Jerusalem/Oslo (Dagbladet): The atmosphere is tense in Jerusalem’s Old City. There are many more police, security guards and soldiers here than usual – and there are also far fewer tourists than there are usually during these months.
Dagbladet meets shop owner Abu Rahmi Yousef (65), who runs the Golden Gate souvenir shop with his son and two grandchildren.
– Now there is no one here, and it is because of the war, says Joseph to Dagbladet, clearly disappointed.
– October, November and December are usually our busiest months. Now it’s almost like Covid again, he adds.
She called for mobilization
One reason for this gloomy mood is that Hamas, in addition to attacking Israel on October 7, called on Muslims to mobilize in support of the Palestinians. Among other things in Jerusalem.
– Hamas said in the week following the attack that Arab residents of Israel should come to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and gather there.
Jerusalem is legally divided between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, but the city is practically under Israeli control.
On Friday, Palestinians who came to the mosque to perform Friday prayers were prevented from entering.
The explanation was that Israel wanted to reduce violence. Therefore, they only allowed children, women and the elderly to enter, according to the news agency AP.
The mosque is located in Al-Haram Al-Sharif, the third holiest site in Islam. Thousands usually attend Friday prayers there.
Floor invasion on the stairs
An Israeli ground invasion of Gaza is also expected to be imminent. On Saturday, reports came in that the Israeli army, the Israel Defense Forces, was prepared for a large-scale, coordinated military operation. The Israeli army said on Sunday that it was waiting for the green light from the political leadership.
They claimed that they would do everything in their power to spare civilians. Therefore, they asked them to move south towards the border with Egypt. According to the United Nations, this is about 1.1 million people.
The leader of the Norwegian Refugee Council, Jan Egeland, describes the situation as hell.
Reports received in the morning hours today speak of unparalleled chaos, fear, and suffering in the Gaza Strip. Tens of thousands have tried desperately to get out of Gaza City and other northern areas, where Israel said it would bomb intensely and could not guarantee the safety of residents, Egeland tells NTB by phone.
He cringes at the word “evacuate.”
– This is not an eviction. Expelling privileged Norwegians from Israel amounts to eviction. This is a forced transfer of people, and is a clear violation of international law.
– Follows legislation
However, Israel maintains that it conducts all its operations in accordance with the law, including the law of armed conflict.
– Israel is not waging war against the Palestinians, but rather against the Islamic terrorist organization Hamas, which practices genocide, and which does not serve the cause and well-being of the Palestinians, but [saken til] Global Islamic jihad, which is being envisioned in Tehran, Israeli embassy advisor Jana Kotliar-Gal tells Dagbladet.
The latter is a reference to intelligence information that should prove that the Iranian regime worked closely with Hamas in preparations for the attack on October 7.
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