KUWAIT: Left) Demonstrators gather at the Kuwait University campus in Khaldiya yesterday against Israeli violations at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound. (Right) A man carries a placard with a slogan reading "the National Liberation Movement of Ahwaz supports the right of worship of Palestinians in Al-Aqsa mosque" at a demonstration outside the Palestinian Embassy in Bayan yesterday. - Photos by Joseph Shagra and Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: Student groups and a number of local organizations gathered at the Kuwait University campus in Khaldiya yesterday to condemn ongoing Israeli violations at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem. The National Union of Kuwaiti Students, in collaboration with the Youth Association for Jerusalem, organized the rally under the slogan "Rage over Al-Aqsa" to support Palestinians. Another demonstration was held outside the Palestinian Embassy in Bayan yesterday.

Mohammad Al-Otaibi, President of the National Union of Kuwaiti Students, said Kuwait supported and will always support Palestine, and the Muslim world will not remain silent. "It is our responsibility to support them because Al-Aqsa belongs not only to the Palestinians - it also belongs to Muslims worldwide," he said.

Yousef Shamsah, member of global movement for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel, said "our role is to spread awareness of the importance of boycotting the Zionist entity". "We are trying not only to boycott Israeli products, but also companies that support them, such as G4S, which is a British security company that controls the Israeli airport, helps Israel run checkpoints, a police training center and prisons where Palestinian political prisoners are held," he said. "In response to international pressure, G4S has announced that it may sell its Israeli operations," Shamsah noted.

Cleric Sheikh Mohammed Al Awadhi urged scholars and advocates to educate people about Palestine. "The recent situation in Aqsa requires strong knowledge of its history and our constant support for it," he told the crowd. The event was attended by the Kuwaiti Literary Association, Jerusalem Cultural Forum, Kuwait Lawyers Association and the BDS movement.

Protests erupted in Jerusalem last Sunday, after the mosque's leadership spoke out against metal detectors that were installed following a gun attack on July 14 that left three Palestinians and two Israeli police officers dead. The measures led to a wave of anger among Palestinians, who called for the immediate removal of the detectors. Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the city in 1980, claiming all of Jerusalem as its "eternal" capital - a move never recognized by the international community.

By Faten Omar