Indonesia condemns Israeli attack on Al Aqsa mosque – call for strong NZ stand

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sraeli police chase a Palestinian demonstrator
Israeli police chase a Palestinian demonstrator at the Al Aqsa Mosque during Israel’s "Jerusalem Day" on May 10, 2021 in occupied East Jerusalem. Image: Kia Ora Gaza/Middle East Monitor/[Laurent Van Der Stockt/Getty

Asia Pacific Report newsdesk

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has condemned the Israeli police violence against Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the holy city of Jerusalem, reports Anadolu News.

Widodo emphasised that the expulsion of Palestinian civilians from their homes and the use of force against them at the Al Aqsa Mosque must not be ignored.

“Indonesia condemns such acts and urges the UN Security Council to take measures on the repeated violations carried out by Israel,” Widodo posted on his official Twitter handle.

Widodo added Indonesia would continue to stand with the people of Palestine.

Israeli police on Monday stormed the Al Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and attacked the Palestinians who were on guard to prevent raids by extremist Jews.

Al Jazeera reports that the Israeli military has continued its bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip, targeting several areas after rockets were fired from the enclave.

Health authorities in Gaza said at least 32 Palestinians – including 10 children – were killed in Israeli air strikes on the Strip since late on Monday, after Hamas launched rockets from the coastal territory towards Israel.

Gaza ultimatum
The rocket fire came after Hamas, which rules Gaza, issued an ultimatum demanding Israel stand down its security forces from the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem after days of violence against Palestinians.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Red Crescent said some of its employees were prevented from entering the Al Aqsa Mosque compound.

Thousands of Palestinians staged protests in the Al Aqsa Mosque complex, located in the old city of Jerusalem, after performing the dawn prayers on Monday. They stayed inside to guard the mosque from the raids of extremist Jews.

Setting up barricades at some points of Haram al-Sharif, the main building of Al Aqsa, they chanted slogans and said they would not leave there.

Extremist Jews had announced to storm Al Aqsa Mosque to celebrate the anniversary of the Six-Day War of 1967, when Israel occupied East Jerusalem, as “Jerusalem Day” according to the Hebrew calendar.

Extremist Jewish organisations had called for raids on Al Aqsa Mosque on Sunday and Monday to mark Jerusalem Day, to celebrate occupation anniversary according to the Hebrew calendar.

Police raided mosque
The Israeli police then raided the mosque, using tear gas shells, rubber bullets, and stun grenades in clashes with the Palestinians, who responded by throwing stones. More than 300 Palestinians were in wounded.

Palestinian resistance group Hamas has said that Israel was waging a “religious war against Palestinian worshippers” in the occupied city of Jerusalem.

“What is happening in the Al Aqsa Mosque at the time of storming and assaulting worshippers is proof of the brutality of the Zionist occupation,” Muhammad Hamadeh, the movement’s spokesman for the city of Jerusalem said.

He called on the Palestinians to “remain steadfast”.

Golriz Ghahraman & Marama Davidson
Green MPs Golriz Ghahraman and Marama Davidson (co-leader) mark World Keffiyeh Day. Image: Golriz Ghahraman FB

The Hamas spokesman held Israel responsible for its “incursion into the Al Aqsa Mosque,” saying: “The occupation will pay a heavy price.”

In New Zealand, yesterday — World Keffiyeh Day — was marked by Green MPs in solidarity.

“We celebrate Palestinian culture, humanity, and life, as we continue to call for an end to the terrifying violence suffered right now in Palestine at the hands of Israeli forces and settlers. Our [government] must speak!” Golriz Ghahraman said in a social media posting.

Don’t be ‘complicit’, says PSNA
Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa (PSNA) national chair John Minto has called on the New Zealand government to make a strong statement, not be “complicit” with ethnic cleansing by remaining silent. The statement said:

“The Palestinian people deserve the New Zealand government’s voice on their side rather than our ‘complicity through silence’ which usually accompanies Israeli racism and systematic brutality against Palestinians.

“In speaking out we urge you not to use anaemic language such as ‘calling for calm’ or ‘urging restraint on both sides’ because those statements in effect mean New Zealand siding with Israel’s racist, ethnic cleansing policies.

Posted by Kia Ora Gaza on Sunday, May 9, 2021

“Please intervene with a strong, clear voice which condemns both Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the indigenous people of Palestine and the brutality meted out against them by the Israeli police and armed forces. New Zealand should be demanding equal rights and equal treatment for all people living under Israeli occupation and control.”

A tweet by Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta yesterday has been criticised by PSNA as “not cutting the mustard”.

Mahuta said New Zealand was “deeply concerned” and called for a “rapid de-escalation”, saying that both sides needed to “halt steps which undermine prospects for a two-state solution”.

However, Minto said today: “It was a tweet which focused on the symptoms rather than the problem which is Israel’s racist, apartheid policies and unbridled brutality against Palestinians.”

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