World Bulletin/News Desk
Palestinian faction Hamas on Wednesday organized a human chain in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah to express solidarity with Jerusalem and the city's iconic Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Around 300 Hamas supporters took part in the chain, which began near Ramallah's Jerusalem (Al-Quds) Street.
Protesters chanted slogans decrying Israeli violations against the historic city and its Palestinian residents.
"With this [human] chain, Hamas wants to say that such activities – in any part of Palestine – serve to support the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy city [Jerusalem]," local Hamas leader Hussein Abu Kueek told Anadolu Agency.
He warned that continued Israeli violations would lead to an "unpredictable" explosion in the flashpoint city.
He described Wednesday's vehicular attack by a Palestinian motorist in East Jerusalem – in which an Israeli police officer was killed – as a "natural reaction" to repeated Israeli "crimes" against Palestinians.
Abu Kueek went on to urge Arabs and Muslims to "rise up" in defense of Jerusalem.
Tensions flared in several Jerusalem neighborhoods on Wednesday after Israeli police killed a Palestinian motorist who ran over a group of Israeli pedestrians, killing one – a police officer – and injuring 13 others.
Tension had been running high in occupied East Jerusalem since early July, when Jewish settlers kidnapped and murdered a Palestinian boy from the city's Shuafat district.
And two weeks ago, an Israeli baby was killed and eight people injured when a Palestinian driver ran over Israeli pedestrians in Jerusalem.
The situation in the city became even tenser after Israel closed the Al-Aqsa mosque complex on Thursday after extremist Jewish rabbi Yehuda Glick was injured in a drive-by shooting in West Jerusalem.
Israeli authorities reopened the mosque compound on Friday following a day of violent clashes with Palestinian protesters, but barred male Muslim worshippers under 50 years old from entering the site.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world'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.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.
In September 2000, a visit to Al-Aqsa by controversial Israeli politician Ariel Sharon sparked what later became known as the "Second Intifada," a popular uprising against Israel's decades-long occupation in which thousands of Palestinians were killed.
Last Mod: 06 Kasım 2014, 10:52