Settlements ‘threat to Al-Aqsa’

Imam Yousuf Juma Salama
In this Feb. 6, 2013 file photo shows labourers use a bulldozer to raze a Israeli building in the Western Wall plaza of Jerusalem's Old City with the Dome of the Rock mosque and Al Aqsa mosque compound in the background.

In this Feb. 6, 2013 file photo shows labourers use a bulldozer to raze a Israeli building in the Western Wall plaza of Jerusalem’s Old City with the Dome of the Rock mosque and Al Aqsa mosque compound in the background.

Jewish settlements around Al-Aqsa Mosque are growing rapidly leading to the eviction of Palestinians from their native land, said Yousuf Juma Salama, imam of Al-Aqsa Mosque, while talking to Malayalam News, a sister publication of Arab News.

Salama, who was in Makkah to perform Haj as a guest of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, said Israel is trying to impose more restrictions on Palestinians visiting Al-Aqsa Mosque. They want to ban women from entering the mosque, the imam said.

Palestinian miseries are mounting everyday. Israeli settlers are grabbing their land while the world is silent at the sordid developments unfolding in Palestine. The hapless Palestinians have no right to travel even within their own country. They are always under threat. A missile or bomb can hit them anytime, he added. “But the final victory will eventually be ours,” he said.

Israel would have thought several times before perpetrating atrocities on the Palestinians had there been international reaction against it, he said adding there has been some positive developments lately as some European countries are voicing their concern over Israeli brutalities.

Sweden has announced its plan to recognize the state of Palestine and that is a heartening development. “We hope more European countries will follow Sweden,” Salama said.

About Saudi support to the Palestinians, the imam said that King Abdullah’s generous monetary help has given new confidence to the Palestinians.

Thousands of Palestinians are allowed to live in the Kingdom. They are given financial help by the Saudi government. Around 1,000 Palestinians performed Haj this year as guests of King Abdullah.

Salama said Palestinians expect more Indian support for their cause. India, he said, was the first country to support the Palestinians’ right to statehood. One of the libraries in Al-Quds University has been named after Mahatma Gandhi and that testifies to the close ties between India and the Palestinians, he said.

Imam Yousuf Juma Salama

Imam Yousuf Juma Salama

 
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