Israel set to turn Aqsa museum into a synagogue:
The head of the
northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, has claimed there
are Israeli plans to empty the museum of Al-Aqsa Mosque and turn it
into a synagogue, reports Arab News......
Palestinian Minister of Detainees and Ex-detainees Issa
Qaraqi’ said Saturday that Israeli authorities have been withholding
for years the remains of some 300 Palestinians killed in combat in
secret cemeteries known as the “Cemeteries of Numbers”, reports Arab
Israel was in
violation of basic international laws by denying Palestinian
families the right to claim their dead. Israel has agreed to release
the body of a Palestinian from Arourah killed by its forces in 1976
after keeping it for nearly 33 years for unexplained reasons, Arab
News quoted Qaraqi’ as saying who was on a visit to a Palestinian
family in the West Bank village of Arourah, north of Ramallah.
Israeli media said
the Israeli High Court ruled recently that the body of Mashhour Al-Arouri
should be released. The ruling came after the Palestinian family
petitioned the court for the custody of his body.
The appeal, lodged
by Arouri’s relatives, is part of a national Palestinian campaign to
bring home the bodies of Palestinian fighters killed by the Israeli
military during operations.
Qaraqi’ said that
Arouri’s body will be retrieved after DNA checks confirm his
The court ruled
that in case the body is found in a state not fit for reburial in
Palestine, the family will be granted permission to visit the grave.
Palestinians are skeptical about this as authorization to enter
Israel is rarely granted to Palestinians.
Qaraqi’ said the
“forced burial of the martyrs is a punishment to their families.” He
also said that the practice of withholding the men’s remains for
years sparked speculation Israel assassinated them after detention
or harvested their organs.
sources say Israeli is holding the remains of Palestinian and Arab
fighters in four Cemeteries of Numbers.
Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov opposed Saturday the inclusion of
jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti in any prisoner swap for
captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
The minister said
Barghouti does not qualify for release as he “has become a symbol of
armed conflict and bloodshed.”
Hamas sources said
that a deal is eluding the parties due to difference over the
release of eight prisoners. They are Barghouti, Popular Front for
the Liberation of Palestine’s Ahmed Sa’adat, top Hamas activists
Ibrahim Hamed, Abbas Al-Sayed and Abdullah Al-Barghouti, female
prisoners Amenah Muna, Ahlam Al-Tamimi and Qaherah Al-Sa’di.