Gaza – Ma’an – The Hamas movement urged Palestinians throughout the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel to take to the streets and begin a new uprising against Israel in reaction to clashes at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on Sunday.
In his call for protests, senior Hamas leader Muhammad Abu Askar in Gaza also called on Arabs and Muslims throughout the world to take action to defend the mosque.
By midday on Sunday, 26 people were said to be injured after stone-throwing Palestinians fought Israeli riot police after right-wing Jewish activists entered the Al-Aqsa compound.
Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said the Israeli “attack” on Al-Aqsa was an attempt to escalate the situation. “The Israeli occupation is not interested in calm,” he said, holding Israel accountable for the repercussions of the escalation.
For his part, Islamic Jihad leader Khalid Al-Batsh said, “The Israeli assault is part of a central Israeli decision to escalate in the whole region. This escalation might reach neighboring Arab countries.”
Al-Batsh called on the Palestinian Authority to suspend all contact with the Israeli government in protest. He said Arab and Islamic countries should stick to their responsibility to defend Al-Aqsa. Furthermore, he urged Palestinian rivals to close ranks and end the current state of political infighting.
The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) called on the Palestinian people to organize demonstrations supporting Islamic holy sites and emphasize that resistance remains the best option to confront Israel's occupation. The group added that its military wing, the An-Nasser Salah Addin Brigades, would “not stay with its hands folded toward atrocities committed by Israeli settlers and Israeli forces.”