Thursday, October 19, 2017

Palestinians rally in Ramallah in support of Jerusalemís Al-Aqsa protests


By Ayesha Khan - July 17, 2017
TAGS:
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [nonviolent resistance]

Hundreds of Palestinians gathered at Al-Manara Square in Ramallah today to protest against the recently-introduced Israeli security measures at the Al-Aqsa compound, which have resulted in the installation of metal detectors, surveillance cameras, and turnstiles at its entrance.
 
“The Israeli government has been continuing this behavior since 1948. Their goal is to increase their control and influence over the land, specifically, over Jerusalem through these security measures, and deny Palestinians their religious rights,” said Hussein Taweel, a workers' rights researcher.
 
These measures taken by Israel were a follow-up to an attack that took place at the compound on Friday, which left three Palestinians and two Israeli officers dead.
 
“Israel uses the recent news [the death of two Israeli officers] as an excuse to increase its presence at the holy site. They present the news as if the Palestinians are the ones carrying out violent attacks without any reason, and Israelis are only defending themselves,” Taweel added.
 
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for a “day of rage” to be held this Wednesday to show opposition to the Israeli security measures, which Palestinians argue are aimed at changing the status quo at the holy site. 
 
Palestinians have been refusing to enter the compound after the implementation of the security measures. They have been holding prayers outside the mosque in protest since last Friday.
 
Israel’s recent increase in security measures challenges the authority of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, which administers the compound, along with undermining the rights of Palestinians to enter the holy site. Palestinians fear increased Israeli presence at the compound might lead to them losing control over the site, an important national symbol.
 
The non-violent protests, the largest in recent years, have also succeeded in unifying Palestinians through civil disobedience and without the intermediation of polical parties. 
 
On Monday, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, advisor to the Palestinian Authority on religious affairs, expressed that the way towards peace is through “ending the occupation and returning Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque to Palestinian and Islamic hands, granting the Palestinian people their rights and establishing a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.” 

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