World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish civil society organizations and thousands of people on Monday protested Israeli invasion of Al-Aqsa Mosque and other Jewish provocations in Taksim Square, calling on Turkey to act against the destruction policy.
Started at 17 pm, people from different disticts of Istanbul attended the protest, as well as people from different cities.
Gathered in Taksim Square walked through Galatasaray High School on Istiklal Street, protesters shouted slogans in solidarity with Palestinians to condemn Israeli actions.
The group then burned the Israeli flags.
Israeli policede ployed in and around the area, focusing on the Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Monday as tens of thousands of Jews attended a religious ceremony.
Authorities banned access to the compound to Muslim men under 50 and over as thousands of Jews gathered at the nearby Western Wall on Monday for prayers marking the week-long holiday of Sukkot.
The Palestinian Authority on Sunday urged the international community to "immediately intervene and bring the question of the Al-Aqsa mosque before the UN Security Council."
Al-Aqsa Mosque is the Muslims' first Qiblah [direction Muslims take during prayers] and the third holiest shrine after Al Ka'bah in Makkah and Prophet Muhammad's Mosque in Madinah, Saudi Arabia.
Its significance has been reinforced by the incident of Al Isra'a and Al Mi'raj — the night journey from Makkah to Al-Quds and the ascent to the Heavens by Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
Sheikh Azam Al-Khatib, who heads the Islamic trust that manages the compound, said the current tension was caused by Jewish extremists who provoke the Muslim faithful and don't hide their ambition to kick the Muslims out to build a temple."
A week ago, a protest erupted after a group of non-Muslims entered the mosque compound that the Palestinians said they were Israeli extremists.
A joint press statement on behalf of all NGOs was read by Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) Chairman Bulent Yildirim.
Yildirim said in his speech, "Gaza led to a regional war, the Al-Aqsa Mosque incident leads to a world war. Al-Aqsa Mosque must be protected for peace and happiness. Al-Aqsa Mosque does not bleong to only Palestinians, but to all Muslims. All Palestinians will try to overcome the Israeli police barricade, if necessary, to protect Al-Aqsa."
"20 thousand people entered from the Maghreb door and attacked Al- Aqsa, Palestinian youth inside the Mosque tried to prevent them."
"Over 60 Palestinians wounded in Jerusalem. One million Jews are called to attaced to Al- Aqsa by Zionist Israel. The decision to occupy Al-Aqsa until the end of 2009 has been made. The aim is conversion of Aqsa to a synagog."
"We call all sides in Turkey to support Al-Aqsa Mosque," the chairman said.
Yildirim said, "This is Turkey's territorial land, a land registered to Turkey. Turkey should respond to this attack as the same way it would respond to any attack on its own land."
"Organization of Islamic Conference should gather immediately and should take several decisions, including cutting all diplomatic relations with Israel, if necessary. Israel's attacks will be shaped according to the reaction from the world," he said.
After the speeches, the rally ended peacefully.
The second Palestinian intifada began there in September 2000 after an attempt by Ariel Sharon to enter the mosque, the right-wing politician who became Israeli prime minister the following year.
Last Mod: 06 Ekim 2009, 13:37