PA SLAMS ISRAELI PLANS TO DEDICATE 2ND AQSA GATE FOR SETTLERS

Al-aqsa-Mosque
Al-aqsa-Mosque
PA slams Israeli plans to dedicate 2nd Aqsa Gate for Settlers (Photo : MEMO)

Al-Quds/Jerusalem, 13 Dzulhijjah 1435/7 October 2014 (MINA) –The Palestinian Authority (PA) has warned against Israeli plans to allocate a new gate for Jewish settlers to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem.

“This [Israeli] step is rejected and unacceptable as Jerusalem and its holy sites are a red line,” the PA in a statement cited by the official Wafa news agency on Monday.

“Such a unilateral step might torpedo any chance for putting the peace process back on track,” it warned, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting, Tuesday.

Israeli army radio earlier reported that the Israeli Tourism Ministry was considering allowing Jewish settlers to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound through the Al-Qataneen gate.

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Currently, Israel allows Jewish settlers into the Al-Aqsa Mosque via the Magharbeh gate. There was no comment from the Jordanian-run Awqaf authority, which oversees the mosque.

In recent months, groups of extremist Jewish settlers – often accompanied by Israeli security forces – have repeatedly forced their way into East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third holiest site.

Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.

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In September 2000, a visit to the site by controversial Israeli politician Ariel Sharon sparked what later became known as the “Second Intifada,” a popular uprising against the Israeli occupation in which thousands of Palestinians were killed. (T/P002/P3)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)