Muslims Urged to Defend Al-Aqsa

Muslims Urged to Defend Al-AqsaMuslims Urged to Defend Al-Aqsa

Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal has urged Muslims to defend the Al-Aqsa mosque in Beit ul-Muqaddas (Jerusalem) after Israeli forces restricted the entrance for Palestinians. He accused Israel of trying to seize the holy site.

 “We call on all our people inside the country to hurry up to al-Aqsa to defend it,” Meshaal said in a statement from Doha, Qatar.

“We call on the nation to send a message of painful anger to the world that the Palestinian people, the Arab and Muslim nation, will not be silent at the Israeli crime,” Meshaal added.

When asked if such a call might trigger another conflict soon after the deadly 2014 Gaza war, the Hamas leader said: “Nobody wants a war, but it’s our right to resist and preserve our rights. We are under occupation...We have been resisting for one hundred years and will continue.”

“Al-Aqsa is worth us becoming martyrs for, and anyone who can carry a weapon in the region should go and defend it, as this is the true meaning of jihad,” Meshaal added, prompting alarm from both media and the region’s politicians, the RT reported.

Earlier, Israeli forces decided to only allow Palestinians over the age of 50 to enter the site, which is considered the third holiest shrine in Islam. The Palestinian population feared Israel was going to restrict access to the mosque for all Muslims. That caused the latest in a series of clashes with Israeli police at the site.

According to Meshaal Israel is trying to use the regional turmoil to take over the mosque.

 Boy Shot in the Heart

Meanwhile, a Palestinian boy was fatally shot point-blank in the chest by Israeli forces in a village of the occupied West Bank.

Bahaa Badr, 13, was killed as the Israeli troops made their way to Beit Liqya village in the West Bank, located near the border with Israel, Reuters reported citing medical sources and local residents.

Badr was shot from a close range into the heart area and died shortly after the impact, Palestinian Ma’an news agency quoted another source as saying.

Upon entering the village, Israeli troops were met by Palestinian protesters who began throwing stones at them. It is still unclear whether the boy took part in the protest, RT reported.

In response, troops began shooting live ammunition rounds, according to an Israeli military spokesperson.

Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have been running extremely high since the start of Israel’s seven-week war in Gaza in July, which took the lives of more than 2,000 Palestinians – mostly civilians.