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Hamas warns Israel of consequences over al-Aqsa Mosque attacks

Palestinians attend the first Friday prayers after a 69-day closure due to the novel coronavirus pandemic in Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosques compound, on June 5, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

The Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, has warned Israel of the consequences of its further encroachment on the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds.  

Hamas made the remarks in an official statement on Thursday that marks Arafah Day, a major occasion on the Islamic calendar. It called on Palestinians to rally in mass towards the al-Aqsa Mosque.

The statement stressed that al-Aqsa is holy for the Palestinian people, and that they will not remain silent on Israeli violations against the site. Hamas said Israel should pay a heavy price if it keeps on such violations.

“Bab al-Rahma, the Marwani prayer hall, the Omar prayer hall, the Buraq prayer hall and the Buraq Wall are all part and parcel of our beloved Mosque,” Hamas said.

The movement condemned Israel for continued persecution of the people of Jerusalem al-Quds, demolishing their homes and imposing exorbitant taxes on them to force them to leave the holy city.

The Palestinian movement also called on the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to prevent Israel from destroying the homes of Palestinians and Judaizing Jerusalem al-Quds.

Extremist Israeli settlers have frequently stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds under the protection of regime forces.

Many of the Knesset members are right-wing extremists, who support the demolition of the Islamic site in order to build a Jewish temple instead.

Last year in October, Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas’ Political Bureau, said the Israeli regime’s Judaization plans in Jerusalem al-Quds would never succeed.

In recent months, Palestinian officials have condemned Israel’s exploitation of the novel coronavirus pandemic to expand its settlement construction activities, saying the Tel Aviv regime aims to further Judaize the occupied holy city of Jerusalem al-Quds.

Back on March 28, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said that Israel was exploiting the world’s preoccupation with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic to advance settlement projects and carry out “ethnic cleansing” against Palestinians.

Tensions have been on the rise in recent weeks in the occupied territories as Israel has pressed ahead with its plans to annex large parts of the West Bank in line with US President Donald Trump's so-called Middle East peace plan, which strongly favors Israel and has been rejected by the Palestinians.

In December 2017, President Donald Trump recognized the whole Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel. The US president also moved the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the Israeli-occupied city in May 2018, triggering waves of protest rallies in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip, where Hamas is based.

Israel’s unlawful annexation push has drawn widespread criticisms from the entire international community, including the regime’s closest allies.

The United Nations, the European Union and key Arab countries have all said the West Bank annexation would violate international law and undermine the prospects of establishing a sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 boundaries.

The international community views the entire West Bank and the eastern part of the occupied city of Jerusalem al-Quds as lands that could become home to an independent Palestinian state in future.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

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