A poster depicting late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is seen as Hamas militants take part in a protest against Israel's new security measures at the entrance to the al-Aksa mosque (Temple Mount) compound, in Gaza City July 21, 2017. .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Hamas called for a “day of rage” on Friday in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, shortly after the European Union’s decision to keep the organization on the terrorist blacklist. (See story, Page 6.) In a statement issued by the terrorist organization, Hamas politburo chairman Ismail Haniyeh called on all factions to fight what he called “unilateral steps of Israel” on the Temple Mount compound, including the setting up of cameras and security checks at the site.
Hamas also took pride in the removal of the metal detectors from the area and claimed: “The steadfastness of the residents of Jerusalem surprised the occupation with their determination and sacrifice.”
The Hamas leader turned to the leaders of the Arab and Islamic world to “use all diplomatic tools against Israel to dissuade them from continuing to harass al-Aksa Mosque.”
According to al-Risala website, Haniyeh stressed in his letter: “The occupation of al-Aksa has been unprecedented for 50 years, and Israel wants more than ever before to implement its plan for complete control over al-Aksa Mosque, and divide it between Muslims and Jews according to place and time.”
“Al-Aksa Mosque calls for your conscience and your honor, because it is impossible to continue silently in the face of the attempts of the Israeli occupation to start a new reality there,” Haniyeh wrote. “The occupation wants to be the sovereign of al-Aksa.” New details of the meeting of the Palestinian leadership, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, were also revealed on Tuesday night.
The meeting lasted for three hours, during which the leadership discussed three “courses of action,” the most prominent of which was “the response to the escalation of the occupation and the harassment of al-Aksa Mosque and east Jerusalem.”
PLO spokesman Osama Qawasmeh said that Palestinian leadership unanimously rejected the possibility of praying inside al-Aksa Mosque “until the situation will return to how it was before July 14, and Israel will remove all obstacles and reopen all of the [Temple Mount’s] gates without any conditions or restrictions.”
He added that the PLO had begun to implement the leadership’s decisions.
According to Qawasmeh, the Palestinian Authority called on all Palestinians everywhere to “stand by the Jerusalemites in the coming days and pray in the street and not in the mosques.”
PLO Executive Committee member Wassal Abu Yusef told Ma’an News Agency: “The leadership stressed the continuation of regular activity, support for Jerusalemites in all possible ways and even the escalation of popular resistance in the aim of restoring the situation in east Jerusalem to pre-July 14 conditions, by the removal of all obstacles set by Israel.”