Friday, 25 November 2011

Hamas Leaders Surface to Bang War Drum



Hamas, Islamic Jihad rally for Jerusalem
Published today (updated) 25/11/2011 15:54
Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh is surrounded by his bodyguards after
Friday prayer in Gaza City on Nov. 25, 2011. (REUTERS/ Ismail Zaydah)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Islamic Jihad and Hamas organized mass rallies in Gaza City on Friday demanding protection of Jerusalem's Palestinian character and Muslim holy sites.
After Friday prayers, Jihad supporters marched from al-Abbas mosque in the city, and Hamas gathered in Palestine Square, including Prime Minister in the Gaza-based government Ismail Haniyeh.
Jerusalem is in danger and the Islamic community should stand together to support the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City, Islamic Jihad official Sheikh Nafeth Azzam told the rally.
"It is illogical and unrealistic that Arab leaders stay silent about the rape of Palestine, and keep (Palestinian) prisoners in (Israeli) jails," he said. "It is more logical to take up weapons and confront the enemy."
Islamic Jihad supports the reconciliation deal ending division between Fatah and Hamas, he said, a day after leaders of the former rivals met in Cairo to progress implementation of the May agreement.
Azzam added that negotiations had not gained any national achievements and the Palestinian Authority should give up on this path.
In Palestine square, Hamas leader Musheer al-Masri told the rally the nation's leaders have started to unite with their people and take on the cause of preserving Jerusalem. The entire nation is responsible for liberating Al-Aqsa Mosque, he said.
Israel's occupation will disappear because of the determination of Muslims and their fight against injustice, he said.
Rallies also took place in other Gaza cities on Friday, movement leaders said.
Israel captured East Jerusalem in a 1967 war and annexed the city in a move never recognized by the international community.
East Jerusalem's Haram al-Sharif compound -- housing the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock -- is a revered as the site of Prophet Muhammad's journey through the heaven by Muslims.
Presidential legal adviser Ahmad Ruweidi said on Sunday that Israeli settler organizations have been given the green light by the Israeli government to take over a number of central Jerusalem homes belonging to Palestinians, after a Palestinian family was handed eviction orders near the entrance to Al-Aqsa.

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