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Fianz Condemns Attacks On Worshipers At Al-Aqsa Mosque

The Federation of Islamic Associations of Aotearoa New Zealand (FIANZ) strongly condemns the brutal attacks on the Muslim worshippers in and around the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem during the holy month of Ramadan. This sacred time also coincides with Good Friday commemorations by the Christian communities in the Holy City as well as the Jewish Passover.

What should have been a time of peace and worship for all the children of the Abrahamic faiths has yet again become a time of fear and violence as a result of the unprovoked attacks by Israeli forces, said Ibrar Sheikh, President of FIANZ.

It has been reported that the attacks began when the Israeli armed security forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque, encircled Palestinian worshippers, and violated the sanctity and peace of Islam’s third-most sacred Mosque. Israeli riot police fired tear gas, stun grenades, and rubber bullets with complete disregard for the peaceful worshippers. Western media reports that the armed Israeli police were seen beating and assaulting countless others, including journalists and women. In the aftermath, around 160 Palestinians were left wounded, while hundreds were arrested.

Such acts of state-sponsored violence deserve swift and categorical condemnation by the world. They are in direct violation of international human rights law and go against the norms of acceptable human behaviour. Places of worship, and the faithful who come together to worship there, should never be the target of such brutal and cowardly violence, stated Ibrar Sheikh.

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Earlier this year Amnesty International reported Israel’s ongoing apartheid policy against the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Human Rights Watch, Israeli Rights Group B’Tselem as well as Palestinian Rights Groups have all expressed similar concerns. 

FIANZ calls upon the New Zealand Government to condemn Israel’s human rights abuses and ongoing violations of international law and to exercise diplomatic pressure on Israel to cease its continued provocation and harassment of Muslim worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan. 

FIANZ stands in solidarity with Palestinians and their right to freedom and selfdetermination.

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