Al-Azhar condemns “violations of Zionist terrorism” against Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem

Al-Azhar has condemned in a statement “he Zionist entity’s terror and its brutal violations against the people of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem”.

“Al-Azhar condemns in the strongest terms the Zionist entity’s terrorism and its brutal violations against the people of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem, following the legitimate protests organized by the Palestinians in response to the attempts of the Zionist entity to rape and rob the homes of Palestinians living in the neighborhood and forcibly displace its residents, and to disperse peaceful demonstrations by force of weapons and assault them, which resulted in occurrence of injuries,” the statement read.

Al-Azhar in its statement confirmed its “full solidarity with the people of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and the Palestinian people in their legitimate struggle against the tyranny of the Zionist entity and its settlement plans”.

The statement called on “the whole world to condemn these barbaric acts, stand in the face of the brutal Zionist entity, and support the Palestinian people, the owners of the right, the land and the fair cause”.

Al-Azhar also stressed that “the honorable Palestinians would continue to defend their legitimate cause in the face of this brutal enemy.”

The statement also stressed that the terror of the Zionist entity will only increase the Palestinians’ persistence and steadfastness,” confirming that “Palestine belongs to the Arabs and, God Almighty willing, will remain the Arabs’ and that the usurp Zionist entity will end even after a while”.

22 Palestinians injured

About 22 Palestinians were injured after Israeli forces attacked a march against the possible eviction of Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in the occupied Jerusalem city, according to the Palestinian emergency services on Thursday.

The Israeli police said, in a Thursday statement, that they arrested five people because of “disorderly conduct and assault on police officers,” during evacuation of the neighborhood from Palestinians for the benefit of Israeli settlers.

On Thursday, the Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem will hold a hearing session for the lawyers of the Palestinian families and the settlement association which calls on the families to evacuate.

As a response to the Israeli aggression, Palestinians have organised protests against the resolution to leave their homes where they have lived since the 1950s. The Israeli settlers claim to have bought the lands legally from two Jewish associations that bought it more than 100 years ago.

Meanwhile, Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit commented that the displacement of residents from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood is a full-fledged crime.

He further called on the international community to intervene to prevent this measure that violates human rights and establishes a system of apartheid in the occupied territories.

“The displacement, which targets about 28 homes inhabited by about 500 people from Palestinian families, is taking place within the framework of an ongoing scheme to Judaize East Jerusalem, especially the neighborhoods near the Old City, and to empty these neighborhoods of the Palestinian presence,” Aboul Gheit said. 

Moreover, the largest Sunni Islamic institution, Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, strongly denounced the Zionist terror and its brutal violations in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Al-Azhar affirmed its full solidarity with the people of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, and the Palestinian people in general, in their legitimate struggle against the tyranny of the “Zionist entity”.

Turkey condemns

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry published a press release on its official website over the recent expansion of the illegal settlements of Israel in the West Bank and Jerusalem. The ministry said that it is “gravely sorry” over the recent approval of the plans for the construction of 540 new settlement units.

Palestinian territories, including the West Bank and East Jerusalem, have been under Israeli occupation since 1967.

The Israeli Central Court in East Jerusalem approved a decision to evict seven Palestinian families from their homes in favor of Israeli settlers, giving them a May 6 deadline to comply.

Since 1956, a total of 37 Palestinian families have been living in 27 homes in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah. The neighborhood was annexed in 1967 in a move not recognized by most of the international community.

Israeli Jews backed by courts have taken over houses in Sheikh Jarrah on the grounds that Jewish families lived there before fleeing in Israel’s 1948 war for independence. No such protection exists for Palestinians who lost their land.

Turkish ministry blamed Israel for Tel Aviv’s forced eviction of Palestinians from the neighborhood.

“Despite all calls by the international community, it is seen that Israel continues its expansion of the illegal settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem, as well as its systematic attempts to evict the Palestinians living in the occupied territories through its decisions of demolition and confiscation.

“In this context, we are gravely concerned by the recent approval of the plans for the construction of 540 new settlement units in Har Homa in the southeast of Jerusalem, the eviction orders for Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah district of East Jerusalem and the attempts to legalize the unauthorized outposts that are illegal even under Israeli law,” the ministry declared on its official website.

The two-state solution, which envisions an independent Palestine state alongside Israel, west of the Jordan River, is also mentioned in the press release.

“These policies of Israel violate international law and continue to constitute the biggest obstacle to a two-state solution. We call on all the responsible members of the international community to give a stronger response to these illegal practices,” the press release said.

The May 6 deadline given to Palestinians by an Israeli court to leave their houses in Sheikh Jarrah has sparked public outrage.

Earlier this week, several Palestinians were injured and others were arrested by Israeli security forces during clashes in occupied East Jerusalem that were part of a demonstration of solidarity with the residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. At least 10 Palestinians were injured out of which three were hospitalized, the Palestine Red Crescent said Monday.