MEDIA STATEMENT ON ISRAELI ATTACKS ON AL AQSA WORSHIPPERS AND LATEST ILLEGAL WEST BANK EVICTIONS

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The Sri Lanka Committee for Solidarity with Palestine (SLCSP) strongly condemns the brutal attacks last
week by Israeli security forces on Ramadan worshippers at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, the third
most holy site of Islam. At the same time the Committee condemns the latest illegal eviction attempts
against hundreds of Palestinian families in the nearby Sheikh Jarrah area to make way for forcible and
illegal Israeli settlements.

According to reports broadcast worldwide and information from Palestine itself, Israeli security forces
and police fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets into the Mosque precincts last Friday. This
attack injured nearly 200 Palestinian worshippers engaged in Ramadan observances on the final Friday
of the period of Fasting. The Committee expresses its horror and condemnation of this human rights
and cultural atrocity. Friday’s criminal assault by Israeli forces on the sacred mosque and worshippers
was the fourth successive day of such state brutality against civilians in the Palestinian territories
illegally occupied by Israel for over 70 years.

These actions by Israeli occupying forces were also extended to the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood that
has become the latest hotspot of the decades-long illegal Israeli settlements drive. Hundreds of
Palestinian families face eviction with Israeli court rulings favouring Jewish settlers waiting to set up
home in place of the original Palestinian residences once they are evicted.

The illegal Israeli settler programme is especially offensive to Humanity given the genocidal and ethnic
cleansing implications of such a racially targeted eviction policy.
The Committee calls on the Sri Lanka Government to join the world community in condemning these
barbaric and illegal actions by Israel and, express the outrage of the Sri Lankan people against the
continuing Apartheid-style occupation of Palestine by Israel.

The Committee also calls the on the Kingdom of Jordan to take action in fulfillment of its responsibilities
as the official Custodian of holy sites in Jerusalem, including the Al Aqsa Mosque.

The Committee demands that the Israeli occupying authorities fulfill their international law obligations
with regard to people under occupation and facilitate full and continuous access to the Al Aqsa Mosque
and precincts to all the people, including worshippers, in accordance with traditional practice.
The committee calls on the United Nations to fulfill its responsibilities to the colonized people of
Palestine in this un-resolved crisis of decolonization.

Bimal Ratnayaka
Co-Chairman – SLCSP

M. Fawzer Farook
General Secretary – SLCSP

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