Wednesday 7 December 2016

Hamas leader calls for third intifada as violence spirals

Nidal al-Mughrabi and Luke Baker in Jerusalem

Published 10/10/2015 | 02:30

Hamas leader in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh called on Palestinians to step up their fight against Israel, describing the recent surge in violence in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank as the beginning of a new uprising, or intifada. Photo: Reuters
Hamas leader in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh called on Palestinians to step up their fight against Israel, describing the recent surge in violence in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank as the beginning of a new uprising, or intifada. Photo: Reuters
An Israeli army soldier aims his weapon at Palestinians during clashes in the West Bank city of Hebron. Photo: Reuters
A Palestinian protestor throws stones during clashes with Israeli border police at a checkpoint between Shuafat refugee camp and Jerusalem. Photo: Reuters
Palestinians clash with Israeli border police during clashes at a checkpoint between Shuafat refugee camp and Jerusalem. Photo: Reuters
Palestinians take cover during clashes with Israeli troops near Ramallah, West Bank. Photo: AP
A Palestinian swings a sling, during clashes with Israeli troops, near Ramallah, West Bank. Photo: AP
An Israeli border policeman fires tear gas towards Palestinian protesters during clashes at a checkpoint between Shuafat refugee camp and Jerusalem. Photo: Reuters

Israeli troops shot dead five Palestinians in protests in Gaza yesterday and a knife-wielding Jewish man wounded four Arabs in southern Israel in a wave of violence that has fuelled talk of a new intifada against Israeli occupation.

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The Israeli soldiers shot across the border into Gaza after the Palestinians came too close to the frontier, throwing stones and rolling burning tyres, an Israeli army spokeswoman said. Gaza medics said five people were killed and 30 wounded.

The protests were in solidarity with Palestinians protesting in Jerusalem and the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where tensions have surged in 10 days of violence in which four Israelis and at least eight Palestinians have been killed.

Palestinians have been angered by events at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City and fear Israel wants to change the status quo at the holy site, revered by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and by Jews as the Temple Mount.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied wanting to change conditions under which Jews are allowed to visit the site but non-Muslim prayer is banned, but his assurances have done little to quell alarm among Muslims across the region. The violence is not of the intensity of two Palestinian uprisings in the late 1980s and early 2000s but the attacks have prompted talk of a third "intifada".

In Gaza, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh praised Palestinians who have carried out knife attacks as "heroes" and said a new intifada focused on Jerusalem was under way.

"This is Friday, this is the day of rage... It is a day that will represent the start of a new intifada in all of the land of Palestine," he told followers after prayers.

"We give our souls and blood for Jerusalem, Jerusalem and al-Aqsa is part of the religion."

Irish Independent

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