Al-Aqsa Mosque Massacre – October 8, 1990:
As an extension of the Zionist policy based upon exercising control over the city of Jerusalem and emptying it of its [Arab] residents by various and sundry means, such as Zionist terrorism and shedding the blood of the Palestinian people – a policy which Zionists have acted upon on numerous occasions – Zionist authorities undertook on Monday, October 8, 1990 to carry out this heinous massacre against Palestinian worshippers.
Several days before the events of the massacre began, the “Temple Trustees” group distributed a statement to the media on the occasion of a religious festival of theirs which they call “the Throne Festival”. In the statement the organization announced that it intended to stage a march to the Temple Mount (or so they call it). The statement called upon Jew to participate in this march since, according to the statement, it would involve the decisive act of placing the foundation stone for what is called the “Third Temple.” In addition, the founder of the organization, Ghershoun Salmoun, announced that “the Arab-Islamic occupation of the temple area must come to an end, and the Jews must renew their profound ties to the sacred area.” The march, in which 200,000 Jews took part, headed toward al-Aqsa Mosque in order for “the foundation stone” of the so-called “Third Temple” to be put in place.
On Monday, October 8, 1990 at 10:00 A.M., half-hour before the beginning of the massacre, Israeli occupation forces began placing military barriers along various roads leading to Jerusalem in order to prevent Palestinians from getting to the city. They also closed the doors of the mosque itself and forbid Jerusalem residents to go in. However, thousands had already gathered inside the mosque before this time in response to calls from the imam of the mosque and the Islamic movement to protect the mosque and to prevent the “Temple Trustees” from storming it.
When the Muslim worshippers began resisting the Israeli group to prevent them from placing the”foundation stone” for their so-called temple, Israeli occupation forces began carrying out the massacre,using all the weapons such as poison gas bombs, automatic weapons, military helicopters, etc. The soldiers and Jewish settlers where firing live ammunition in the form of a continuous spray of machine-gun fire. The result was that thousands of Palestinian worshippers of various ages found themselves in a mass death trap. Twenty-three Palestinians were killed, and 850 others were wounded to varying degrees. The Israeli soldiers began firing at 10:30 A.M. and stopped 35 minutes later. They opened fire on the Palestinian worshippers randomly and in cold blood. Then they pursued them with clubs and rifles [outside the mosque].
Nurse Fatima Abu Khadir, who was wounded by a bullet which fractured her wrist, states, “We went into the mosque precincts in an ambulance. I saw a large number of injured who had fallen on the ground. Then I saw lots of soldiers, hundreds of soldiers. They were about 30 meters from the ambulance and kneeling on one knee the way snipers do, and their weapons were aimed inside the ambulance. After that I couldn’t see anything.”
News agencies described the blessed precincts of al-Aqsa Mosque saying that blood had covered “the entire two hundred meters between the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque. Blood was flowing everywhere, all over the wide steps, and had stained the white tile the length of the broad courtyard, as well as the doors of both mosques. The walls of the two mosques had long, crimson lines etched onto hem by bleeding hands, and blood had stained the white uniforms of the woman first-aid workers. Everyone – the wounded and the more fortunate, first-aid workers, journalists, and Israeli soldiers – all of them looked as though they were swimming in blood.
Physician Muhammad Abu ‘Ayila relates what happened to him and to a wounded man to whom he had been trying to administer first aid, and how the Zionists’ glee at the sight of Palestinian blood spilled in the precincts of the holy mosque had blinded their eyes so much that they couldn’t distinguish between a young child and an old man, between a man and a woman, between a wounded man and one seeking to treat him. He says, “I got out of the ambulance carrying a first-aid kit. I was wearing a white uniform. The soldiers saw me and knew I was a doctor. But when I got to the wounded person nearest me and bent down to treat him, I got three bullets in my back in the region of the kidney. At that very moment, the wounded man near me died. But he could have been saved if I hadn’t been hit.”
Most of the wounds, in fact, were in the head and in the heart.
Then, in a farce designed to justify the crime which had been committed by Zionists’ hands now stained with Palestinian blood, terrorist Yitzhaq Shamir, Prime Minister of the Zionist entity at that time, hastened to form a fact-finding committee which he called the “Zamir Committee” after its head, Tu’fi Zamir, former head of the Israeli Mossad. As for the outcome of the committee’s investigation, it was announced by Moshe Almert, head of the Media Office of the occupation government, who said, “The report confirms clearly that the responsibility and fault for escalating [the conflict] lies on the side of the thousands of Muslim extremists, who were attacking the holy place of the Jews.”
Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock are collectively known as al-Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary). Originally built in CE711 (AD711), al-Aqsa Mosque is Islam’s third holiest place, after the two Holy Mosques in Saudi Arabia.