Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hamas on Jerusalem: Fate of the city to be decided by war

Rioting in Jerusalem has resumed today, and Hamas leader Khaled Mashall says the fate of the city will not be decided upon by negotiations, but by war. He claims that the Israelis want to demolish the Al Aqsa mosque and replace it with the Temple.
Following a day of clashes between security forces and Arab rioters in Jerusalem, Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal on Sunday evening stated that the fate of the capital would be determined by force, not negotiations.
Arab youths hurl stones...
"The fate of Jerusalem will be determined only by confrontation and not by the negotiating tables," Mashaal said in a speech, according to Channel 10. "The Israelis want to divide al-Aqsa Mosque, and this is not all. They want to hold their religious ceremonies in the mosque … in preparation for demolishing it and building their temple there," he reportedly said. Israel is interested in handling the Jerusalem issue unilaterally so that it is not included in negotiations with the Palestinians, Masha'al claimed.
"Jerusalem is all of Jerusalem, not only [the east Jerusalem neighborhood of] Abu-Dis. The Arabs and Muslims are [the city's] residents, and the Zionists have no claim over it," he said.
"I call for angry protests in Palestine and in the Arab world. Today, protests began in [the] Gaza [Strip], and we hope they will spread to the West Bank. It is important for there to be a united Palestinian position. We must send a message to the world: In light of the settlements and actions in Jerusalem, there are no negotiations and we must rethink our steps," the Hamas leader concluded.
It's clear, of course, from this story, that Masha'al does not think Jews have any claim to Jerusalem, even the right to live in it. (We should not be fooled by his use of the word "Zionists" - he means Jews).

The Ma'an News Agency (Palestinian) offers a different translation of Masha'al's words:

Bethlehem – Ma'an – Hamas’ top political official, Khalid Mash'al, warned that Israel could attempt to divide the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem in a televised news conference from Damascus on Sunday evening.

"It was the first time Israeli army locked the gates of the mosque with chains, barring the call to prayer, breaking into its yards for long periods of time," Mash’al said in remarks denouncing an Israeli police raid early on Sunday that sparked a day of demonstrations." These acts are intended to divide Al-Aqsa and force their [Jews’] religious rituals on it," he added.

Mash’al may have been alluding to the division of the Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron, half of which is controlled by Israeli settlers.

Mash’al also struck a chord of Muslim-Christian solidarity in his address. He said that among those who holed themselves up inside the Mosque on Sunday in response to the Israeli intrusion were Palestinians from inside Israel and Christians. "Jerusalem for us, as Palestinians, is all of Jerusalem with all of its land, residents and its Islamic symbols … the Jews have no right to it," he also said.

"Jerusalem’s fate will not be decided in negotiations but in the balance of confrontation and resistance," he added.

For an archive of stories about the rioting in Jerusalem this fall, see my wiki on Jerusalem: Clashes on Temple Mount.

No comments:

Post a Comment