Saturday, October 3, 2015

Call to terror: Hamas official calls on Palestinians to "take up arms"

(Times of Israel) A senior Hamas official Saturday called on Palestinians to take up arms to “defend” the al-Aqsa Mosque at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount after a supposed rise in Jewish visitors to the flashpoint site.

“The only solution to defend the al-Aqsa Mosque and to prevent Israelis from carrying out their plans there is for West Bank and Jerusalem residents to take up arms,” Mahmoud al-Zahar said in an interview posted on the terror group’s website.

Tensions have been high in the West Bank and Jerusalem recently, with Palestinian rioters and Israeli security forces clashing at the site, the holiest in Judaism and third holiest in Islam.

Zahar’s call comes after several attacks on Palestinians were reported in the West Bank Friday as Israeli security forces searched for the suspected Palestinian killers of Naama and Eitam Henkin, a Jewish couple shot dead in front of their four young children in the West Bank on Thursday.

“Until now weapons have only served to protect the settlers and the occupiers,” added Zahar, whose group rules the Gaza Strip. “But we should not forget the West Bank has great human resources that can be mobilized at any moment.”

“The image of Palestinians from the West Bank and Jerusalem throwing stones and Molotov cocktails has dealt a blow to the occupier,” he said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month vowed “war” on stone throwers as his security cabinet broadened the rules under which they can be targeted by live fire, while setting minimum sentences and authorizing larger fines for stone-throwing minors and their parents.