'Israel does not respect Muslim holy places'

Former Justice Minister of Palestine Ali Hassan says Israel continues to destroy Palestinian homes.

'Israel does not respect Muslim holy places'

World Bulletin/News Desk

Palestine’s former Justice Minister thinks Israel does not show respect to the holy places of Muslim people.

Speaking to The Anadolu Agency, Ali Hassan said the Palestinian government respects all religions – particularly Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

“I believe that there will be no conflict, if there is no further invasion by settlers,” Hassan said.

The former minister pointed out that the Israeli soldiers attacked not only churches and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, but they destroyed more than 45 mosques, an action that is little known outside the country.

Earlier on Thursday, Israeli authorities had sealed off access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, before they reopened the site once again later in the day.

The closure, which is the first of its kind since 1967, came shortly after extremist Jewish rabbi Yehuda Glick was seriously injured in a drive-by shooting in Jerusalem late Wednesday.

Glick was known for leading groups of Jews to force their way into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the Islam's third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israeli authorities shut the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound indefinitely for the first time since Israel's 1967 occupation of East Jerusalem Oct 30, 2014.

Hassan also condemned last Tuesday’s shooting at a West Jerusalem synagogue, which killed five Israelis.

“The attack on the synagogue is not acceptable,” he said. “We respect all religions, however Israel does not show any respect to the holy places of Muslim people.”

The latest of the assaults left five Israelis dead and others injured when two Palestinians attacked a synagogue in West Jerusalem with guns and knives. They were killed on the spot in an exchange of fire with Israeli police.

European countries will recognize Palestine

The ex-minister also said that a new process has begun, and European countries have started to recognize Palestine as a nation -- it is hopeful that many more will follow.

Late last month, Sweden announced its decision to officially recognize the State of Palestine.

The move, having been made by a EU member state, was widely seen as a watershed.

Other EU member states – including Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – had recognized Palestine previously, but did so before joining the European fold.

“Now a new and good process has started for us. Lots of European nations have started to figure the situation out,” Hassan said. “They gave enough time to Israel to change its policies for Palestine. The Europeans now see that there is no choice but to recognize Palestine as a state.”

Demolished houses of Palestinians in Ramallah 

Hassan discussed the recent attacks on Palestinian territories by Jewish settlers.

“Israel has been continuing its policy to destroy Palestinian sites in the region for the last 70 years, using security as an excuse,” Hassan said. “In each assault, they demolish more houses than before.”

In October alone, he said, extremist Jewish settlers had carried out 110 separate attacks on such sites across the Palestinian territories.

Increasingly frequent settler attacks on Muslim houses of worship in the occupied territories angered Palestinians and occasionally led to violent confrontations.

“It is the settlement policy of Israel in the region,” said Ali Hassan.

Israel's planning and construction committee in Jerusalem has approved the construction of new housing units in the Jewish-only Har Homa and Ramot settlements, the latter of which lies beyond the Green Line, according to Israeli Channel 7.

According to the broadcaster, 50 settlement units will be built in the Har Homa settlement, while 28 units will be built in the Ramot settlement, both of which are located in southern Jerusalem.

Last month, the same committee approved the construction of 200 -- out of a planned 600 -- settlement units, in the Ramot Settlement.

 

Last Mod: 24 Kasım 2014, 12:11
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