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Hamas Holocaust faux pas makes media, not IDF invasion of al-Aqsa

Ma'an News Agency

Hamas spewed some predictable ugliness about a Palestinian official's visit to the site of the Auschwitz death camp in Poland—and the mainstream and Zionist press predictably plays it for all it is worth. Ziad al-Bandak, an adviser to President Mahmoud Abbas, made the visit this week, prompting Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum to say: "It was an unjustified and unhelpful visit that served only the Zionist occupation." He called the visit "a marketing of a false Zionist alleged the expense of a real Palestinian tragedy." The comments were picked up by Reuters and flaunted with open glee by the settler organ Arutz Sheva, which also offers more such gems from Hamas sympathizers.

Bandak's visit to Auschwitz, where he laid a wreath at the invitation of a private Polish foundation working for tolerance, was a rare one by a Palestinian, all accounts obviously remind us. Although, we happily note, the West Bank village of Na'alin has established a Holocaust museum—even as it wages a struggle against the enclosure of its lands by Israel's Apartheid Wall. A courageous repudiation of the groupthink that prevails on either side of the Israeli-Palestinian divide.

Meanwhile, winning practically no mainstream international coverage, Israeli soldiers and police on the night of July 28 invaded the al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem, attacking several worshipers while trying to forcefully remove them from the site. Clashes were reported and two worshipers were "kidnapped," in the words of the Waqf foundation that runs the site. During this year's Ramadan celebration, now underway, hundreds of worshipers have spent the night in the al-Aqsa Mosque, in defiance of Israeli authorities. The clash came when police tried to forcibly remove the worshippers, who had succeeded in staying at the mosque for three nights.

That same day, hundreds of Israeli settlers and right-wing Knesset members held a procession from West Jerusalem to the Old City, sparking clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli police near al-Amoud Gate. The Temple Mount has been closed to Jews for the holiday of Tisha B'Av, the Jewish holiday commemorating the destruction of the Second Temple, which overlaps with Ramadan this year. The move to bar Jews from the Mount was taken in response to fears that Jewish militants would create "provocations." The new Temple Mount violence only seems to have won coverage from such speciality sources as International Middle East Media CenterThe Muslin NewsAlReselah and (at least) theJewish Telegraphic Agency.

Meanwhile, Maan News Agency reports that Jewish settlers from Givat Ariel outpost vandalized Palestinian property in the village of Sinjil near Ramallah. Slogans left scrawled on walls included "Palestinians should die," and "Stay away from our lands." Settlers also left an improvised explosive device made from chemicals under a car.

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