Hamas calls on rage on 50th anniversary of al-Aqsa arson attack

Hamas calls on rage on 50th anniversary of al-Aqsa arson attack
Hamas has called on Palestinians to mobilise in remembrance of the 50th anniversary of al-Aqsa Mosque's arson attack.
2 min read
20 August, 2019
Hamas have called on Palestinians to act against Israel's occupation of Jerusalem [Getty]
Hamas has called on Palestinains to mobilise in rememberance of the 50th anniversary of the al-Aqsa fire attack.

In a press release on Tuesday, the Gaza-based group urged Palestinians, especially members of Hamas, to take to the streets to protest against the arson attack of 1969.

"We call upon all Palestinians, along with all Hamas members and officials, to express their outrage and participate in the massive popular and peaceful activity next Friday in order to face off the Israeli and US schemes and back Palestinian defenders of al-Aqsa", the group said in a press release on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Palestinians will be marking the 50th anniversary of the attack, carried out by radically pro-Israel Australian tourist Dennis Michael Rohan.

Rohan was said to be mentally unstable and considered himself "the Lord's emissary". He said he tried to destroy al-Aqsa Mosque after he heard voices from God all to enable the Jews of Israel to build a Jewish temple in place of the Mosque.

A week later, then Jordanian Ambassador to the United Nations, Mohamed El-Farra revealed Rohan was brought to Israel by the Jewish Agency for Israel to study in a Kibbutz, despite not being Jewish.

The 50th anniversary comes just days ahead of a weekly Great Return March protests that have been taking place inside the besieged Gaza Strip every Friday for months.

This year, Palestinians want to mark the arson in the context of the wider Israeli annexation of Jerusalem.

"On the anniversary of burning the mosque in 1969, the Israeli occupation forces and settlers attempt to judaize Jerusalem and obliterate its Islamic identity through storming into and desecrating the holy place", Hamas added.

More than 268 Palestinians have been killed and over 23,000 injured since the first Great Return March protest was held on 30 March 2018. Two Israeli soldiers have been killed in that period.

The results of a UN investigation released at the end of February found that Israel committed crimes against humanity in responding to the border protests, as snipers "intentionally" shot civilians including children, journalists and the disabled. 

Israel and Palestinian militants in the blockaded Gaza Strip have fought three wars since 2008 and fears of a fourth surged in the recent conflict.

A ceasefire between Israel and Hamas brokered by Egypt and the United Nations had led to relative calm around Israel's 9 April general election.

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