Khudari: Annexing W. Bank mosques is a prelude to escalation against Aqsa

Palestinian Information Center, 24 February 2010

MP Jamal Al-Khudari, the head of the popular committee against the siege, on Wednesday warned that the Israeli decision to annex two historical Islamic mosques in the West Bank would pave the way to more serious violations against the Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem.

In a press release, Khudari underscored that this Israeli move is part of the serious policy of Judaization pursued by Israel against Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque.

He called for holding an emergency Islamic summit to address this grave Israeli escalation, noting that Israel is trying to sense the reaction of Arabs and Muslims in order to take more serious moves.

In a related context, Palestinian minister of religious affairs Dr. Taleb Abu Sha’ar strongly denounced the Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) for allowing a group of Jewish extremists on Tuesday to break into the Aqsa Mosque in an attempt to provoke the feelings of Muslims.

Dr. Abu Sha’ar on Wednesday said that this police-escorted group wore indecent clothes and preformed odd ritual moves which irritated the feelings of Palestinian worshipers who were unable to force them out of the Mosque for fear that the IOA would ban them from entering the holy Mosque again.

Abu Sha’ar noted that dozens of Israeli officers and officials also deliberately desecrate the Aqsa Mosque premises every once in a while in order to inflame the feelings of Muslims.

The international conference on Sharia goals and contemporary issues held in Cairo deplored the Israeli decision to seize the Ibrahimi Mosque and Bilal Mosque to the list of what is called the Jewish heritage.

A participating source told the Palestinian information center (PIC) that some organizers of the conference objected to discussing or even issuing statements condemning the Israeli escalation against the Mosques in Palestine, but most of the Muslim delegations stressed the need for putting this issue on the top of the agenda.

During the conference chief justice of Palestine Tayseer Al-Tamimi warned that the coming days might witness an Israeli declaration that the Aqsa is part of the Jewish heritage as well if Muslim leaders did not act immediately.

For its part, the Egyptian parliament on Wednesday deplored the decision issued by Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu to annex two mosques in the West Bank.

In a press release, the parliament stated Netanyahu’s decision is illegal because Israel is an occupying force and has no right to seize these mosques to its historical sites.

The parliament appealed to the UNESCO to enforce international law and prevent Israel from taking such serious step in violation of Hague convention for the protection of cultural property issued in 1954 which prohibit the occupying party from annexing occupied lands or religious sites.

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, for its part, called on all organizations concerned with the protection of Arab and Muslim heritage to pressure their governments to urgently move to save the Ibrahim Mosque and Bilal Mosque from the clutches of the Israeli occupation.

The group called, in a statement, on the UNESCO, as an international institution concerned with the defense of the world cultural and natural heritage, to take urgent action to protect the rights of the Muslim peoples to their historical holy sites in occupied Palestine.

The statement described what happened as a blatant robbery of history and a flagrant transgression of the Islamic holy places in Palestine.

Tom Sullivan