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Ashrawi Accuses Israel of Seeking Religious War

Ashrawi Accuses Israel of Seeking Religious War

Wednesday, 20 February, 2019 - 08:00
Palestine Liberation Organisation executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi at a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah, (AFP Photo/Abbas Momani)
Ramallah- Asharq Al-Awsat
The current Israeli government is trying to drag the region into a religious war in a systematic and thoughtful manner, warned Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi.

Ashrawi explained that recent Israeli escalation in Jerusalem is a real translation of US illegal and immoral recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, transfer of its embassy to the city and its absolute support for the Israeli extremist government.

The official warned of the repercussions of the ongoing Israeli violations in al-Aqsa Mosque and attempts to divide it. The most recent of those attempts was the closing of its gates, especially Bab al-Rahma Gate and turning it into a military barracks while protecting the settlers.

Ashrawi stressed that these measures are not only a breach of the status quo, but also a new method that enables Israel to fully and tightly control the holy city, including Islamic and Christian religious shrines. She described these measures as flagrant violations of international resolutions and laws which consider Jerusalem an occupied city.

Earlier, Israeli soldiers sealed off Bab al-Rahma with locks and iron chains and prevented Palestinian worshipers from entering al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

The Israeli authorities removed the iron chains and reopened the gate, avoiding further tension.

Public relations officer of Islamic Waqf, Firas al-Dibs, reported that Israeli police removed the chains on the gate, and released five Palestinians who were banned from access into al-Aqsa Mosque for one to two weeks.

Palestinians gathered in the area to protest against Israel.

In his address at Bab al-Rahma after its reopening, Mufti of al-Quds, Sheikh Mohammad Hussein, criticized Israel's “daily violations against al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Hussein called for more solidarity, patience, and persistence around al-Aqsa because it represents Palestine’s “doctrinal, religious, civilizational and historical ideology."

Tensions continued on Tuesday despite the reopening of the Gate and Israel arrested three Palestinian women at the Mosque. Palestinians believe there is a larger Israeli plan behind those moves.

Quds governor, Adnan Ghaith, warned of the plans Israeli occupation authorities are preparing to ensure the division of al-Aqsa Mosque and its courtyards. He warned against the repercussions of dealing with the Israeli measures as the norm.

Arab League Assistant Secretary-General for the occupied Palestinian and Arab lands Saeed Abu Ali also warned against the continued deliberate targeting of al-Aqsa Mosque through these measures and repeated incursions, which have become increasingly dangerous and unprecedented.

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