Friday, February 9, 2007

Violence over renovations near Al Aqsa

It is very disappointing and frustrating to see the Israeli government go about this matter in so poor and senseless a manner. Is it really that hard to figure out that Muslims are sensitive about what goes on around the hilltop compound they call the Noble Sanctuary?

Why the renovation work? Answer: The stairs are dangerous to its users. Who uses the stairs to climb up to the mosque? Mostly Muslims. Who is responsible for the hilltop compound? Jordan (the waqaf). Is the government of Jordan really SO unreasonable? Can it really be the case that the danger of the stairs is roaringly obvious to the government of Israel, but Jordanians will NEVER be able to understand that? If so, what is it in the genetic make up of Jordanians that make them unable to recognize patently obvious dangers?

If Israel had worked with the waqaf NONE of these problems would have occurred. Why start these renovations before gaining secure Muslim support for the project?
Why can't our elected leaders proceed with the common sense that would be expected of a 13 year old? Is it that we're short on problems there in the region. Now innocents and young people will be further thrust into violence over something that could easily have been avoided.

Enlightened leaders should lobby for the suspension of renovations, and the rapid engagement of honest and concerned leaders from both Jordan and Israel to work closely with engineers from both countries and come to a consensus approach for repairing or improving to the earthen ramp leading up to the hilltop.

Violence breaks out at disputed Jerusalem holy site

On Friday, about 200 police streamed into the compound to try to quell the violence, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. Witnesses said police hurled stun grenades. As many as 300 protesters barricaded themselves inside the Al-Aqsa mosque at the compound. Police were stationed near the mosque, but did not enter it. Hundreds of worshippers threw rocks an bottle at the police.

Israeli border police officers, bottom left, block Palestinian demonstrators of the Islamic Movement, protesting Israeli government's construction works outside the nearby disputed Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, in east Jerusalem's Old City, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2007. Palestinian leaders have harshly condemned the work but Israel says the project is needed to replace a centuries-old earthen ramp that partially collapsed in a snowstorm three years ago. It has promised the work would cause no harm to Islamic holy sites, but those assurances have not calmed Muslim passions over the project.

Jordan government Okays anti-Israel demonstration Friday

Amman - The Jordanian government Thursday licensed a demonstration to be staged after Friday prayers by opposition parties to protest Israeli excavations near Jerusalem's al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third holiest shrine, officials said.

Cry of youth arouses the ancient hatred

Stun grenades were thrown, rifles levelled and rubber bullets thudded into rioters who minutes before had been bowed in piety.

A battle over Jerusalem's Old City was under way.

For the next two hours, paramilitary police surged through the narrow cobblestone streets as youths scampered through alleyways and perched on rooftops with rocks that they threw before retreating.

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