Al-Aqsa creating global 'time bomb', Hamas chief warns

Khaled Mashal says attacks risk wider conflict due to site's revered status

Al-Aqsa creating global 'time bomb', Hamas chief warns

World Bulletin / News Desk

Israeli attacks on east Jersualem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque could spark a global conflict, Hamas leader Khaled Mashal said Monday.

“Aggressive attacks against Al-Aqsa are creating a time bomb not only in Palestine but worldwide because it’s a holy site,” he said during a joint news briefing with South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) party.

Dozens have been killed in violence around the holy site since the start of October. The mosque compound, known as the Temple Mount by Jews, is sacred to both Islam and Judaism.

Claims that Israel wants to take administrative control of the complex, which is currently overseen by Jordan, has led to recent violence between Israeli security forces and Palestinians.

“Since the beginning of October, we’ve lost 46 Palestinian martyrs who were mostly youths and 1,852 others have been injured,” Mashal said, accusing Israel’s security forces of violating human rights.

He claimed Palestinian children were being detained for throwing stones while Israeli settlers who killed Palestinians were not prosecuted.

Mashal, who has led Hamas since 2004, was in South Africa to meet President Jacob Zuma and the ANC leadership to discuss Palestinian self-determination.

“We signed a letter of intent aimed at co-operation in defeating the apartheid regime of Israel just like South Africa did in its fight against apartheid,” he said.

Mashal called on the international community to support the Palestinian struggle as it did against the South African apartheid regime. “Being in South Africa is so inspiring because it motivates us to continue with our struggle,” he told reporters through an Arabic interpreter.

“We call on all our friends in the world to prosecute Israel for war crimes.”

Hamas was ready to unite with all Palestinian groups to defeat Israel, Mashal said. “We call on all our brothers in different Palestinian movements to come together. Let’s unite and discuss a strategy to fight our common enemy.”

He added: “We are now ready to fulfill the objective of uniting our people to reach reconciliation and lead our people to freedom.”

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said his party was determined to build a long-lasting relationship with Hamas - designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. and EU - and other political movements in Palestine.

“We are committing ourselves to ensure that all groups in Palestine work together,” he said.

Last Mod: 20 Ekim 2015, 12:20
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