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Israel to Demolish Mosque in Al-Quds
by Islam Online (reposted)
Wednesday Jun 1st, 2005 6:59 AM
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, June1 , 2005 ( & News Agencies) – Israel is planning to knock down a 20 -year-old mosque in Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem), as part of its steady demolition policy in the holy city.
An Israeli spokesman claimed Tuesday, May31 , that Badr mosque would be razed because it was built without a permit, reported Reuters.

He said the building is not recognized by the Israeli authorities as a mosque, adding that a date for the demolition was not yet set.

"We are not going to demolish any mosque…We are going to demolish a structure that is not completed."

The Badr mosque, which falls under the control of the Waqfs department, the official caretaker of Muslim sites in the holy city, is currently under reparation. It was built in 1986 .

Religious Oppression

The Israeli decision drew fire from Palestinian religious bodies and officials.

"We consider decisions like this as consecration of a policy of religious oppression and a violation of the sanctity of mosques and holy sites," said Al-Aqsa Society of the Reconstruction of Holy Shrines.

Adnan Al-Husseini, the director of the Waqfs Department, described the planned demolition of the mosque is a political issue.

"This is a mosque built between houses. It is not in the desert or in the middle of the street."

Israel captured Al-Quds in 1967 and later annexed in a move not internationally recognized drew condemnation and outrage from many Muslim groups.

Palestinians maintain that the holy city will be the capital of their future state.

Demolition Policy

Palestinian workers at the mosque site said they were restoring the older mosque -- putting in stone walls, removing rubbish and reinforcing the ceiling, which had leaked in winter.

Israel, however, claims that the building is fresh illegal construction, not yet finished.

"The municipality's policy is to exterminate illegal construction all over Jerusalem, which hurts law and order, puts a heavy burden on taxpayers and damages the quality of life for all the people of Jerusalem," the city said in a statement.

The municipality said it had demolished 22 buildings in East Jerusalem in 2005 and that the demolition decision could be appealed.

Palestinians and rights groups say building permits are nearly impossible for Arabs to obtain, and many build without them.

The Israeli human rights group B'tselem says Israeli housing demolitions have increased in East Jerusalem since the start in 2000 of the Palestinian Intifada, citing anecdotal evidence and reports from field workers.

In September2000 , Al-Aqsa Intifada erupted in the wake of the provocative visit of then Israeli opposition leader Sharon to Al-Aqsa mosque, Islam’s third holiest site.

In October,2004 , a UN report accused Israel of severe human rights violations against Palestinians, including "wanton" destruction of infrastructure.
by Gulf Times
Wednesday Jun 1st, 2005 10:46 PM
JERUSALEM: Israel plans to demolish a building in Arab East Jerusalem that Palestinians say holds a newly refurbished mosque but which Israeli officials call an illegal structure they do not recognise as a house of prayer.

The move angered Muslims who see it as an assault on Islam in the holy city. An Arabic sign outside the disputed building identifies it as the Badr mosque. Inside, Muslim prayer mats cover the floor of an open hall, fronted with domed windows.

An Israeli spokesman for the city of Jerusalem said yesterday the building would be razed because it was built without a permit, and denied it was a recognised mosque.

“We are not going to demolish any mosque,” he said, adding that a date for the demolition was not yet set. “We are going to demolish a structure that is not completed.”

Muslim groups expressed outrage at the planned demolition in East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed in a move not recognised internationally.

“It is a political issue,” said Adnan al-Husseini, director of the Palestinian Waqf, or department of Islamic religious endowments. “This is a mosque built between houses. It is not in the desert or in the middle of the street.”

An Israeli-Arab religious foundation, the Al-Aqsa Association for the Preservation of Islamic Holy Sites, also condemned the plan.

“We consider decisions like this as consecration of a policy of religious oppression and a violation of the sanctity of mosques and holy sites,” the group said in a statement.

by Daily Star, Lebanon
Thursday Jun 2nd, 2005 8:07 AM
While many expect the unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip to trigger more positive next moves in Israeli-Palestinian peace-making, a more formidable barrier to communal and national coexistence in that troubled land continues to rise, around the Jerusalem area in particular. Construction of the separation wall that Israel is building up and down the West Bank, referred to by Palestinians as the "apartheid wall," is moving ahead briskly, and should be completed by July around Jerusalem, when new unilateral Israeli regulations will come into force regulating the movement of Palestinians in and out of Jerusalem.

The wall will increase the same pressures that caused the Palestinians in the past 17 years to erupt in two spontaneous intifadas against Israeli occupation. Here, in its most basic form, has been the most dramatic expression of the modern Arab will to live in freedom and dignity. The sentiments that prompted millions of Palestinians to resist - first peacefully, then violently - the Israeli military occupation and political colonization of their lands are building up in an obvious and dangerous way in the Jerusalem region. This is impossible to miss, and it is due to the stark way the wall separates Arab regions of Jerusalem from each other and the entire Arab East Jerusalem from its hinterland in the West Bank.

Palestinians who are confined in ever narrower circles of imprisonment will come to see themselves as prisoners, and this is already happening in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron, Qalqilya, Tulkarem, Gaza, and other, smaller, Palestinian towns. The Gaza withdrawal and completion of the wall do not aim to improve Palestinian lives or prod political negotiations; they aim rather to punish, encircle, isolate, and humiliate the Palestinians, until they surrender and accept Israel's terms for long-term national subservience and vassalage. This will not happen. There is little time left before the Israeli wall around Jerusalem brings on another catastrophic round of violence by both sides. The best available means to avoid the grave, destructive and imminent consequences of the wall project is for those in a position to do so - Arabs, Israelis, Americans, Europeans - to engage more seriously in diplomatic efforts that could achieve that which the wall will never achieve: security for both peoples, based on equal dignity and national rights, in adjacent sovereign states. Diplomats of all stripes should be racing against the clock.