Israel Shuts Al-Aqsa Mosque Following Jerusalem Shooting Incident
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
On Friday morning in East Jerusalem’s Old City, three Palestinian Israeli citizens and two police officers were lethally shot during an armed confrontation.
According to eyewitnesses, Israeli forces used live fire against Palestinians uninvolved in the incident, injuring at least three, left bleeding unattended, medical professionals trying to reach them blocked.
Unrestrained violence, including against peaceful Palestinian bystanders, is customary Israeli practice.
Hamas spokesman Abu Zuhri called Friday’s incident “a natural reaction to Israeli terror and the desecration of Al-Aqsa Mosque…”
It’s “proof of the continuing resistance to the occupation and that the Palestinian people are united and supportive of the resistance.”
Israeli police closed off the area, including access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque for the first time since 2014, after the shooting of extremist MK Yehuda Glick.
Following Friday’s incident, Israel forcefully detained dozens of Al-Aqsa Islamic Foundation employees, including Jerusalem grand mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, Palestine’s highest religious figure, releasing him hours later. Others were held for harsh interrogations despite having nothing to do with what happened.
Witnesses said Israeli forces vandalized holy site facilities. They raided the mosque wearing shoes, violating mandated Muslim practice of removing them in places of worship.
They smashed doors and toilets, emptied garbage in the compound, and extended detentions for several Al Aqsa employees, others released after grueling interrogation hours.
Israeli soldiers and intelligence officers surrounded the mosque, blocking Palestinians from entering, forcing them to pray on the street, troops deployed on roads leading to the compound.
On Saturday, Al-Aqsa was closed for a second day. Netanyahu arrogantly rejected international calls to open it immediately.
Islamic Organization of Islamic Cooperation secretary-general Yousif al-Othaimeen expressed outrage, blasting “Israeli terror, and the desecration of Al-Aqsa Mosque and is proof of the continuing resistance to the occupation and that the Palestinian people are united and supportive of the resistance.”
Collective punishment is Israel’s longstanding response to virtually everything challenging its ruthlessness, flagrantly violating fundamental Palestinian rights.
International law is clear. Fourth Geneva’s Article 33 states:
“No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.”
Virtually always, Israel does what it pleases unaccountably – with full support and encouragement from Washington.
Palestinian rights don’t matter, entirely lost under occupation harshness, a high Israeli crime against an entire people gone unpunished.
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