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Israeli forces set to reopen Al Aqsa Mosque Compound

Clashes broke out after Israeli police alleged a firebomb was thrown at their post inside the holy compound.
By Elphas Nkosi

 

Israeli police said the entrances to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound will be reopened on Wednesday morning, a day after heavy clashes with Palestine worshipers as the Israeli Authorities closed off the gates in response to what they said was a firebombing of a police station on the site.

Palestinian Activist Abeer Zayyad told Markaz Sahaba Online Radio that the fire was caused by children who were playing with fireworks.

“The thing is that the Israeli Police said there was fire inside a police station situated inside the AL Aqsa Mosques, we do not know who started the fire but of course Israeli immediately said it is the youth that started the fire and used that as an excuse to close Al Aqsa Mosque,” said Abeer.

No injuries were reported, but scuffles broke out between Israeli forces and Palestinian worshipers, which resulted in the arrest of at least two Palestinians.

Abeer Zayyad added: “Dozens of Israeli soldiers stormed the Al-Aqsa compound and assaulted several religious figures,” including Al Aqsa`s Imam Omar Kiswani and Omar Kiswani and Sheikh Wasef al-Bakri, the acting supreme judge of Jerusalem’s Islamic Courts.

“They did not allow us to pray inside Al Aqsa as they continued assaulting our people. Now, we are afraid and we do not know what is going to happen. But we will wait to hear what will happen from now,” said Abeer.

Closing off Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, is a continuation of arbitrary policies of Israel against Palestinian rights.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, in which the Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.

Markaza Sahaba Online Radio received confirmation from Akram Al Satari Head of International Relations at Sawaed Association for Relief and Development in the Gaza Strip that Al Aqsa Mosque Compound has been re opened for prayers. “Yes I can confirm that this morning already the Al Aqsa Mosque was re opened by the Israeli Authorities after Muslims made it clear that their place of worship shall not be threatened by the Apartheid Israel”.

“We stood firm on our course to continue push for the reopening of the Holy site”. He added.

ALGERIANS DEMAND BOUTEFLIKA’S RESIGNATION

Pretoria embassy besieged by expats demanding end to president’s 20-year rule

By Alameen Templeton

 

A crowd of determined Algerians gathered outside their embassy in Pretoria this morning in support of massive protests in their home country demanding an end to the Bouteflika regime.

A small police contingent kept a close eye on proceedings, although the protesters were well-behaved and never got out of control.

“We are here to demand the president and his gang of mafia. They have stolen from our country for more than 20 years and it is time for them to go,” Hafiz, a particularly vocal protester said.

The crowd showed a remarkable degree of commonality on how they read the situation in their home country.

Their first two demands are that President Aboubakr Bouteflika not stand for a fifth term. The wheelchair-bound octogenarian is bidding for his fifth term as head of state, despite promises to the electorate while running for his third and fourth terms that “this election will be my last”.

Bouteflika has  made similar promises going into this election, set for next month, that he will sit as president for just two years before handing over to someone else, but few  people outside his immediate circle are satisfied with his assurances.

“He is old, he can’t even stand up from his wheelchair. He can’t even sign his name to documents. Our ambassador here in Pretoria was supposed to have been replaced, but Bouteflika is incapable of signing his name to the necessary authorisations. How then can such a man stand as leader of our country?” Nema, a reserved spokesman for the protesters asked.

All protesters interviewed were adamant the mass protests in their country would never go the same way as happened to the “Arab Spring” protests in 2011. They also started out peacefully, but returned to militarism after a few initial, public victories.

“It is impossible! Impossible! Algerians are far too educated and experienced. South Africa in terms of its evolution after its revolution is around about where Algeria was in 1962 (the year Algeria gained its independence from France after bitter years of fighting that claimed about 1.5million lives). We will never let it happen,” Muhammad, a middle-aged protester said.

All were adamant the secretive oil and gas supply agreements with France would have to be cancelled.

Algeria’s government has extended a free provision of oil and gas agreement with France almost indefinitely.

This is something everyone spoken to was adamant would have to be changed.

But first, the president and his “Forty thieves” would have to go, everyone at the protest said.

 

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