Friday Protests Loom After Abbas Cites Qur’anic Verse ‘That Permits Muslims to Wage War for Allah’
(CNSNews.com) – Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction is urging mass Gaza solidarity protests across the West Bank after midday prayers on Friday, after Abbas in a speech cited a Qur’anic injunction that those who are wronged are permitted to fight.
On Wednesday the official P.A. news agency WAFA reported on a speech by Abbas the previous evening in which he vowed that “no-one in the world will enjoy stability and safety if this is not granted to the children of Gaza, Jerusalem, the West Bank and all of Palestine’s children.”
The speech, delivered to PLO officials at his headquarters in Ramallah, ended with a sura from the Qur’an: “Permission (to fight) has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged. And indeed, Allah is competent to give them victory.”
Fatah’s official Facebook page noted that Abbas’ speech had ended – in its words – “with the first verse of the Quran that permits Muslims to wage war for Allah,” according to a translation by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), an Israeli non-governmental media monitoring group.
The Fatah page also features a circular calling for large protests on Friday.
It urges “masses of our people … to say prayers for the souls of the martyrs after Friday prayers, and then start mass marches in all areas, to support the steadfastness of our people in the Gaza Strip and to condemn Nazi aggression.”
Already clashes between Palestinian protestors and Israeli security forces have occurred daily in parts of the West Bank since the Gaza offensive began on July 8, and on Thursday night an estimated 10,000 marched from the Ramallah area towards nearby Jerusalem, with some demonstrators displaying dummy “rockets” in support of Hamas’ rocket fire from Gaza.
Violence erupted as protestors hurled rocks and firebombs at Israeli troops who fired rubber bullets and teargas near a checkpoint between the P.A.- and Israeli-controlled areas. Palestinian media outlets said two Palestinians were killed and dozens injured.
Palestinians also clashed with Israeli police in Jerusalem’s Old City. Police said two police officers were injured and 20 Palestinians arrested.
Israel’s Yediot Ahronot said Hamas welcomed the protests, quoting a spokesman in Gaza as saying, “The West Bank is fighting. It is important these protests stand and spread across the West Bank.”
PMW voiced concern about Abbas’ citing of the Qur’an amid the current tensions.
“Presenting a conflict as a religious war can have dangerous implications,” it said, recalling that after Ariel Sharon – then opposition leader, later prime minister – visited the Temple Mount in September 2000, Abbas’ predecessor Yasser Arafat had accused him of defiling the Al-Aqsa mosque, the third-most revered site in Islam.
“[Arafat] used this claim as a guise to launch the ‘Al-Aqsa Intifada’ (i.e., second intifada) terror campaign, which led to the deaths of over 1,200 Israelis and tourists and 4,000 Palestinians,” PMW said.