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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


by our Arab Affairs correspondent

TENS OF THOUSANDS of Zionist fanatics raided the Muslim quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem on Sunday during the so-called “flag march” in and around the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound to celebrate the occupation and subsequent annexation of Arab East Jerusalem in June 1967 – a move which has not been recognised by the international community.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh described the attacks by far-right Israelis in occupied East Jerusalem as “aggression which crossed all red lines”. Hamas, the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood which runs the Gaza Strip, said the “Islamic Palestinian Arab identity of the Al Aqsa Mosque will be protected by our people and their valiant resistance” and Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh strongly condemned the violation of the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by the Zionist gangs.

The Zionists entered the Muslim Quarter chanting “the nation of Israel lives” and “death to Arabs” whilst Israeli riot police beat back Palestinian demonstrators to pave the way for the dancing and chanting mob. One hundred and sixty-five Palestinians were injured in Jerusalem by rubber bullets, sound grenades, tear-gas and pepper spray, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said, and one protester was shot with live fire. Following the march, large groups of Israelis stormed through Palestinian neighbourhoods, assaulting residents as well as their property.

Mohammed Shtayyeh, the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority that administers the “autonomous zone” in the West Bank, said Israel had “crossed all red lines and international treaties with its repeated aggression against Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem. It attempts to impose a reality that doesn’t align with the historical status quo of Al-Aqsa mosque”.

Meanwhile, Israeli settlers have begun construction of a new settlement to the south of the city of Nablus in the northern part of the occupied West Bank. Work on the new settlement began on Monday upon land belonging to the Palestinian village of Jalud, which is some 19 miles south of Nablus.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian activist who monitors Israeli violations in the area, said that the Israelis had completed the excavation part of the project and were in the process of transferring prefabricated houses to the site. The new settlement is just yards away from Palestinian-populated neighbourhoods, he said.

South of Nablus, Zionist settlers have set fire to large tracts of Palestinian-owned land in the village of Burin. “A number of settlers set fire to agricultural land planted with olive trees to the south of the village of Burin, destroying a large number of trees,” Daghlas said.

This week the Palestinian Authority again called on the Americans to call a halt to Israeli settlement. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday that the US side must turn its words regarding the Middle-East conflict into deeds.

“The US has to turn its words into deeds instead of adopting the policy of silence and condemnation for the unilateral Israeli measures because the situation on the ground is no longer acceptable at all,” said Abbas during a telephone conversation with Blinken.

“The current situation cannot be tolerated amid the absence of a political horizon and an international protection of our people,” Abbas said, whilst also calling on the Americans to remove the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) from the US list of terrorist organisations, reopen the PLO office in Washington and reopen the US consulate in East Jerusalem.

Blinken told Abbas that the current US administration “is committed to the two-state solution, stopping settlement expansion, and preventing the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem”.

“The US is committed to reopening its consulate in Jerusalem” Blinken said, adding that Washington will send a high-ranking delegation to the region to prepare for US President Joe Biden’s upcoming visit at the end of June.

Blinken said that Washington is keen to investigate the killing of Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh to prosecute and hold the killers accountable.

On 11th May, Abu Akleh, 51, was killed after being shot in the head whilst covering an Israeli military raid on the Palestinian refugee camp of Jenin in the northern West Bank.