GAZA: The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) on Wednesday warned Israel against any change in the status quo at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem, saying any change “would turn the area into an earthquake.”
Marwan Issa, deputy chief of staff of Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, made the warning in an interview with Al-Aqsa TV, a Gaza-based satellite channel run by the Hamas movement.The remarks came amid warnings of increased tensions between the two sides, especially in Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, as the holy month of Ramadan and the Jewish Passover holiday approach.
“There is no political process, and the enemy (Israel) has annulled Oslo treaties (signed between Israel and the Palestinians in 1993), so that the coming days will be full of events and incidents,” Issa said.He called for “igniting and supporting resistance action in all Palestine, mainly in the West Bank and Jerusalem,” adding: “We will defend the Palestinian people with all force when direct intervention is required.”In April 2022, Al-Aqsa Mosque compound witnessed violent clashes between Palestinian worshipers and Israeli police forces when Jews visited the holy site.
Dozens of Palestinian worshipers were injured.The Hamas threats also came amid escalating tensions in the West Bank which flared up in January.The Palestinian Health Ministry said that 84 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since January, while 14 Israelis were killed during the same period.
UN chief calls for action to stop anti-Muslim hatred
UNITED NATIONS, March 15 (Xinhua) — UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday called for action to stop anti-Muslim hatred on the occasion of International Day to Combat Islamophobia.
The world’s nearly 2 billion Muslims reflect humanity in all its magnificent diversity. But they often face bigotry and prejudice due to their faith, Guterres said in a message for the International Day, which falls on March 15.He stressed that Muslims suffer personal attacks, hateful rhetoric and scapegoating.
He added that growing anti-Muslim sentiment is part of the resurgence of ethnonationalism, neo-Nazi white supremacist ideologies and violence targeting vulnerable populations, including Muslims, Jews, some minority Christian communities and others.”Discrimination diminishes us all. And it is incumbent on all of us to stand up against it,” Guterres said.
“We must push for policies that fully respect human rights and protect religious and cultural identities.” He also called for political, cultural and economic investments in social cohesion and recognition of diversity to confront bigotry.The UN chief said every great faith and tradition summons the imperatives of tolerance, respect and mutual understanding.
He called on people to counter the forces of division by reaffirming our shared humanity.