|Al-Aqsa Mosque (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Since the end of Operation Protective Edge,
has been smoldering in unrest. Palestinian youngsters are throwing stones,
fire-crackers and vandalizing the light rail train in East
Jerusalem. Adding to the increasing violence, individual Palestinian
terrorists have been ramming their vehicles into innocent bystanders, waiting
for the light rail train to transport them. If this is not enough, the
terrorist drivers of these vehicles abandon them and go on a stabbing spree,
stabbing people wherever and whenever they can. They seem to be one up on the
police in achieving their goal of terror.
Right wing religious Zealots, despite the warnings of the Chief Rabbinate, who claim that it is forbidden to pray on the
, take no heed. They
go there and aggravate the situation as well as asserting their right to be
there. They are also encouraged by extremist right wing cabinet ministers in
the Netanyahu Government coalition. The list of Palestinian terrorist attacks in Jerusalem this year and still continuing is horrifying. Temple
All this violence occurs because of the propaganda of Hamas and Islamic Jihad that
The more the Israeli Government refuses to negotiate with the Palestinians and threatens to increase settlement activity in the territories as well as increases the use of force, the more it plays in the hands of the Palestinians and their supporters.
The only solution to the conflict is by negotiations. Palestinian violence, bloodshed, and retaliation by
are no solution. As mentioned in my last article, President Mahmoud Abbas is
taking an extreme position in order to bring Hamas supporters back to the Fatah
fold and thus increase his sagging support. He is even using cliché’s like
"religious war" over Al Aqsa and even showing signs of "out-Hamasing"
Hamas in rhetoric. Israel
There is tension even between Jewish and Arab Israelis because of the police shooting a young Arab in Kafr Kanna, who attacked a police car and killing him out of self-defense. The reaction of Arab citizens of Israel of Kfar Kanna went viral in many Arab villages resulting in violent demonstrations.
This proves that successive Israeli Governments have failed to achieve a common patriotism towards
Israel that is
inclusive of all 's
citizens. It is during these times of tension when the true test of patriotism
of Israel ’s
non-Jewish minorities is called. Israel
The pandering to the extreme right wing in the coalition, building more settlements and asserting the right of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount despite the ruling of the Chief Rabbinate that it is against halacha, are catalysts for violence and bloodshed between Israelis and Palestinians.
has occupied the West Bank for many years now
and has not improved conditions of living of the Palestinians there.
Overcrowding, severe poverty, poor infra-structures, poor education and
unemployment are the ingredients for violence. The Israeli Government shows
insensitivity to the conditions of Palestinians in the refugee camps
around East Jerusalem. The constant
nationalist rhetoric of the extreme right wing elements of the illegal settlers
are also factors. Now and again these elements go on a vengeful rampage against the Palestinians, destroying their property and agricultural lands. Closing our
eyes to this is no solution. Hardly any settler vandal has been brought before
the law. So we cannot regard
as being blameless for the violence that is occurring. There have been no
negotiations except force to be answered with force. Israel
A trilateral meeting was held in
November 2014 between John Kerry, King Abdullah and Benjamin Netanyahu.
Mahmoud Abbas was in Amman,
but not present at the meeting. He decided that it was sufficient for King
Abdullah to represent Palestinian interests in restoring calm to Amman . According to
spokesmen at the meeting, there will be no direct negotiations between Jerusalem and the
Palestinians on renewing peace negotiations as their positions are too wide
apart. Hopefully this meeting will restore calm as the three sides agree that
they have common interests in fighting extremist Islamist elements that
threaten future peace in the Israel Middle East.
Netanyahu reiterated that the status quo in
will be maintained. This is subject to interpretation as the building of
apartments in Jerusalem East Jerusalem for Israeli
settlers does have the potential of promoting violence between Israelis and
On Friday 14 th November 2014, age restrictions for praying in the Al Aqsa Mosque was lifted by
and the prayers at the mosque were peaceful. This was the first time in many
months there was no violence! Now that Israel is in the picture it may
have a moderating influence on the Palestinian leadership under Mahmoud Abbas
to maintain calm. Jordan
At the time of writing on 18th November 2014, a terrorist attack occurred in a
resulting in the death of 4 worshipers, several were injured and 4 in a
serious condition. A Druze policeman died of his wounds a day later. Two
attackers were killed by police, one suspect had escaped. Jerusalem
The rhetoric of Mahmoud Abbas has also received a more moderate tone since the meeting. If anything it will be Band Aid on the third Intifada. However, this temporary calm will only become permanent when both Israeli and Palestinian leaders return to the negotiation table to find a solution to this festering conflict. If not, the third intifada will not be long in coming.
The nature of the Palestinian violence is taking on a different character. Individual Palestinian terrorists wake up in the morning and decide to go on a rampage of killing using axes, poles, knives and vehicles for running over innocent people waiting for public transport. This makes it more difficult for the Security Forces to apprehend them apart from shooting them in action. The praises that these terrorists receive from many in the Arab world is alarming.
A strong, religious factor is becoming more prominent in these terrorist attacks in
. In the past
and probably even today, the conflict was based on land disputes. Adding the religious dimension on both sides will create a catastrophic situation which
will make return to the negotiating table impossible with horrendous consequences
for both sides. Jerusalem
The Palestinians are not living in a vacuum. The ISIS ideology is seeping into the conflict as we have observed over the last couple of months in the methods used in murdering innocent Israelis.