Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Beginning of "The End"?
Israeli forces demolished the entrance to the Al Aqsa Mosque after destroying the Moroccan Gate bridge leading to the Muslim holy site. Chief Palestinian Justice Sheikh Taysir Tamimi said that the timing of the destruction in the Old City of East Jerusalem was purposeful as all eyes are on the meeting in Mecca and political leaders are enroute.
The Sheikh told a press conference in Ramallah this afternoon that the Israeli government is continuing with its plan to demolish the historic road at the Moroccan Gate with a major threat to the western side of the Mosque.
Israeli forces expelled all Arab workers and journalists Monday, increased the military presence in the face of nonviolent protests over the past two days, and closed all roads on Tuesday.
Sheikh Tamimi pointed out that today's demolitions began a few years ago when the excavation plan was laid to destroy Al Aqsa Mosque one part at a time and build over its remains. He said that Israel is committed to ethnic cleansing.
The Israeli government is destroying Muslim neighborhoods and historic sites, demolishing Palestinian homes and closing Jerusalem to Palestinians with the Wall. It is also penetrating the Muslim Quarter of the Old City and building a synagogue and putting Jewish settlers in place.
The Sheikh said that he trusted the ability of Palestinians to defend the holy places and face the occupation. A number of Palestinian leaders issued statements and sent letters of protest, as did the Jordanian King and government, but this has not stopped Israeli forces in the systematic takeover of Jerusalem.
Listen to this ABC report by David Harker:
Real Audio | Windows Media | MP3