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Israeli siege of Al-Aqsa unites People's Assembly - Daily News Egypt

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Israeli siege of Al-Aqsa unites People's Assembly

CAIRO: The recent Israeli siege of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem united all the members of the People’s Assembly (PA), experts told The Daily Star Egypt. “Israel unites everybody and that is what happened at the PA, Diaa Rashwan, a political analyst from Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies told The Daily Star Egypt. The …


CAIRO: The recent Israeli siege of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem united all the members of the People’s Assembly (PA), experts told The Daily Star Egypt.

“Israel unites everybody and that is what happened at the PA, Diaa Rashwan, a political analyst from Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies told The Daily Star Egypt.

The exception to the rule, according to Rashwan, were the top National Democratic Party (NDP) officials who somewhat represent the state, and so temper their rhetoric towards Israel, by not criticizing the Peace Accords between the two countries, for instance.

Israeli police and army units stormed Al-Aqsa mosque after Friday prayers two weeks ago, firing stun grenades at worshippers as they were preparing to protest against the Israeli construction and tunnel-digging near and below the mosque, the thirds holiest site for Muslims.

The construction work has since been halted.

There had been a stand-off when this subject was raised in parliament by Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated (MB) members. Speaker of the PA Fathi Sorour, also a member of the ruling NDP, had refused to put the issue on the agenda.

The Brotherhood members left the hall in protest for ten minutes when the MP who raised the topic was expelled from the session. Yet the topic was later discussed and the PA released an official condemnation of the Israeli actions at the Al-Aqsa.

Rashwan believes that the reason why the NDP refused to discuss the incident initially at the behest of Brotherhood MPs was because they feared the discussion would spiral into a condemnation of what had happened in Al-Azhar Mosque the day before.

Anti-riot police had scuffled with protestors outside Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo who were angered by the Israeli renovations in Jerusalem.

The MB had called for the demonstration but police prevented the protestors from reaching the mosque prior to Friday prayers.

Yet Rashwan dismissed the notion that the differing reactions of the NDP and MB mean that they differed in their stance over the events in Jerusalem.

He said: “Al-Aqsa is a national cause with religious connotations, but essentially it is about Palestinian land.

Rashwan added that “if they [MPs] hadn’t raised the subject in parliament, we would be asking why they didn’t.

The day before the attacks, an agreement had been reached between warring factions Fatah and Hamas in Mecca to form a national unity government and bring an end to the internal conflict that claimed the lives of 34 people.

“The Israelis know that any imposition on Al-Aqsa will create hostility and they are aiming to sabotage the peace process, head of Israeli Studies at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies Abdel-Aleem Mohammed told The Daily Star Egypt.

He added: “Israel wants to derail any possibility of peace with the Palestinians and wants to destroy the national unity government.

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https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2007/02/19/israeli-siege-of-al-aqsa-unites-peoples-assembly/
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