Israel criminalizes chanting “Allah the Greatest” at al-Aqsa

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– The Israeli Magistrate’s Court in Occupied Jerusalem indicted a Muslim young man for chanting “Allah is the Greatest” at the holy al-Aqsa Mosque. Lawyer Ramzi Kteilat who pleaded for 37-year-old Saher Ghazawi, from Nazareth, said the Israeli court criminalized the Muslim chant “Allah is the Greatest” as an act of incitement. The lawyer slammed the verdict which criminalized Muslim chants in the presence of Israeli settlers. Other court hearings are expected to be held over the rule issued against Ghazawi. The Israeli court accused the young man of obstructing police work as they provided a security shield for Israeli fanatics at al-Aqsa in 2011. “The verdict sparks incitement more than Ghazawi does,” Kteilat further stated, raising concerns over the serious repercussions of the verdict. He dubbed the court rule a politicized decision and one that has no legal basis. Commenting on the verdict, Ghazawi said it rather fuels tension at al-Aqsa and triggers rioting. “Saying ‘Allah is the Greatest’ is a ritual that brings us closer to Allah. Nobody has the right to infringe our freedom of worship, particularly in Muslims’ the al-Aqsa Mosque,” said Ghazawi. Ghazawi’s case dates back to September 21, 2011, when Israeli settlers broke into al-Aqsa Mosque while Muslim worshipers kept chanting Allah is the Greatest in protest at the move. Ghazawi was arrested on the same day and was subjected to psycho-physical violence by the Israeli forces. The Israeli occupation authorities locked him up for 24 hours before the Magistrate’s court slapped on him a 10-day ban from al-Aqsa.

(Source / 27.06.2016)

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Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives.

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