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Tensions rise over Al Aqsa

THE LEVANT – The leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah, has described the continuous violations of Al-Aqsa Mosque at the hands of Israel as “an indication of the occupation’s arrogance and its increased stupidity,” Al-Araby Al-Jadid news website reported on Tuesday.

Salah further explained that, “the occupation believes if it violates our land and homes and sheds our blood then we will wave the white flag and surrender from our duty of protecting Al-Aqsa Mosque.” However, he stressed that the occupation has been proven wrong.

During a telephone call, Sheikh Raed addressed dozens of Jordanians participating in the festival titled “Our victory is in your perseverance”, organised by Jordanian unions in Amman on Monday evening. Salah reiterated that, “the blood of our martyrs who were executed by the occupation has become the oil lighting the lamps of Al-Aqsa.” He also mentioned the difficulties and obstacles endured by the Palestinians in order to stage sit-ins in Al-Aqsa to defend it.

According to Al-Araby Al-Jadid, Salah added that: “the occupation believes that its foolish acts will allow it to impose a daily time division of the mosque, but we say, you are an illegal occupation and you have no rights to Al-Aqsa, not even for a second.”

“The occupation wants to impose a spatial division as well, but we say it has no right to even one stone in Al-Aqsa and the only thing that we will promise you is that you will be gone soon and you will not be coming back,” Salah said.

Sheikh Raed also stated that: “The issue of Al-Aqsa Mosque is not just an issue for individual Palestinians, Arabs, or Muslims; it is the issue of the Islamic nation, Arab world, and all of Palestine. It is a matter of our civilizational and historical right and a matter of our present and future.”

He praised the position of the Jordanian government regarding the Israeli violations, saying: “We see in the Jordanian discourse we are hearing that the government will preserve Al-Aqsa Mosque and it will not hesitate to review the Wadi Araba Treaty (the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty). It will also recall its ambassador and this is a step in the right direction.”

The Wadi Araba agreement stipulates Jordan’s guardianship over the Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem, and the current Israeli violations are considered a breach of the agreement.

The Jordanian government recalled last Wednesday its ambassador to Tel Aviv, Walid Obeidat, in order to consult with him regarding the unprecedented level of Israeli violations in Jerusalem. Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour stressed during a press conference on Saturday that the return of the ambassador was dependent on the elimination of the reasons for his recall. However, he mentioned that they have no plans to review or cancel the peace treaty.

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