‘Israel trying to ignite a religious war in occupied Jerusalem’

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Palestinian ambassador to Zimbabwe, Tamer Almassri

Despite it currently being the blessed month of Ramadan, which is observed by about two billion Muslim people around the world, Israel has tried to provoke the Muslim people’s emotions once again.

Israel is permitting extremist Zionist settlers to try and change the status quo in Al-Aqsa mosque and East Jerusalem.

Moreover, Israel is imposing restrictions on the Muslims in Jerusalem and the West Bank by preventing them from visiting the Al-Aqsa mosque in order to perform their prayers and religious rites in the third most important mosque of the Islamic world and the first official Qibla.

According to the international law and UN resolutions, the existence of these extremist Zionist settlers in East Jerusalem and the West Bank is illegal, nevertheless, these extremists possess full support from the Israeli apartheid government and its military and security apparatus.

Since the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, they announced their intention to perform their sacrificial rites in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa mosque and to tarnish the Dome of the Rock and the walls of the mosque with the blood of their sacrifices.

This ritual, in their false mythical beliefs, is considered to be the first step towards destroying the Al-Aqsa mosque and to build their alleged Temple in its place.

Friday is considered to be a sacred day for the Muslims, especially in the month of Ramadan, nonetheless, the Israeli Zionist apartheid forces raided Al-Aqsa mosque in the early hours of dawn last Friday, attacking the worshippers with live ammunition, rubber-coated bullets and gas canisters.

They also stepped into the holy mosque with their filthy boots, attacking and physically assaulting the worshippers amid their prayers as well as breaking the historic windows of Al-Aqsa mosque in an attempt to disperse the Muslim worshippers and to open the way for the extremist settlers to begin their religious war.

The Israeli apartheid State has prevented the people of the West Bank and East Jerusalem from entering Al-Aqsa mosque, depriving them of their right of freedom of worship, and has attacked them during the performance of their prayers.

Israel has also arrested 476 Palestinians, including women and children, and has caused injury to 157 civilians, tens of those injured are in critical condition.

The crisis was further exacerbated as the Israeli security forces prevented paramedics from aiding the injured.

This behaviour does not only increase the rage among the Palestinian people, but also within the entire Islamic world.

Merely stating concern over the Israelis’ aggressive behaviour is not enough.

What is required is decisive deterrent measures against the Israeli apartheid occupation regime.

We demand all the friendly and peace-loving countries and those who believe in religious co-existence to condemn, in the strongest terms, the Israeli barbaric behaviour and hold it responsible for all the consequences in the days and weeks to come.

The Palestinian people will continue to defend the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem and occupied Palestine.

Palestine will remain a country of religious co-existence which is united against this extremist Israeli insanity. Embassy of the State of Palestine to Zimbabwe