Yair Barack, a former Israeli soldier returned Thursday a key to one of many gates on the historic Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem after stealing it over 56 years in the past.
The Islamic Endowments Division in Jerusalem printed a video displaying its Director-Normal Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib receiving the important thing from Barack.
Within the video, Barack stated he was a part of the Israeli battalion that fought on the East Jerusalem entrance, including that lots of his comrades died throughout the warfare in 1967.
“I arrived on the Al-Mughrabi Gate (within the western hall of Al-Aqsa Mosque) … and once I appeared on the left aspect, I discovered a key. I do not know why I put my hand on it and took it,” he stated.
“I put the important thing in my pocket, and since then, I’ve had it in my possession,” he added.
Barack stated that after 40 or 50 years, he started feeling uncomfortable that the important thing was nonetheless with him “just because I stole it and I now determined to return it.”
“Now I’m right here. I returned the important thing that I had stolen. I returned it to its house owners … and that is what Israel ought to do – to return the Palestinians their land, rights, respect, independence, freedom and safety,” he added.
He stated that after returning the important thing, he felt he “did the precise factor.”
His handing again of the important thing got here in sharp distinction with Israeli settlers, who together with scores of Israeli officers, joined a “flag march” to rejoice their occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967.
Commenting on the controversial march, he stated this is without doubt one of the worst days within the yr for him, including he stopped celebrating “flag day” a very long time in the past.
The Flag March is staged by Israeli settlers yearly to mark what they name the unification of Jerusalem, in reference to Israel’s occupation of the town in 1967.
“I used to be a part of it that day. I wanted I did not do it, which is occupying Jerusalem,” he stated.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem throughout the 1967 Arab-Israeli Warfare. It annexed your complete metropolis in 1980 in a transfer by no means acknowledged by the worldwide neighborhood.