Group of extremist Jewish settlers set a one hundred year old Christian church on fire in Jerusalem on Friday causing substantial damage to its first floor.
Zakaria Al-Mashriqi, a leader in the church, denounced in a press release the “sinful crime” that targets destabilizing relations among heavenly religions and inciting strife in addition to expelling Palestinians from the holy city through such repeated attacks on citizens and their property.
He added that the church was built in Jerusalem in 1897, and housed the Palestinian Bible College until 1948, when parishioners were pushed out by Jewish armed gangs during the violence accompanying the creation of the state of Israel.
He said that right-wing Israeli settlers broke a number of windows of the two-storey church and hurled Molotov cocktails inside it completely burning the first floor.
Mashriqi appealed for urgent intervention to protect the holy places in Jerusalem and called on the Israeli government to act responsibly and condemn the attack, and work on investigating the attack to find out who was involved and file charges in the case.
[ 30/10/2010 – 03:19 PM ]
DAMASCUS, (PIC)— Hamas condemned on Saturday the extremist Jewish settlers’ assault on a church in the western sector of occupied Jerusalem last night, holding the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) fully responsible for such a “disgraceful” act.
The movement said in a statement that the crime was reminiscent of the IOA “racist policy” that is hostile to heavenly religions and of the Judaization scheme of Jerusalem.
Hamas called on the Palestinian people to stand up to such racist practices, and asked the international organizations to assume their responsibilities and pressure the IOA to halt its incessant crimes against the Palestinian people and their Islamic and Christian holy shrines that violated all international laws, norms, and ethics.
For its part, the Islamic movement in 1948 occupied Palestine expressed utter dismay at the Jewish settlers’ attack on a church in Jerusalem on Friday.
Zahi Nujaidat, a spokesman for the movement, said in a press release that the Islamic movement denounces in the strongest words the crime of burning the church, which falls in line with the series of assaults on holy shrines.
A group of Jewish settlers on Friday night threw firebombs into the two-storey church completely burning its first floor.
Thousands of 1948 Palestinians commemorate the Kafr Qasem massacre
Thousands of Palestinians from the 1948-occupied Palestinian territories participated on Friday in a rally to mark the 54th anniversary of the Kafr Qasem massacre under the slogan “against institutional racism and the Israeli racist onslaught”.
Arab members of the Knesset participated alongside the residents of Kafr Qasem in the huge rally that started at the town centre and moved towards the memorial of the victims of the massacre where a number of speeches were delivered, then the crowd moved on to the martyrs’ cemetery and placed flower wreaths were placed on their tombs.
“Thousands of residents of Kafr Qasem participated in the rally against the facist onslaught against the Arabs,” said the spokesman for the Popular Committee in Kafr Qasem, Adel Amer, adding that “We mark the anniversary of the massacre, which claimed the lives of 49 of our people, every year. Today we marked the 54th anniversary of the massacre and to foil the transfer conspiracy.”
For his part, MK Muhammad Baraka said that the Supreme Arab Follow up Committee has adopted the commemoration at national level because the concept of transfer is being put forward in the official discourse of the Israeli government.
He emphasised that when the IOF committed the Kafr Qasem massacre in 1956, they imposed a curfew on the village and closed it from three directions, leaving the direction towards the West Bank open hoping the residents of the village would flee to the West Bank as they wanted to get rid of the largest number of Palestinians.
MK Ahmad al-Tibi said: “Our loyalty is to the homeland and our principal weapon is steadfastness and survival.”
MK Jamal Zahalka said: “The mentality that committed the Kafr Qasim massacre is still there and today it is taking the form of an unprecedented racist onslaught that targets our very existence.”
He added that despite all what was written about the Kafr Qasem massacre, the true facts have not yet been uncovered, especially the role played by politicians, particularly the role of David Ben-Gurion and the top military command in preparing plans to complete the expulsion of Palestinians from the triangle area.
Zahalka also said that the officers and soldiers who committed the massacre said during their “trial” that they were working within a greater plan and they were carrying out an operation similar to Hagana operations in 1948 to effect a mass exodus from 1948 towns and villages.
He summed up by saying: “We will not allow a new transfer no matter how huge the sacrifices are.”
ISRAELI FORCES NAB 8 PALESTINIANS OVERNIGHT
Israeli forces have detained eight Palestinians across the West Bank overnight Wednesday.
Israeli sources reported that three were detained from the Jenin district, two from the Ramallah district and one the Bethlehem area. Meanwhile, he said two were detained from Beit Ummar, north of Hebron.
Palestinian Solidarity Project spokesman Muhammad Ayyad Awad said Israeli forces raided Beit Ummar, and detained 15-year-old Muhammad Ibrahim Abdul Hamid Abu Maria and Muhammad Samir Mhana Abu Maria, 18, from their homes.
On Thursday morning, a third teenager was detained from the Hebron area. Locals said 18-year-old Tareq Khamaysa was detained from his home in Taffuh. An army spokesman was not immediately familiar with the incident.
Palestinian young man killed by Israeli shelling northern Gaza
A Palestinian young man was killed on Wednesday when the Israeli occupation forces fired at him while collecting gravel in northern Gaza, medical sources said.
Adham Abu Salmiya, the medical services spokesman, told the PIC that the IOF troops fired an artillery shell at Jihad Afana, 20, east of Jabaliya in northern Gaza. The shell directly hit him severely maiming his body, he added.
He said that in a separate incident another 19-year-old Palestinian was hit with IOF bullets near the Erez (Beit Hanun) crossing while also collecting gravel.
The IOF soldiers have been lately escalating attacks on Palestinian citizens collecting gravel near the northern border areas of Gaza Strip.