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Tag Archives: Judaization

Zionists target al-Aqsa Mosque, the heart of Islam

(Al Quds, Palestine-file photo)

by Catherine Shakdam, source

As the world is busy debating whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad did indeed use chemical weapons against its own people or if he is instead the victim of a somber plot hatched by foreign powers to “legitimize” their invasion of yet another Muslim country, Israel is calculatingly moving against Islam’s beating heart, the al-Aqsa Mosque in al-Quds (Jerusalem).

While Muslims worldwide are dissecting and assessing their political affiliations — pro or anti — the Zionist entity of Israel is using such engineered confusion to inconspicuously carry out an aggression against Islam of such magnitude that only a few have dared fathom it, let alone warned against it.

Israel is looking to build a temple on the ground of al-Aqsa Mosque, thus desecrating Islam’s third most sacred place after Mecca and Medina, thus sullying the very ground which the prophet of God, Mohammed (PBUH), walked upon, which the prophets of God before him walked upon and used to glorify Allah and His creation.

At a time when Muslims are fighting among each other, arguing over which school of thoughts — Sunni or Shiite — holds the greater truth or the greatest legitimacy, at a time when brothers have declared war on one another over religious semantic, the Zionists are closing the net on al-Quds, bent on claiming Palestine their own by erasing Islam from its landscape.

Just as Mecca has become a spiritual link to the divine, a place where worshipers come to purify their religion and their soul, al-Aqsa is in many ways Islam’s beating heart, the connection of one people to the long lineage of God’s prophets.

While Palestinians and scholars have for decades warned the world against such a plot to sever Muslims’ link to the sacred, most paid no heed to “such conspiracy”, shrugging under the rug such prophecies of gloom, preferring instead to believe that the world’s nations would never dare, for all their talks of justice, equality and tolerance, stand for such abominable sacrilege against one’s faith.

Looking back it would be foolish to believe that a nation which built the cornerstone of its state on the blood of thousands of Palestinians and erected its institutions on stolen Palestinian land could ever behave humanely before a people it despises above all.

Just as a tiger cannot change its stripes, the Jewish state will forever plot the destruction of Islam; believing otherwise is pure delusion.

Judaization of al-Quds

The Christian-Muslim Commission for support of Jerusalem and holy sites has announced last week it will lodge a complaint against Yishai – the Israeli organization which stands behind the planned destruction of al-Aqsa – before the UN institutions and the Human Rights Council.

However, since it has already been confirmed that Yishai obtained all the requisite authorizations and permits from Israeli state officials, the matter will in all likelihood be lost amid red tape, vetoed against by Israel’s powerful international lobby.

Dr Hanna Eisa, the Secretary General of the commission told the press that “Yishai has secretly obtained official permits for the construction in the third holiest site for Muslims.”

She told Gulf News last week, “This is a serious plan aimed at planting Jewish existence within the Muslim sacred area.”

And indeed, when completed, the new synagogue will sat in front of al-Marwani prayer area, thus preventing Muslims to congregate.

It is difficult to fathom just how Israel will ever pretend to justify such a move.

But more troubling yet, one should ponder over the security measures the Jewish state will put in place to guarantee the safety of its worshipers, and to preempt against expected outburst of violence on site.

The synagogue will undoubtedly lead to mass protests and potentially to clashes as crowds will feel so violated within their faith that they will feel no other alternative but to react.

Any form of violence will give Israel the justification it needs before the international community to violently and mercilessly crackdown on protesters, thus laying waste al-Aqsa’s last line of defense before its complete and utter annihilation.

Israel wants Muslims to find themselves behaving erratically; Israel wants to paint Islam as a religion which professes bloodshed and war as to continue to feed its propaganda and misinformation machine; it wants the world to stand in horror as Muslims trample under their feet the images of their enemies, never stopping to question whose weapon it was which fired first or whose blade it was which draw first blood.

Doomed if we do, doomed if we don’t, Muslims would have soon to learn that while alone they will walk against many, by standing together the world’ storms will break on their backs, never to defeat or weaken them.

Israel’s plan to Judaize al-Quds is over two decades old.

Since 1994 the Jewish government has systematically used its military to forcibly take over mosques and religious establishments to transform them into Synagogues, thus slowly erasing Islam presence from the Holy city.

Israel is not only committing a sacrilege against Islam, it seeks to eradicate Islam from Palestine to reclaim History as its own.

By destroying Islam, the Jews are looking to rewrite their past and forever pretend that they are the chosen people of God awaiting their Messiah.

By destroying Islam’s place of worships it is God’s Truth the state of Israel is trying to forever bury under the sand of Palestine.

Proofs of such a conspiracy are legion; for example, the Israeli army has been preventing Muslims from entering a mosque in the village of An-Nabi Samuel in the northwest of al-Quds on account that the site is being converted into a synagogue. In August, Tel Aviv announced it would turn Nabi Daud Mosque which is located southwest of al-Aqsa Mosque into yet another synagogue.

Media silence continues to cloud the affair, which in many ways raises some troubling questions over not only the integrity of the press but its independence.

As Voltaire – French writer and historian – once said, “To announce truths is an infallible receipt for being persecuted.”

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Palestine: Settlers storm Aqsa plaza & burn farmland, raids, & Syrians arrested in occupied GH

Jewish extremists infiltrate Al-Aqsa Mosque

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Jewish extremists infiltrated Tuesday Al-Aqsa Mosque from the south and roamed the squares of the sacred premises as Israeli security forces stood guard.

Sources in the mosque said groups of Jewish settlers entered the Harash area near the Lion’s Gate by the Marwani prayer section, as Israeli police encircled the Muslim worshipers there and threatened to arrest anyone who yelled or said ‘Allahu Akbar’ in the face of the Jews.

Several Jewish organizations had directed calls at Jews to infiltrate Al-Aqsa Mosque to mark the Jewish Shavuot holiday, which coincides this year with the 44th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of Al-Aqsa Mosque, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank.

Separately, a poll released by the Israeli Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs found that more than 77 percent of Israelis oppose pulling back to 1967 borders even if it would lead to a peace agreement with Arab states.

The poll showed that Israelis are also against transferring Al-Aqsa Mosque to Palestinian control, and 82 percent considered security concerns more important than a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

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Jewish settlers storm Aqsa plaza

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Jewish settlers stormed the holy Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem on Wednesday in large numbers after organizing provocative marches in its vicinity and in the Old City.

Aqsa guards said that the settlers broke into the holy site through the Maghareba gate under police protection and started feasting, which included opening and breaking liquor bottles.

Worshipers inside the mosque rushed to the plaza while chanting Allahu Akbar (God is great), but the policemen kept them away and threatened to arrest them. Tension ran high after the incident.

Leaders of Jewish fanatic groups had called for storming the Aqsa on the occasion of “Alhvuaot Albwakir” feast, which coincides with the forty-fourth anniversary of occupying eastern Jerusalem .

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IOF soldiers storm villages, round up citizens including teen

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up two Palestinians in Al-Khalil and Qalqilia villages including a 17-year-old teen, local sources reported on Wednesday.

They said that the soldiers stormed the village of Dhaheria, south of Al-Khalil, and took away a 50-year-old man.

Locals reported other storming and searching of homes in five villages in Al-Khalil in addition to Fawar refugee camp and suburbs in Al-Khalil city but no arrests were made.

IOF soldiers also arrested a teenager in Azun village, east of Qalqilia city, at dawn Wednesday after using hounds in searching his home.

Citizens in Jenin said that IOF troops detained a young man in the city on Tuesday night after bursting into a number of homes in Marah suburb.

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Report reveals Israeli police acted in violation of ‘Youth Law’

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– A report by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel reveals that Israeli police made breeches not only in international child protection laws, but also in laws that Israel itself has imposed on occupied East Jerusalem.

The report sets out to explain that the Israeli police force’s treatment of child “suspects” contravenes the Israeli Youth Law, based on International Conventions for Children’s Rights and Israeli basic law. The law provides special protection to minors during arrest, interrogation, and detention.

It gives examples based on actual complaints of minors and their parents on police treatment.

”In practice…the police in East Jerusalem make use of the exceptions established by the Youth Law and turn them into the governing norms,” the report says. ”As a result, minors in East Jerusalem do not enjoy the protection afforded to them by law.”

For example, Israeli law provides that parents must be notified of their child’s summoning ”without delay” and that interrogations should be done with the knowledge of the parent.

But in practice, many “suspects” are taken from their homes for “crimes” that in may cases are committed weeks beforehand, without the need to take such drastic measures.

According to police data, 1,200 minors were arrested in East Jerusalem for suspicion of throwing stones.

Separately, Palestinians held in the Israeli Nafha prison in the south have accused the prison of ”escalation” of mistreatment against them.

Most of those prisoners are from the Gaza Strip and are affected by a ”Shalit policy”, and have been banned from visits and other basic rights for the past four years, according to the Palestinian Prisoner Society.

They have complained that what little they do own is subject to damage inflicted during surprise night raids, and they are usually treated with painkillers as a standard medication.

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Jewish settlers burn Palestinian farmland

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– Jewish settlers from the settlement of Karmi Tzur built on Palestinian land in Halhul and Beit Ummar villages in Al-Khalil on Tuesday set Palestinian farmland on fire.

Local sources said that the settlers burnt three dunums of land cultivated with wheat and sprayed chemicals on grape vines.

They said that one of the settlers fired gunshots to stop farmers from putting off the fire. The settlers routinely embark on such acts to force farmers to abandon their land and annex it to the settlement.

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Israeli Police Arrest Three Syrian Youth

MAJDAL SHAMS, June 7, 2011 (WAFA) – Israeli police Tuesday at dawn arrested three Syrian youth from Majdal Shams, a village in the occupied Golan Heights, for throwing stones at the army during Sunday’s Naksa protests, according to local sources.

The Syrian youth were arrested for protesting against Israeli firing at Palestinians and Syrians who tried to cross the Syrian borders with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Sunday, the day marking the Naksa, and which left 23 people dead and more than 350 injured.

Israeli security sources said the army is on full alert at the northern borders. It has imposed a security closure on the West Bank and Gaza Strip to prevent Palestinians from entering Israel.

Al Quds (Jerusalem): More land theft and plan to link settlement to OJ

Strategic plan to link settlement to occupied Jerusalem

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Israeli Ministry of Housing has laid down plans to build a new neighborhood including 800 houses in the Givat Ze’ev settlement northwest of occupied Jerusalem, Israeli Army Radio reported on Thursday.

What makes the neighborhood special is its strategic geographical placement, as it is designed to connect the outlying settlement and make it an integral part of the holy city.

The ministry had announced designating a budget for the plan ahead of implementation on the ground.

Israeli Army Radio said exclusive sources told it that the plan is linked to the approval of the Israeli war minister Ehud Barak, but Housing Minister Ariel Attias vowed to press ahead with the plan in order to reach the stage of application on the ground.

News sources inside the 1948-occupied territories said that international pressure has caused Israel to avoid announcements of new settlement plans in the West Bank. But what is actually happening during the current stalemate in the political process is that the government has been funding plans that have accumulated, waiting for the moment when it is able to implement such strategic plans on the ground.

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QII warns of unprecedented Judaization steps in OJ

BEIRUT, (PIC)– The Quds International Institution has warned of unprecedented Israeli steps to Judaize occupied Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque in the wake of Arab preoccupation with internal upheavals.

The QII, in a press release on Thursday, stressed that the Arab countries’ preoccupation with their internal turmoil might encourage the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) to achieve more “gains” in Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque.

It asked for directing a clear message to the IOA that more freedoms in the Arab world would enhance its capability of confronting (IOA) aggression.

The foundation said that events proved that the only consideration preventing the IOA from dividing the holy Aqsa mosque and officially allowing Jews to perform their rituals inside it was the fear of Palestinian security disturbances backed by Arab and Islamic anger.

In the possible absence of such reaction then nothing would deter the IOA, the QII warned in conclusion.

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Sheikh Salah: The Aqsa child festival gained global momentum

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Sheikh Ra’ed Salah, head of the Islamic Movement in the 1948 occupied lands, on Wednesday said the ninth festival of the Aqsa child fund has gained global momentum, calling on the Palestinians to actively participate in the event.

Al-Bayareq foundation for defending the Aqsa Mosque, Imarat Al-Aqsa organization, and the Aqsa foundation for endowment and heritage are still embarking on making all preparations for the ninth festival of the Aqsa child fund and the third festival of drawing.

Tens of thousands of children and parents are expected to participate in the events slated to be held on Saturday 23/4/2011 at the Aqsa Mosque compound.

“Praise be to Allah, there are harbingers of the establishment of the Aqsa child fund in many Muslim and Arab countries or even by the Muslim communities in different foreign countries,” Sheikh Salah, who is banned from entering the Aqsa Mosque, stated.

He pointed out that pro-Palestinian activists all over the world intend to organize festivals in support of Palestine children in their countries simultaneously with the Aqsa child festivals to be held in occupied Jerusalem.

“We will make the whole world hear that the Aqsa Mosque is purely an Islamic, Arab, and Palestinian right and the occupation is illegitimate and will end,” the Sheikh stressed.

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Jerusalemites injured in clashes with Israeli forces in Silwan

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Violent confrontations took place in Silwan town, south of the Aqsa mosque in occupied Jerusalem, on Wednesday evening between Israeli occupation forces and Jerusalemite youths.

Eyewitnesses said that Israeli policemen fired flare bombs, rubber bullets, stun grenades, and tear gas at the young men who closed roads using burnt tires in a number of Silwan suburbs. They noted that Jewish settlers also took part in attacking the Jerusalemites.

Locals reported that a number of those youths were injured including one who was directly hit in his face and taken to hospital.

Palestine: 200 demolition orders in OJ, arrests, trees uprooted, demolitions & Awarta in danger

Al-Maqdesi: 200 demolition orders in J’lem since 2011 started

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Al-Maqdesi foundation for society development said the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) have issued since the start of this year no less than 200 demolition orders against Palestinian homes in occupied Jerusalem.

In a report, Al-Maqdesi highlighted some of the Israeli violations that happened during this year or would happen in east Jerusalem.

According to the report, the Israeli central court in east Jerusalem ordered the displacement of a Palestinian family from its home in Ras Al-Amoud district and permitted settlers to live in its place.

The IOA forced a Palestinian family from Sur Baher district to demolish its own home so as to avoid paying 140, 000 shekels as demolition expenses.

The Israeli district committee of planning and building declared its intention to build 1, 608 housing units in settlements of Pisgat Ze’ev and Har Homa and 2, 200 other units in settlements of Talat Shufat and Ramat Shlomo.

The committee also intends to annex 662 dunums of Palestinian lands in Attur and Issawiya area in order to establish gardens, public building and tourist sites within the eastern slopes of Azzeitoun Mount in order to connect Jerusalem with the settlement project E1 near Ma’ale Adumim settlement.

The Israeli magistrates’ court ordered the evacuation of Abul Nada café in Mesrara neighborhood and the seizure of real estate in Jerusalem.

A Zionist society called Atirat Kohanim started to make renovation works in a Palestinian carpenter’s workshop which it seized years ago in the old city of Jerusalem, while an Israeli court decided to displace two Palestinian families from their homes in Beit Hanina area and give them to another Zionist society.

The Israeli municipal council in Jerusalem approved the building of a bridge leading to Al-Maghariba Gate of the Aqsa Mosque.

It also approved the building of 14 housing units as a prelude to setting up a new settlement in Ras Al-Amud district in Jerusalem and ordered the seizure of 480 dunums of Abu Dis lands in order to expand the segregation wall.

The Knesset, for its part, approved the third reading of a bill against the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe) which provides for reducing the budget of any institution that gets government funding if it stages or supports any event commemorating the Nakba.

The report also pointed out to a number of Israeli arbitrary measures taken against Christian Palestinians including the Israeli interior minister’s refusal to renew the residency of father Suhail Duni, the bishop of the Episcopal church, at the pretext of his collaboration with the Palestinian authority.

A Zionist company for the development of the Jewish outpost in the old city of Jerusalem decided to expel a Christian resident because he is not Jewish.

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IOF arrests minor, settlers uproot olive trees in tense West Bank

AL-KHALIL, (PIC)– Tensions ran high in the West Bank on Monday as Israeli soldiers raided several areas in Al-Khalil province arresting seven youths, among them a 17-year-old minor.

Four of those detainees, including the minor, were arrested in the West Bank town of Beit Ummer north of Al-Khalil, while other Israeli forces arrested one Palestinian man southwest of the city in the Al-Fawar refugee camp after searching his home. Another man was taken near his home in the Dewaya district in the Old City after being brutalized.

In a separate incident, a group of Jewish settlers raided and then desecrated a Muslim cemetery in downtown Al-Khalil near Shuhada Street as they shouted racial slurs and claimed the graveyard was situated in a Jewish district of the city. Witnesses claimed they did so as Israel soldiers and police provided protection.

The Israel occupation force (IOF) raided several other cities across the West Bank later that night. Random home searches and street patrols were conducted in Azzoun west of Qalqilya after gun shots were fired at the car of a Jewish settler near the village without report of arrest.

The IOF also set up a checkpoint at the town’s entrance and searched vehicles and used flares to search the moutain areas.

Soldiers in Jenin used police dogs the following morning to search ten apartments and surrounded a home in the city’s Al-Basatein district, where they searched and questioned residents on the spot. They searched a nearby building as well, but no reason was given to why the search was being done.

Locals said IOF soldiers patroled the streets of Kafr Rai and Zabbouba outside of Nablus until early hours in the morning, but no arrests were made.

Meanwhile, Jewish settlers worked alongside IOF soldiers to uproot more than 50 olive trees in Dir Istya near the West Bank city of Salfit. Israeli authorities warned two months back that the trees were planted in a protected natural area where agriculture is prohibited.

Dozens of settlers stormed Monday the the village of Ein al-Beida in the northern Jordan Valley and began planting trees paving the way for confiscating the land and using it for the interests of the nearby Rotem settlement. Villagers possessed documents confirming that the affected area was their property.

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Ignoring suffering of Palestinians, PA to host dance festival in Ramallah

RAMALLAH, (PIC)– As the tears of many Palestinian families who lost their beloved ones during recent Israeli aerial attacks on Gaza have not yet dried, preparations are being made in the West Bank city of Ramallah to host a festival for contemporary dance.

Different news agencies said the Palestinian authority (PA) is making preparations to launch a 20-day dance festival with the participation of 15 dance bands from Arab and foreign countries.

Director of the festival Khaled Olayan made an apology for not canceling the festival out of respect for the feelings of the bereaved families and just said the shows would be held only in the occupied city of Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Ramallah and not in Gaza.

A few days ago, one of the victims, Nizal Qudeih, a 19-year old girl, was getting prepared for her wedding in Gaza when an Israeli air raid killed her along with her mother turning their home into a house of mourning after it was set to receive wedding invitees.

Ramallah regiment is not the name of a resistance brigade fighting the occupation and defending the Palestinian people, but it is one of three Palestinian dance bands that will participate in the festival against other groups from Portugal, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, France, Norway, Germany, Spain and other countries.

In a separate context, the family committee of political detainees in PA jails said there are still 420 political prisoners in different West Bank prisons.

The committee condemned the attempt by PA militias to kidnap the father of martyr Mamoun Al-Natsheh from Al-Ansar Mosque in Al-Khalil city as shameful and painful.

It said the militias wanted to kidnap the father of Natsheh because he only talked about the suffering of his son, Mutasim, who has been in Jericho prison for more than six months.

The committee hailed the Palestinian young men who are still holding a sit-in on Al-Manara square in Ramallah city for demanding the PA to immediately release all political detainees from its jail.

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Violent confrontations in Silwan

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Violent confrontations took place in the town of Silwan in occupied Jerusalem on Tuesday between the Israeli occupation forces and locals.

Local sources said that the raiding troops fired gas canisters at random and insulted women, which provoked the inhabitants and led to the confrontations.

They noted that the Israeli soldiers assaulted four women with batons.

The sources said that a number of citizens were injured in the clashes, one of them seriously.

They noted that the soldiers beat up a young man who was standing in front of his shop until he fainted then arrested him while unconscious.

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“Israel” Moves To Destroy Awarta

Press TV

Israel’s military is on a daily basis raiding a Palestinian town in the north of the occupied West Bank, humiliating residents and damaging property in an attempt to expand nearby settlements.

The mayor of the town of Awarta, Qais Awwad, announced the demolition plan on Monday and stated that Israel has also taken over land nearby in order to expand Jewish settlements, Ynetnews reported.

The Palestinian Authority condemned the raids and called on the international community to put pressure on Israel to halt them.

“Israel wants to destroy the town and expand nearby settlements,” the PA’s foreign minister, Riyad al-Maliki, said.

An Israeli activist, Yaakov Manor, recounted one such raid on a Palestinian home. “The soldiers entered rooms and broke furniture, broke a washing machine belonging to the family and a refrigerator as well. The soldiers tipped over oil containers and broke closets,” he said.

Hundreds of Israeli troops entered the town shortly after midnight on Thursday, and imposed a curfew after which they began rounding up more than 100 women, many of whom were elderly.

The women were taken to a military camp where Israeli soldiers questioned them for hours. The incident comes as the Israeli military has been conducting consistent raids on the town of Awarta for the past four weeks and arresting scores of residents.

According to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees, Israel demolished 76 Palestinian homes in the West Bank in March compared with 70 in February and 29 in January.

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Israeli Military Demolishes a Water Well and a Farm In Bethlehem

by George Rishmawi – IMEMC & Agencies

Israeli military forces demolished a water well designed to collect rain water and an agricultural structure in al-Khader village southwest of Bethlehem on Monday.

The well and the building belong to Mohammad Dar Issa and his brothers. The well can collect some 90 cubic meter of water, and the building was 225 squared meter in area.

The Ma’an News Agency said that the bulldozer put the rubble of the building in the well in order to completely destroy it.

This demolition will severely affect Issa’s work and will cause them a financial set back. The Israeli military gave no official warrant. Issa found some papers in Hebrew only near his farm, which turned later to be a demolition order.

Al Quds (Jerusalem): calls to prepare to build alleged temple, and approval of construction of 16 settler homes

Leading rabbi calls Israelis to prepare to build alleged temple

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– A leading West Bank rabbi said Saturday that the Aqsa Mosque must be taken from Palestinian hold in order to pave the way for the alleged temple.

”We must save the site and return it to Israeli ownership; and if we cannot build the temple on grounds of law it does not absolve us from doing what we actually are able of,” said Dov Lior, rabbi of the Karyat Arba settlement near Al-Khalil. He is also considered the chief rabbi in the occupied West Bank.

Jews claim the Aqsa Mosque and the Dome Rock were built on the ruins of King Solomon’s temple, which they will one day rebuild.

”Although we cannot actually build the temple these days, it is certainly our obligation to ready ourselves for the time when the generation can build it,” he said during his Saturday sermon that was transmitted to several Jewish websites.

Lior urged followers to raid the mosque firstly by visits. He said intense visits would prompt the government to reset its thinking and stop it from ”placing the land in the hands of saboteurs”, referring to the Palestinians.

”King David meant to build the temple, but he was told, ‘you are a man of war, so you are not fit for this’. So he made all preparations and when King Solomon’s era came, he built the temple. It is also important at this time to save the site and at least return it to Israeli ownership,” he said.

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Planning board approves construction of 16 settler homes in East Jerusalem

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Israel’s Jerusalem municipality has approved a project to erect 16 residential units set to house Jewish settlers in the east Jerusalem Sheikh Jarrah district.

The plan will evict two Palestinian families.

The Construction and Planning Committee approved two plans to build around 16 homes in separate sites in the district, which has seen several protests after Palestinians were evicted to ensure settler homes, Joseph Alalo, a municipality councilman from the Meretz opposition party told the AFP.

He said that there are two Palestinian-owned homes at the sites, but one of them is uninhabited and the other was occupied.

Local residents say the plan will have several Palestinian families residing there evicted.

Separately, the same committee is discussing confiscating more Palestinian land in southern Jerusalem in a plan designed to build a road linking the Har Homa settlement with Jebel Abu Ghunaim.

The Israeli Haaretz newspaper said the plan was put to the planning board by Chime Silverstein, a figure known among right-wingers, adding that all of the companies behind it are registered in the US.

The step is likely to be followed by more property purchases by the city, Haaretz said.

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Islamic parliamentarians call for supporting Jerusalem

ISTANBUL, (PIC)– Participants in the International Forum for Islamic Parliamentarians have recommended reactivating the issue of occupied Jerusalem in face of growing Judaization attempts.

The parliamentarians, who attended the forum in Istanbul, called for defending the issue of the Jerusalem MPs who are threatened with deportation from their native city.

They called for shedding light on the big concessions offered by Abbas’s negotiating team to the Israeli occupation authority (IOA).

Palestinian MP Dr. Ahmed Abu Halabia, who is the rapporteur of the Quds (Jerusalem) committee in the Palestinian legislative council, attended the forum that was held over the past couple of days.

He asked the conferees to seriously work on lifting the siege on Gaza and alleviate its inhabitants’ suffering as a result of that tight blockade.

Abu Halabia pointed to the role of the Fatah-controlled authority in Ramallah in quelling freedoms and targeting resistance in the West Bank in a joint effort with the IOA, adding that the leaked Al-Jazeera papers proved Fatah’s collusion with the IOA on Palestinian constants.

IOA expands area used for Jewish wailing rituals in O. Jerusalem

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) removed scaffolding in eastern Jerusalem that was limiting access to a small part of Al-Buraq (wailing) wall located inside the Islamic neighborhood of the Old City, Hebrew press reported on Friday. 

Al-Aqsa foundation slammed the IOA for removing the scaffolding, saying that it is part of Israel’s plans to Judaize Al-Buraq wall square under the name of making repairs and renovations.

The foundation said all this is aimed to increase the number of Jewish visitors to Ribat Al-Kurd spot to the left of the holy Mosque’s Al-Hadeed gate and turning it into another zone for “wailing rituals”.

It warned of the escalating Israeli actions against the Aqsa Mosque and its vicinity, stressing that Ribat Al-Kurd is a pure Islamic area and the Jews have no right to it.

In a related development, the Israeli municipal council launched a large-scale campaign to incite the Jews to strengthen their connection with Jerusalem and intensify their activities and events in it.

The campaign would also urge the Israeli government to stimulate economic growth in the holy city.

Zionists steal more of Palestine unchecked: Israeli open season on ethnic cleansing and land theft

“Israel” Demolishes An Entire Palestinian Village, Leaving 300 Displaced

Al Manar

13/01/2011 Israeli occupation forces’ bulldozers backed by several military vehicles demolished nearly the entire village of al-Dqayqa in the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil, leaving around 300 Palestinians homeless.
 
Odeh An-Najada, a local councilman for the village, said four bulldozers accompanied by 30 military vehicles entered the area and began destroying homes, Ma’an news agency reported on Thursday. “They demolished everything in the area, the whole thing, they left no building for people to live in,” an-Najada said.
 
Parts of the village school were also destroyed, said Fawzi Abu Hlayyil, the director of the office of the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education in Hebron, who denounced the demolition as an “ugly crime.”
 
Israeli forces later dispersed Palestinians protesting the demolition of the village and detained four people.

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“Israel” invests millions in Jewish museum in Silwan

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Israel’s Jerusalem municipality and Tourism Ministry have invested NIS 2 million in a project overseen by the right-wing Elad settlement fund to erect a Jewish museum in the so-called “City of David National Park”.

The land, originally owned by an Arab who was declared missing after the six-day war, was nationalized under the Absentee Property Law and later cheaply rented out to Elad.

The municipality insisted that monies were not transferred to Elad, but that the sponsors invested in the project to promote tourism in the city.

Elad is a settlement fund which is active in Judaizing the predominantly Arab East Jerusalem Silwan district by acquiring Arab properties.

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IOF serves demolition notifications, settlers seize Palestinian land

NABLUS, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) served demolition notices to a number of citizens in Jaftalk village in the northern Jordan Valley on Wednesday and told them to leave the area.

Eyewitnesses said that the destruction threat covered six installations including homes and cattle pens, adding that the act fell in line with plans to confiscate the village’s land.

Jaftalk villagers live a primitive life as they are deprived of water and electricity services by the Israeli occupation authority, which also prevents them from building forcing the citizens to live in houses made of tin and plastic.

In Nablus district, IOF troops stormed a school south of the city, the school’s headmaster reported, adding that a number of settlers were accompanying the IOF.

He said that an IOF armored vehicle rammed into the school’s main gate. The soldiers then climbed to its rooftop to protect settlers who were visiting a nearby shrine.

Meanwhile, tens of settlers from the Shilo settlement south of Nablus seized by force 25 dunums of Qaryut village land and blocked villagers from approaching it.

Witnesses said that the settlers ploughed and planted the land under the protection of IOF soldiers on Wednesday.

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Violent confrontations in Palestinian village after settlers’ attack

NABLUS, (PIC)– Palestinian citizens confronted dozens of Jewish armed settlers who attacked their village of Qasra, south of Nablus, at noon Thursday, local sources said.

The settlers, who were infuriated after the Israeli army dismantled their outpost, opened indiscriminate fire at the citizens in their homes and work places.

The villagers retaliated throwing stones, the locals said, adding that no casualties were suffered among the citizens.

Qasra is the target of semi daily attacks on the part of extremist Jewish settlers.

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Judaization Plots Underway; Historic Palestinian Hotel Turned into Synagogue

Al Manar

13/01/2011 Despite international protest, reconstruction of the Shepherd Hotel in East Jerusalem continued yesterday. Israeli settlers reportedly plan to build 50 more housing units on the site, located in the Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, in addition to the 20 units already authorized and whose construction began on Sunday.
 
Right-wing activists also said they plan to turn the main part of the historic building – originally constructed by the mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini – into a synagogue commemorating the “victims” of the Holocaust. Activists see this move as all the more poignant as Husseini was known for his collaboration with the Nazis.
 
The wing added to the structure during the Jordanian rule of Jerusalem is set to be demolished, and 20 of the housing units will reportedly be built on the garden south of the building.
 
“As we were forced to preserve the building, we will turn it into the neighborhood synagogue and dedicate it to the memory of the Holocaust victims,” said occupied Jerusalem councilman Elisha Peleg (Likud ). “The synagogue will be doubly symbolic: It will replace the house of the mufti and it will mark the point where 78 physicians, nurses and patients were murdered on their way to Mount Scopus in 1948.”
 
While the first phase of the project is getting underway, the settlers have also submitted a larger plan to the municipality, requesting to add another 50 housing units. All in all, the project intends to include 70 units meant for Jews. The sensitivity of the site, however, means the plan will likely be delayed for an extended period of time. Peleg, for his part, believes the proposal will eventually pass.
 
“Jewish construction in the eastern part of Jerusalem will continue, because time is working for the Palestinians, who are illegally building thousands of housing units without permission.” “There’s nothing provocative about this site, it’s not in the heart of any Arab neighborhood,” Peleg added.
 
Meanwhile, members of the Husseini family, who own the building, appealed to the Supreme Court, demanding the construction work be stopped. The process of expropriating the hotel from the mufti and selling it to Moskowitz was inappropriate, the family argues, saying the building still belongs to them.
 
This was rejected on Tuesday by a Jerusalem District Court judge, who also removed the injunction that prevented the start of the construction work.

Demolishing another Jerusalem Landmark

The demolition of the Shepherd Hotel

by Jeremy Salt – Ankara, source

Once again Israel demonstrates its contempt for the world. This time the location is the Jerusalem quarter of Sheikh Jarrah and this time the occasion is the demolition of the Shepherd Hotel, the latest target in a process of demolition and rebuilding in the Zionist image that has been going on for the past six decades in all of Palestine.

The first actions of the occupying regime in East Jerusalem in 1967 was  the destruction of the medieval Magharibah quarter, founded in the 12th century by a son of the great warrior Salah al Din al  Ayyubi (Saladin), to make way for a ‘plaza’ in front of the western wall of the Haram al Sharif. Soon after it was the turn of the Fakhriya compound, the home of the sheikh of the Shafi’i school of Islamic law. A section of the Mamilla century, where the remains include the bones of the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad, was bulldozed to make way for a garden, a car park and lavatories. The rest has since been built over to make way for a ‘Museum of Tolerance’. The destroyed buildings were part of Jerusalem’s architectural and historical heritage. The people who lived there were driven into the street and left to fend for themselves as best as they could, a precedent for thousands of similar situations which were to follow. Had the awful chief rabbi of the Israeli ‘defence’ forces, Shlomo Goren, had his way, the destruction would have included the Aqsa mosque. Israel’s intention is to destroy Arab Jerusalem and replace it with Jewish Jerusalem. The difference is that Arab Jerusalem was a tolerant city. Jewish Jerusalem is not. It is a city of religious and secular fanatics, who have no consideration for any interests, laws or rights other than their own. The city has not known a worse period of history since it was captured by the Crusaders in the 11th century.   

Now we have the destruction of the Shepherd Hotel, a landmark in Jerusalem since early in the 20th century. It was built as a home for the mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al Hussein, before he escaped from the British in 1937. He never lived there. The building was the home of Katy and George Antonius, the celebrated Palestinian Arab historian, and then was used as a base for British soldiers before being converted into a hotel. In 1967 the government of Israel declared the hotel ‘absentee property’ and used it for its own purposes before ‘selling it’ in 1985 to the  American  Jewish billionaire Irving Moskowitz, who made his money from casinos and gives a sizeable percentage of it to the Ateret Kohanim settler organisation. The US government theoretically opposes settlements but has never even attempted to put a spoke in Moskowitz’s wheel,  which it could have done by removing the tax-free status of his ‘philanthropic’ donations to Israel. Of course, the Shepherd hotel was never sold. It could not be, seeing that it was not the property of the state of Israel in the first place. It remains the property of the Husseini family. The property which was ‘sold’ was stolen and under any laws except those of Israel’s, it remains the property of the original owner (ask your friendly local policeman for confirmation).

Beyond all of this, everything Israel has done in East Jerusalem since 1967 to bring about permanent change is illegal under international law. The movement of civilians into occupied territory is specifically prohibited under article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention (1949), one of many articles of the convention which Israel has violated. The declaration of the Greater Jerusalem municipality in 1967 is an inherent violation of international law. Nir Barkat has no more right to call himself the mayor of Jerusalem than any official administering any occupied territory anywhere at any time. Laws and regulations changing the status quo in East Jerusalem represent breaches of international law enabled by the government of Israel. Those of Barkat’s voters who live in East Jerusalem have no right to be there and therefore no right to vote. They are civilians who have been transferred into occupied territory. The whole situation is quite mad, but at least consistently mad.

The purpose of pulling down the Shepherd Hotel, all but the facade, which will be maintained to give the new structure some semblance of historical authenticity, is to built 20 luxury apartments for Jews only. This could not happen nowhere elsewhere without being described as open racism but in Israel it is no more than par for the course. Racism seeps out of the state and society more overtly and openly and defiantly every day. It is not accidental but structural. It is embedded in the ideology of Zionism and in the laws and regulations of the state and it is encouraged right from the top. Notwithstanding Netanyahu and his equally repugnant Foreign Minister are driving forward the whole ugly process. They are the head on the body of the stinking fish. Opinion polls show that Jews don’t want to live in the same street or apartment block as ‘Arabs’. Hundreds of fanatical rabbis sign petitions prohibiting the sale or rental of property to ‘Arabs’. Again, we should not be surprised, seeing that this was the principal article of the Jewish National Fund when it began trying to purchase land in Palestine early in the 20th century. ‘Arabs’ in East Jerusalem are beaten up by marauding gangs of Jewish youth. ‘Arab’ students in Safad – a Palestinian city taken over by the Zionists in 1948 as all other cities were – are threatened and abused by Jewish fundamentalists. Demonstrators protest against Jewish women going out with ‘Arab’ men. Even love cannot deflect their hate. Inside and outside the Knesset members of this less than august body threaten the ‘Arabs’ and threaten the Jews whose conscience does not allow them to remain silent witnesses any longer to the brutality and the racism of the state. So why should anyone be surprised by the decision to pull down a Palestinian-owned hotel and replace it with an apartment in which only Jews can live.

The only positive sign in this ugly climate is that the EU finally seems to be getting its act together. A document has been prepared calling on representatives of all EU governments to refuse to have anything to do with representatives of the government of Israel east of the so-called ‘green line’. They would not deal with them, they would not acknowledge them, they would not visit their offices, they would not use Israeli travel and tourist offices when making their plans and they would not accept to be protected under  Israeli ‘security’ arrangements. The reasoning behind this document is that if there is ever to be a settlement, East Jerusalem must be the Palestinian capital, and that option is fast disappearing in the dust of Israeli bulldozers. Israel will be trying to work on the EU directly and through the US to compel it to drop this plan. Let’s hope that for once, the EU sticks to its guns and actually does something that opens up a little sliver of light in this gloomy situation.
 
– Jeremy Salt is associate professor in Middle Eastern History and Politics at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. Previously, he taught at Bosporus University in Istanbul and the University of Melbourne in the Departments of Middle Eastern Studies and Political Science. Professor Salt has written many articles on Middle East issues, particularly Palestine, and was a journalist for The Age newspaper when he lived in Melbourne.

“Israel” razes hotel linking Palestinian neighborhoods in Jerusalem

(AP / Bernat Armangue)

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Israeli bulldozers began razing Sunday morning the Shepherd Hotel in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah suburb amid a plan to replace the structure with a Jewish settlement and isolate two Palestinian neighborhoods.

The Israeli left-wing rights group Peace Now disclosed in June 2010 the beginnings of the construction of 20 settler homes in place of the Shepherd Hotel.

Peace Now said the move was part of a larger plan to eject the Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrrah and erect a Jewish settlement on the ruins of once-Arab homes there. The plan includes isolating the district by creating a settlement belt around it and isolating Jerusalem’s Old City from surrounding areas.

The Shepherd Hotel, owned originally by Jerusalem Mufti Ameen al-Husseini, was claimed by Israel’s Custodian of Absentee Property who sold it to American millionaire Irving Moscovich, nicknamed the godfather of settlements. Moscovich in turn transferred the hotel’s rights to Otairt Cohanim, an association with a keen interest in promoting Jewish settlements.

Judaization of Jerusalem includes “defacing walls of the Old City”

MEMO

The Al-Aqsa Foundation stressed that the heritage of Jerusalem is largely Arab and Islamic; Israeli efforts to claim an elusive “Hebrew history,” it says, “are doomed to failure”.

A leading Palestinian foundation has accused the Israeli occupation authorities of defacing the walls of the historic Old City with Jewish symbols, including stone reliefs of models of the proposed temple. The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage has said that the Judaization policy is part of ongoing crimes against history, civilization and Arab and Islamic heritage in Occupied Jerusalem carried out by the state of Israel.

In a press release, the Al-Aqsa Foundation said that stones in the wall have been changed under the pretext of “repair and maintenance”. However, they have not been replaced by “blank” stones; the Israelis have used stones carved with specifically Jewish symbols. This, claims the Foundation, is an attempt to destroy the city’s Arab and Islamic heritage; the Israelis, it claims, “have no right to touch these monuments, let alone make such significant changes”. Parts of the Old City wall at Bab Al-Amoud (Damascus Gate) and in the south-west section, as well as Bab Al-Gadid have been affected. Israel, it is claimed, has also Judaized district names in the Old City, calling one area “Serious Army”, for example.

The Al-Aqsa Foundation stressed that the heritage of Jerusalem is largely Arab and Islamic; Israeli efforts to claim an elusive “Hebrew history,” it says, “are doomed to failure”. It has called on the Islamic and Arab world to pay more attention to initiatives to preserve the nature of Jerusalem. It also called for the protection of the Holy City’s history in order to save the integrity of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Some observers point to the existence of Israeli organisations dedicated to the destruction of Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Dome of the Rock Mosque, and the building of a temple in their place as evidence of the real intention behind Israel’s Judaization programme in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem merchants forced to have signboards of their stores written in Hebrew

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Israeli municipal council in the occupied Palestinian city of Jerusalem decided to force owners of stores to change all kinds of outdoor signboards into the Hebrew language instead of Arabic or English.

Maariv newspaper said on Friday that the council decided last week to demand the merchants in the holy city to remove the signboards written in Arabic and English from their stores and replace them with ones written in Hebrew.

According to the decision, the owners of stores will not be allowed to use another language in their signboards if the Hebrew language does not occupy half of the banner, or else they will not get licenses for their stores.

“Israel’s” continuous onslaught on Al Quds: its residents and religious sites

MSD: “Israel” has razed 1, 485 homes in east J’lem since its occupation

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Al-Maqdesi for society development (MSD) foundation said Israel has demolished 1, 485 Palestinian homes in the eastern part of occupied Jerusalem since 1967 and issued 1, 322 orders to raze homes in the same area in 2009 and 2010.

The foundation noted that if the Israeli occupation authority carried out these orders, 3, 655 Palestinians, including 1, 699 children and 807 women, would be displaced from their homes.

It also said it would publish later another report about demolition of homes and structures in the West Bank and the Gaza.

MSD added that its documentation of these demolitions lasted five months and was based on reliable information collected from newspapers, concerned organizations and displaced Palestinians.

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IOA orders temporary exile of Silwan inhabitant

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Israeli police in occupied Jerusalem delivered a notification to Adnan Ghaith, an activist in defense of Silwan lands, ordering him not to approach occupied Jerusalem and its environs for four months.

The occupation police contacted Ghaith over the telephone on Sunday and handed him the order, to which he has 14 days to appeal.

Ghaith, for his part, said that he would combat the order with all available legal means, describing his banishment from Jerusalem as “oppressive”.

Ghaith was repeatedly detained lately by the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) and held under house arrest for many times.

The popular committees in Silwan, south of the Aqsa Mosque, denounced the decision, charging that it violated the international law.

A Silwan inhabitant expressed concern that the decision might herald the start of large-scale demolition of Silwan property.

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Fanatic Jewish groups planning to give lessons in Aqsa

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Jewish fanatic groups are planning to storm the holy Aqsa Mosque and to give religious lessons inside it, the Israeli TV Channel 7 said on Monday.

It added that the initiative targets giving lessons in the Aqsa plazas to coincide with the “cleansing of the temple”.

The channel quoted one of the organizers of the initiative as saying that the northern branch of the Islamic movement organizes such lessons in the Aqsa “so why not us”.

He said that each student would be given a sum of money for a breakfast meal and for transportation, adding that police should know that “our goal is purely educational” and would not lead to confrontations.

“Israel” approves 30M USD budget to Judaize Buraq Square

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Israeli government approved Sunday a NIS 85 million ($30M) plan to Judaize the Buraq Square, known by Jews as the Wailing Wall, around the Aqsa Mosque.

Israeli e-paper YNet said the budget for the project will be put before the concerned ministries over the next four years in a plan to develop and expand the Buraq Square and raise the number of Jewish visitors.

According to documents disclosed by Palestinian attorney Qais Nasser the plan is aimed at exploiting the funds to continue excavations in the area for archeological purposes and tunnels to provide access to the Jewish public.

He added that Israeli premier’s office will put up the budget and see to the implementation of the conversion.

Nasser said the scheme was a continuation of another 20 million dollar plan the government put into effect between 2006 and 2010 to develop the square.

“The allocation of this large budget coincided with Israeli parties launching numerous structural plans in the Buraq Square and Aqsa [Mosque] area, so the budgets would secure the implementation of these projects at the soonest possible time,” Nasser went on to say.

Israeli authorities in Jerusalem extended this week rulings barring several Palestinian residents of Jerusalem from the Aqsa Mosque for up to six months, locals reported.

Ehab Saleem Al-Jallad, Hattem Abdel-Qadir, Hamza Badr Zaghir, Majjed Raghib Al-Jouba were those affected by the decision.

Jouba, a former Aqsa Mosque security guard who was barred from entering mosque since 2005, is the longest running Aqsa Mosque ejectee. He was also banned from entering the Aqsa Mosque Islamic endowments department office.

Israeli intelligence summoned Thursday supreme Islamic committee head Ikrima Sabri and Mustafa Abu Zuhra to inform them that the time for their ban from the mosque was up, and to warn them that in the event of future problems a new ruling would be issued banning them from the mosque.

Israeli planning to eject 100,000 Palestinians from Jerusalem and to Judaize the occupied city of Lod

Israeli authorities planning to eject 100,000 Palestinians from Jerusalem

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Observers say the situation in Jerusalem is likely to explode in light of a decision by Israeli occupation authorities to demolish hundreds of Palestinian homes in the city.

Israeli legal consultant Yahuda Feinstein, during a meeting Thursday between Israel’s planning and construction committee attended by the Israeli mayor of Jerusalem and police force representatives, gave directives to partially close down a settlement outpost in the Arab district of Silwan and demolish hundreds of nearby Palestinian homes.

Silwan defense committee member Fakhri Abu Dhiab told Al-Jazeera that hundreds of residents have already received demolition notices.

Referring to sources inside Israel’s Jerusalem municipality, he added that Jerusalem mayor Nir Barakat received the green light from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to carry out the demolitions.

The committee said 340 homes are threatened to be demolished in Silwan for allegedly being built without a permit.

Israeli authorities approved only 60 building permits since the eastern part of the city was occupied in 1967.

Jerusalem attorney Ahmed Al-Roweidi said in a press release on Thursday that more than 20,000 homes in Jerusalem will be affected by decisions made in Israeli courts, adding that demolition orders against these homes would require 100,000 Palestinians to be ejected from their homes in an attempt to attract more Jewish settlers to reside in new settlements.

Roweidi said the Jerusalem district of Silwan, the Bustan neighborhood in particular, was under the greatest danger as the Israeli government threatened to take down 88 homes and evacuate 1,500 Arab residents to build a new biblical park dubbed the “King’s Park” on its place.

The Israeli occupation government is also expected to approve during a weekly meeting on Sunday a 30 million dollar plan to finish digging and construction in the Buraq Square, known by Jews as the Wailing Wall area.

Sources in Jerusalem said the plan, scheduled to stretch between 2011-2015, includes archaeological excavations in the area and tunnels near the Aqsa Mosque set to make the area accessible to the Jewish public.

The plan was complementary to an earlier 20 million dollar plan that lasted from 2006 to 2010 aimed at developing the Buraq Square and surrounding areas.

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Zionist plans to Judaize the occupied city of Lod

Al-Jalil, (PIC)– The Arab member of Knesset, Ibrahim Sarsour warned of Zionist attempts to Judaize upper Galilee, in northern occupied Palestine, as well as the city of Lod through settlement of Jews in Arab neighbourhoods.

In an interview with “Palestine On Line” He criticised the Israeli government’s approval  of a 160 million- shekel Judaization plan which targets the city of Lod under the rubric of solving security issues in the city.

He said that the proposed plan includes reinforcing  the police force in the city, renovating the infrastructure and developing the road system.

The plan also includes marketing new flats and implementing the “law” regarding unlicensed buildings, which means targeting Palestinian residents of the city.

Sarsour also said that it was perplexing that the Israeli occupation government is claiming that such  a settlement project aimed at improving social, cultural and educational services in Lod, pointing out that most of the help that will be provided will benefit Jewish settlers in the city.

Umm al-Fahm and the final status solution

{Palestinian taken by Israelis during the attack on Umm al-Fahm}from AP

by Abdul Hakim Mufeed, MEMO

Following the march by right-wing Israelis in the northern Israeli Arab city of Umm al-Fahm this week, we need to pass more than a political eye over the situation. It is possible, of course, to regard the demonstration as simply a provocation by the extreme right-wing and shrug it off as something done by a marginal group holding views which are marginal in society; it has happened before and will probably happen again. Without wishing to invest more in the event than it is actually worth, however, it does need to be taken seriously.

The slogan used by the demonstrators was selected carefully; it wasn’t against Arabs per se, but against Umm al-Fahm as a stronghold of the Islamic Movement in Israel, the home of the city’s former mayor and president of the movement, Shaikh Raed Salah. This was to “reassure” the “other” Arabs and although it determined the nature of the confrontation it was not a new message; the intention was to isolate the Islamic Movement from the wider Arab community. Marzel and the thugs who went to Umm al-Fahm with him did so with court and police protection, even though both institutions must have known what the outcome of such a visit would be.

This itself is not a new tactic, it dates from the days of military rule; “good Arabs” and “bad Arabs”; “extremists” and “moderates” were not produced out of thin air by Baruch Marzel and Ben-Ari who sought to justify the attack on Umm al-Fahm in a ridiculous way. The incident in the Galilee this week has to be considered along with Israel’s Judaisation policy in the coastal cities of Acre and Jaffa, and Lod, along with the unprecedented campaign of house demolitions in the Negev and the Triangle (adjacent to the Green Line). Added to these is the package of laws enacted by the Israeli Knesset (parliament). Go one step further and think carefully about what the Israeli government is considering as the “final status solution” for its Arab citizens and things might become clearer.

All of these incidents and programmes are not on the margins of society in Israel; they are government policy. As such, they cannot be ignored. They are part of a process of the de-legitimisation of Palestinian society in Israel, making it easier – “softening up the wider society – for action to be taken against one-fifth of Israel’s own citizens.

Voices are being heard loud and clear calling for such policies to be implemented. We cannot say that the Minister of Foreign Affairs is a marginal figure, but he advocates “population transfer”. On the other hand, we cannot place the whole burden of extremism on his shoulders when the Knesset ratifies proposals to carry out such acts against Israeli Arabs.

There is a sense of déjà vu, with a rerun of what happened in the eighties when the late (unlamented) Rabbi Meir Kahane’s party was banned for its extremism. Today the circumstances and atmosphere may be different, but a possible link between the two periods cannot be ignored.

The behaviour of some right-wing groups regardless of their position, name or location, serves the interests of the Israeli establishment; if it didn’t, the latter would have put a stop to it. Such extreme behaviour actually eases the pressure on the government, which can pin the blame for extremism on others while giving them tacit encouragement. Those on the receiving end of the government’s support in this way include the illegal settlers across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the extreme religious groups Judaising the coastal plain and the likes of Marzel and his thugs. Although they have a disparate appearance, they are basically one and the same, all working for the same goal as the government (which would admit this if it was honest).

The government, in fact, has a choice: it can either protect all of its citizens – Arabs included – and stop demonstrations like the one in Umm al-Fahm, or it can do nothing and thus give them the green light by default. It looks as if the Israeli government has chosen the latter.

Thus such groups and their extremist actions become the big stick being waved by the government, a warning for the Arab community to toe the line or else. Accepting the Jewish identity of the state, pledging allegiance and other discriminatory laws take on a new meaning. Suddenly, in fact, rhetoric about population transfer and expulsions – ethnic cleansing by any other name – becomes a very real “final status solution” for the Palestinian citizens of Israel. We ignore it at our peril.