north of Loop: For the second consecutive week thousands of Palestinians participated in a manifestation mass called by the movement Hamas to show solidarity in the face of continued Israeli incursions into occupied Jerusalem and the al aqsa mosque.
Al-Aqsa Mosque has been at the center of days of violence and heightened tensions following a series of Israeli raids on the holy site, which began at the start of the holy month of Ramadan.
At the demonstration in the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, protesters carried banners declaring Palestinian rule over the al aqsa mosque and chanted slogans deploring Israeli attacks on worshipers there.
Suhail al-Hindi, a member of the Hamas political bureau, said that the thousands of people from Gaza who joined the march did so to send a message to people in occupied Jerusalem and in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque. .
“We are on your side,” al-Hindi said in a speech.
“We are with you, we support you, we protect your decision and we defend you,” he said, calling on Palestinians from the West Bank, occupied Jerusalem and the 1948 territories to permanently gather at Al-Aqsa to defend him.
“Palestinian unity represented in Jerusalem, the West Bank and the 1948 occupied territories tells the Israeli occupation that the Palestinian people are united in resistance and fighting with everything they have,” he said.
Tensions between Israel and Palestine
A wave of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories over the past month has raised fears of a relapse into a broader conflict similar to last May’s 11-day Israeli assault on Gaza, in which more than 250 Palestinians in Gaza and 13 people in Israel they were killed.
As we mentioned in AmericanPost.NewsIsrael carried out airstrikes in different areas of the Gaza Strip twice in the past week and the Israeli army said that its warplanes had hit military targets.
Earlier this week, rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel, causing minor damage and no injuries, Israeli police said. Four rockets fired from Gaza were intercepted by air defense systems, the Israeli army said.
The rocket fire raised expectations among Gazans about the possibility of a large-scale Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip, similar to the one last year.
“No one wants war”
Islam Abu Nada told Al Jazeera that he expected war to break out after last week’s rocket fire.
“Based on what is happening in Al-Aqsa, we expected the resistance to respond,” the Jabalia resident said at the protest.
Although the Al-Aqsa raids have caused tension, no one seems interested in a war, Abu Nada said.
“Nobody wants war,” he said.
“Israel targets civilians and does not differentiate between children, women or the elderly,” he said, adding that “we always feel fear for our children in war.”
Demanding that the raids on Al-Aqsa “stop immediately” as well as other “provocations” by Israel during the holy month of Ramadan, Abu Nada said it remains to be seen what happens next.
“We’ll see what happens,” he said.
Holding a Hamas flag at the rally, Khalil Taim, 35, said the Palestinians were defending the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is “the first [dirección] Qibla” which Muslims face to pray.
“It is normal for the resistance to respond to Israeli violations taking place in Jerusalem,” Taim told Al Jazeera, describing Israel’s incursions into the holy site and the shooting and killing of Palestinians as “illogical.”
“We are in a liberation battle, and we have no hand [en ella] if an escalation breaks out,” he said. “Gaza is used to it.”
Israel only understands the language of fighting, said Abd al-Fattah Abd al-Nabi, 77.
Expressing his solidarity with worshipers at Al-Aqsa Mosque, he said there could be no silence about what had happened and no price was too high to defend the site.
“We demand that the resistance not be silent about what is happening in Al-Aqsa Mosque, no matter what the cost,” he said.
For her part, teenager Malak Al-Masry, from Beit Hanoun, told Al Jazeera how much she feared the sound of Israel’s warplanes and their recent bombardment.
“I immediately thought war had broken out,” the 17-year-old said of the recent bombing.
“The same scenarios of destruction, fear and people losing their loved ones came to mind,” he said, adding that he hopes such scenes will not happen again.
In the Gaza Strip, Malak said, people live in fear of a devastating war and are also outraged by what is happening in Al-Aqsa. “We are in Gaza, (caught) between two fires,” he said.
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