Assault beyond Ramadan
What about al-Aqsa?
According to Mustafa Barghouti, the general secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative, the recent violence at Al-Aqsa Mosque is a grave provocation that will likely result in further escalation. He told Al Jazeera that the Israeli government may be intentionally seeking to distract attention from their internal divisions and ongoing demonstrations against their government within Israel by inciting violence in the region.
Barghouti attributed the violence in part to the appointment of Itamar Ben-Gvir as Israel’s minister of national security, accusing the Israeli government of exploiting religion for nationalist purposes. He expressed shock at the unprecedented nature of the mosque being attacked twice in the same day, with injuries sustained by elderly individuals, children, and women, and with medical teams being prevented from reaching the injured.
“This is unprecedented that the mosque would be attacked twice in the same day, people would be injured, elderly people would be attacked, children, women in the morning. And now preventing medical teams from reaching them,” he said.
The Arab League, consisting of 22 member countries, has called an emergency meeting to address the recent raids at Al-Aqsa Mosque. Hossam Zaki, the league’s assistant secretary general, squarely blamed the Israeli government for the situation and stated that the league would work politically and diplomatically to expose Israel’s actions. Zaki also emphasized that the Israeli occupation forces always find excuses to storm the mosque, but these excuses are irrelevant at this point as the Israeli government is determined to harm the Palestinian population.
Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, expressed condemnation for the Israeli actions at Al-Aqsa Mosque during a press conference on Wednesday. He emphasized that the exclusive right to practice religious traditions at the mosque belongs to Palestinian Muslims. Mansour stated that it is the right of Palestinian Muslim worshippers to exercise their religious duties and prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan and at any other time. He further argued that the Israeli occupying authority has no authority to dictate when people can pray or not at the mosque.
Canada’s New Democratic Party (NDP) is calling on the government to take action in response to the recent raids at Al-Aqsa Mosque, stating that the country cannot remain passive. NDP leader Jagmeet Singh described the police raids as “terrifying, disturbing, and brutal,” and announced that the party would introduce a motion in parliament to discuss a Canadian response. NDP legislator Blake Desjarlais emphasized the importance of the right to peaceful worship for people observing Ramadan or celebrating Passover, in a statement shared on Twitter.
Protesters gathered outside the Fatih Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, to show solidarity with Palestinian worshippers who were forcibly removed from Al-Aqsa Mosque on Wednesday. They waved Palestinian flags and chanted slogans condemning the violence that occurred during the second raid by Israeli police at the holy site.