Friday, 19 July 2013

Massive Al-Aqsa prayers on second Friday of Ramadan


JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Some 155,000 Muslims attended prayers at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound on the second Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, Israeli police said.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP the prayers passed "without incident".

Last Friday's prayers at the site were participated by some 80,000 worshipers.

After the prayers on Friday, hundreds of Hamas supporters took part in a rally in favor of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi and against army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Demonstrators held posters with Mursi's picture and chanted "Morsi is the Egyptian president, Sisi is an American collaborator".

A similar demonstration took place last Friday at the site. more

Fatah: Israeli refusal of 1967 borders nixed Kerry's plan


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel's refusal to hold negotiations based on 1967 borders destroyed US Secretary of State John Kerry's efforts to restart peace talks, a senior Fatah leader said Thursday.

Amin Maqboul, secretary-general of Fatah's revolutionary council, said Israel's rejection of 1967 borders as the basis of negotiations signaled that Israel had no intention of stopping settlement building in Palestine.

Kerry on Thursday extended his sixth visit to the region in as many months, hoping for a breakthrough on resuming direct negotiations. He met with President Mahmoud Abbas in Jordan for two rounds of intensive talks on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Maqboul told Ma'an that Palestinian leaders had reached a consensus with Kerry that for talks to resume, Israel must agree to negotiate on 1967 lines, release an unspecified number of Palestinian prisoners and stop settlement building.

The Palestinian negotiators asked Kerry to present the demands to Israel. Fatah's Central Committee, which met on Thursday to discuss Kerry's plan, said the Palestinian demands must be met in writing and not just verbally, Maqboul said. more