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Bulletin : Published
Saturday, July 13, 2002
Subject: Israel Bans Mosques窶・Azan And Churches窶・Ringing Bells
Israel Bans Mosques窶・Azan And Churches窶・Ringing Bells
Mosques and churches targeted by Israel
Report By Awad Al Rajoub, IOL Palestine Correspondent
AL KHALIL (Hebron), July 3 (IslamOnline) 窶・Ever since the start of its wide-scale military offensives on the Palestinian territories three months ago, the Israeli occupation army has launched a campaign against the places of worship as well as Muslim and Christian organizations, and have arrested several of those in charge there.
Israeli forces have bombed mosques and churches and have stormed dozens of charity organizations, confiscating or destroying parts of their properties. They have also abducted several officials working in these organizations,
Israeli forces recently abducted Sheikh Adel Al-Jindi, head of the Islamic charity organization in Al-Khalil, one of the largest Palestinian charity organizations. Azam Hassouna, head of the Muslim youth organization in Al-Khalil was also abducted.
The Israeli forces have also barred the mosques from raising the Azan (call for prayers) during a curfew, and the Friday sermons in nearly 80 per cent of mosques in the West Bank have been barred with several imams and orators abducted by the Israeli forces. Mosque equipment have also been confiscated.
The same goes for churches which have not been allowed to ring their bells or carry out their prayers in Bethlehem most of the times.
Raed Salah, head of the Islamic movement in the Palestinian lands, said that what is happening is above any 窶彭ivine law or human tradition.窶・
Speaking to IslamOnline, he said that the Israeli occupation forces are doing as they wish in the West Bank and Gaza Strip without any legal deterrent and see themselves as above any law.
窶弋his is getting worse day after day. Life in the West Bank and some parts of Gaza is paralyzed and it is clear that these barbaric conducts have caused hunger, constant siege and a total paralysis of life, including barring residents from reaching their mosques to call for prayer and pray,窶・he said.
He added it is sad that all this happens as the Arab and Muslim world watches silently as if everything is normal.
Regarding what the Islamic movement did regarding this problem, Salah said: 窶弩e have formed a committee for Humanitarian Relief, including a number of organizations concerned with relief, human rights, maternity and children as well as media. We have also rebuilt a number of mosques which have been destroyed.窶・
Anthony Salman, lawyer and head of the Antoine Lahd Charity Association in Bethlehem, said that the Israeli forces have been barring residents from going to the churches in their neighborhoods to pray.
窶廸o resident, during curfew hours, is able to leave his home. That窶冱 why we are unable to pray in churches,窶・he told IslamOnline.
Salman added that the occupation army has no ethical or religious deterrent as it has bombed the church of the Nativity and other churches in Bethlehem as well as a number of mosques. He added that these forces are against all religions.
Salman called upon those with 窶彡onscience窶・and 窶彭ecision makers of the world窶・to hasten to rescue the holy shrines in Palestine and to take the necessary procedures to bring life back to normal.
Sheikh Tayseer Al-Tamimi, deputy supreme judge in Palestine, said that the Israeli forces have doubled their operations against the Palestinians since the latest address given by U.S. president George W. Bush.
窶廝ush窶冱 speech has given Sharon the green light to bomb Palestinian territories, place Palestinians under siege, reoccupy all lands, enforce collective punishments and to ruin all Palestinian Authority institutions,窶・Al-Tamimi said.
Regarding the Israeli war against mosques, Al-Tamimi said that the army has been shutting the doors of mosques and barring worshippers from entering during curfew. In Jerusalem, the siege has been tightened around the city, barring the Palestinians, even those residing in Jerusalem, from reaching the Al- Aqsa Mosque.
The Israeli forces have also barred prayers from being held in the Ibraheemy Mosque in the old village of Al-Khalil, Al-Tamimi added.
Yousuf Salama from Al-Khalil said that he always used to pray in the mosque, but now he is unable to do so. 窶弩e used to pray during the day without any hassles; now, we don窶冲窶・even hear the azan,窶・he said, adding that 窶徙ccupation forces have there have imposed a curfew, and even if there is no curfew, they watch the residents and wait for them in public areas to abduct them.窶・
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