministry told Israel’s Supreme Court earlier this week that those being ordered to leave the firing zone have permanent homes elsewhere, and that they must evacuate the area for their own safety.

Shlomo Lecker, a lawyer representing some of the Palestinians, said Tuesday that his clients own much of the area from which they are to be evicted. The Defense Ministry said herders and farmers could be granted access on weekends and Jewish holidays.

The firing zone is located in the southern Hebron Hills area, part of the 60 percent of the West Bank that remain under full Israeli control and are also known as “Area C.”

The Palestinian Authority, a self-rule government set up as part of interim peace deals in the 1990s, administers the remaining 38 percent of the land, where more than 90 percent of the Palestinians live.

Area C is home to about 300,000 Jewish settlers and 150,000 Palestinians, and critics say Israel is using an array of planning and administrative tools to restrict Palestinian development there while expanding settlements.

“The issue of the firing zone in the south Hebron Hills has to be viewed in the context of the Israeli policy in Area C,” said Sarit Michaeli of the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.

Government spokesman Mark Regev denied such a policy exists.He said the division of jurisdictions in the West Bank is a result of previous agreements signed by the Palestinians, and that the status quo can only change if negotiations on the borders of a Palestinian state resume. Israel and the Palestinians disagree sharply on the ground rules for the talks, which broke off in 2008.

He said Palestinians are given the option of seeking redress from Israel’s Supreme Court.

A date for a high court decision on the case of the Palestinian herders has not been set.