The simmering tensions in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds indicate the religious side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, says a top leader of the Hamas resistance movement.
“What is happening in the al-Aqsa Mosque again reveals the religious dimension of the conflict, and is an indicator of the attempt (by Israeli officials) to propagate the myths of Zionism that have no origin,” Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Hamas political bureau, said in a press statement on Sunday.
He censured attacks by Israeli police on Palestinian worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.Haniyeh warned against any attempt that would desecrate the sacred site, or any action that would change the Islamic identity of the mosque. The senior Palestinian official highlighted that the Hamas leadership closely monitors the Zionist regime’s behavior toward the al-Aqsa Mosque, its suppression of Muslim worshipers and repeated calls by extremist Jews to storm the compound, especially on the occasion of Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) festivities.
Such moves are in blatant violation of human rights, and hurt the feelings of millions of Muslims all over the world, Haniyeh said. He called on Arab and Muslim states to abandon the illusions of compromise and security cooperation with Israeli officials, withdraw recognition of the Tel Aviv regime, stop all forms of normalization with Israel and support the resistance front. Earlier in the day, Israeli police clashed with Palestinian Muslim worshipers who had gathered at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound for the first day of the Eid al-Adha.
Palestinians, facing off with Israeli forces in the packed compound, chanted, “With our soul and blood, we will redeem you, Aqsa.” The Palestine Red Crescent Society said 61 Palestinians were wounded, 15 of whom were taken to hospital. Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Manar television network reported that Grand Mufti of Jerusalem al-Quds Sheikh Muhammad Hussein was among those injured.
The al-Aqsa Mosque compound sits just above the Western Wall plaza and houses both the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque. Palestinians have repeatedly warned of Israeli attempts to change the status quo of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam. The occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed new tensions ever since US President Donald Trump announced his decision on December 6, 2017 to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” and relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the occupied city.