KUWAIT CITY, July 19, (Agencies): Imam of Al-Aqsa Mosque Dr Ekrema Sabri says Palestinians will never yield to Israeli haughtiness or its measures to install electronic gates around the mosque, reports Al-Rai daily.
He noted the steps taken by Israel is politically inclined and has nothing to do with security. He stressed that Israel only aims at proving its dominance over Al-Aqsa Mosque.
He praised the recent statement of Kuwait’s National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanem affirming the current situation in Arab countries does not mean they’ll keep silent on crimes perpetrated by the Israeli entity, and said he’s hopeful Kuwait’s support for Palestinian issues will continue.
Meanwhile, Arab League Secretary General Ahmad Abul-Gheit on Wednesday denounced the Israeli violence and arbitrary measures against Palestinians in the occupied Jerusalem, especially in the vicinity of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
In a statement, Abul-Gheit demanded the Israelis to immediately stop all bring to a halt all such practices and measures, and to fully respect the sanctity of the mosque.
He warned against the gravity of the escalating Israel has been taking since Friday, preventing Palestinian worshippers from entering and performing prayers at Al-Aqsa.
These measures constitute obvious violation of the international human rights law, and will only lead to further tension and fueling of conditions in the city, in addition to provoking Muslims’ feelings, Abul-Gheit said.
He noted that the measures will leave their positive implications on any opportunities for a political settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.
In Jerusalem, several Palestinians were injured, at least one seriously, when they clashed with police near Jerusalem’s Noble Sanctuary-Temple Mount compound after Muslim evening prayers on Tuesday, according to Palestinian medical officials.
A hospital official said one man had suffered a serious head wound from a rubber bullet fired from close range but an Israeli police spokesman denied that rubber bullets had been used. A senior Muslim cleric was also hurt, witnesses said. Tensions have increased around the compound, which is holy to Muslims and Jews, since three Arab-Israeli gunmen shot dead two Israeli policemen outside the complex on Friday in one of the most serious attacks in the area in years.
The assailants were killed by security forces and Israeli authorities briefly closed the compound.
When it was reopened on Sunday, metal detectors had been installed, to the anger of Muslim religious authorities. Israeli officials said they were a permanent measure but many worshippers refused to go through them and preferred to pray outside the compound.
The Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance service said at least 14 people had been injured in Tuesday’s violence. A video clip posted on social media from the scene showed people running away from a melee and loud popping sounds.
Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri said that, after prayers ended, some of the dozens of worshippers had started throwing rocks and bottles at police officers, and dispersal means were used. Two officers were lightly hurt, she said.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police who regularly patrol Jerusalem’s Old City use stun grenades in clashes, but are not routinely armed with rubber bullets.
Meanwhile, Muslims boycotted the Jerusalem holy site for the third day running Tuesday after Israeli authorities installed metal detectors and cameras at entrances to the sensitive compound following an attack that killed two policemen.
As in previous days, dozens of worshippers prayed outside the Haram al-Sharif compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, rather than enter through the metal detectors.
The attack and new security measures have increased Israeli-Palestinian tensions. Protests and scuffles between demonstrators and Israeli police have erupted outside the site, which includes the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque.
On Tuesday, a 30-year-old Palestinian carried out a car-ramming attack in the occupied West Bank near the city of Hebron, lightly wounding two Israeli soldiers before being shot dead.
It was not clear if the attack was linked to the Jerusalem tensions.
A 17-year-old Palestinian who was injured Monday during clashes in the Silwan area of east Jerusalem was in critical condition, according to official Palestinian news agency WAFA, which said he had been shot.
Palestinian hospital Makased, where the 17-year-old was being treated, alleged in a statement Tuesday that Israeli forces had entered the hospital and were disrupting operations.
Israeli police said six arrests had been made overnight in two separate areas of Jerusalem.
Police say a number of Muslims have been entering the compound, though they did not provide a number on Tuesday. The compound has appeared largely empty.
Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah said “we refuse these dangerous measures that will lead to a ban on the freedom of worship and will obstruct the movement of the faithful”.
On Friday, three Arab Israelis opened fire on police before fleeing to the compound, where security forces shot them dead.
Israel closed the site for two days following the attack, angering Muslims and Jordan, the site’s custodian.
Israel said the closure was necessary to carry out security checks.
The site reopened on Sunday, but with metal detectors at entrances. Palestinians view the move as Israel asserting further control over the site.