New Israeli Incursion in Tulkarem; Jerusalem Mufti Warns Israel of Further Deterioration
Israeli occupation forces early Monday stormed into the West Bank city of Tulkarem, Palestinian sources said.
So far, the Israeli troops have occupied Area A territories in Ramallah, where they have tightened the siege around Yasser Arafat's office compound. Several arrests of Palestinian activists were reported in Tulkarem.
Meanwhile, the Islamic Jihad said its armed wing would resume attacks against Israel if the blockade on Arafat was not lifted. Another group, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, called for Palestinians to launch suicide attacks on Israeli military targets, and for human shields to be formed against the Israeli "crimes".
Meanwhile, it is reported that Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon plans to reopen al-Aqsa mosque compound to Jews and non-Muslims "at the first opportunity," as he has been telling his associates recently. The compound has been closed to non-Muslims since the outbreak of the Palestinian intifada in September 2000.
On September 28, 2000, Sharon, then right-wing opposition leader, toured the compound and fueled wide scale Palestinian riots.
Jerusalem Mufti Sheikh Ikrima Sabri warned that Jews and other non-Muslims should not be permitted to enter the mosque compound. "We oppose in the name of believers that the doors of the Haram al-Sharif are opened to non-Muslims because the general situation does not permit it," Sheikh Sabri told Palestinian radio. "Such a measure can lead only to escalation," the top Palestinian Muslim cleric said.
"It is totally out of the question that the doors of Haram al-Sharif could be opened to Jews and we hold the Israeli government responsible for all attacks on the sacredness" of the compound, Sabri added. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)