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News, September 2008


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Palestinian Chief Justice, Member of Israeli Parliament Call on Israeli Occupation Government to Lift  Restrictions on Reaching Al-Aqsa Mosque


Palestinian Chief Justice calls for lift of restrictions at Al-Aqsa

Date: 06 / 09 / 2008  Time:  11:50
Jerusalem – Ma’an -

The Chief Justice of Palestine and Chairman of the Supreme Council called on the Israeli occupation government to lift the restrictions imposed on the Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip which prevent them from praying at Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem.

Shaikh Taysir Al-Tamimi accused the Israeli occupation government of preventing Palestinians from their right to freedom of worship, and condemned the increase in restrictions and barriers erected on Friday where they prevent Muslims from entering the city of Jerusalem and pray in Al-Aqsa Mosque where all these practices oppose the freedom of worship.

During the month of Ramadan, which is meant to be a reflective and spiritual time, said Al-Tamimi, the increased presence of the Israeli military is disturbing.

"Jerusalem is an integral part of the Palestinian territories,” said a statement from Al-Tamimi sent to Ma’an, and Palestinians should be permitted to move in and out of the city at will.

He concluded that Palestinians will not witness peace unless they have their own independent state.

Palestinian MK condemns Israeli procedures at Friday checkpoints

Date: 06 / 09 / 2008  Time:  11:20
Jerusalem – Ma’an –

Member of the Israeli parliament (Knesset in Hebrew) for the Islamic Movement and the United Arab Bloc, Ibrahim Abdullah, sent a registered letter to Israeli Public Security Minister Avi Dichter requesting the removal of restrictions for Muslims going to pray in Jerusalem.

In the letter Abdullah condemned the restrictions put in place starting on Friday. The new policies ban men under 45 and women under 35 from entering Jerusalem. Even then men under 50 and women under 45 must apply for permits if they wish to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Overlong lines and hostile treatment marked the first Friday of Ramadan as Palestinians from the West Bank queued at the Rachel’s Tomb (Gilo) and Qalandia checkpoints, only to be searched thoroughly or turned home. Cars were prohibited and elderly citizens had to walk long distances to public transport.

Abdullah expressed his anger at the way people were inspected and investigated at checkpoints. He cited the example of hundreds of elderly Palestinians who were forced to remove their shoes, and had all possessions searched several times.

Abdullah called for the Israeli Public Security Minister to make all efforts and provide adequate facilities to accommodate worshipers during the month of Ramadan. He further called for restraint to be shown and force to be limited as the religious perform their Ramadan duties.

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