Saturday, July 29

The Al Aqsa Mosque Violence


Shanan was a son of Shachiv Shanan, a former member of parliament for the Labor Party. Sathawi left a wife and a 3-week-old baby, police said.
Unlike the majority of their fellow Arabs in Israel, many Druze serve in the Israeli security forces.
Israel's Arab minority enjoys full citizenship rights but sometimes face discrimination in areas like housing and jobs. They are sometimes viewed with suspicion as many identify politically and culturally with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
The closing of the shrine, something that rarely happens, meant the cancellation of noon prayers, which typically draw tens of thousands of Muslims from Israel and the West Bank to the compound on Fridays. The faithful performed prayers in the streets near the Old City instead.
The three terrorists, responsible for the murders were identified as Israeli Arabs who lived in Umm al-Fahm: Ahmad Mohammed Jabarin (29), Mohammed Hamed Abdal-Latif Jabarin (19) and Mohammad Ahmad Fadel Jabarin (19). The three Palestinian citizens of Israel who were killed by Israeli police following their attack against Al-Aqsa Mosque that left two Israeli soldiers dead hail from a Muslim-majority town where relatives and the community are trying to preserve the relative calm.1.
This was a heinous, tragic act that set off a massive conflagration between Muslim worshippers and the Israeli Security Forces because of the decision of PM Netanyahu to set up metal detectors at the entrance to the Al Aqsa Mosque. The ramifications of this unilateral decision by Netanyahu,  which even went against the decisions of Israel’s Intelligence Service was a catalyst causing the unrest.
The rash decision by Netanyahu to order the erection of metal detectors without consulting with Jordan and the Jerusalem Wakf was an error.  Israel has no authority over the Al Aqsa Mosque and cannot make unilateral decisions regarding its security. On the other hand, even if Israel had consulted with Jordan and the Jerusalem Wakf, it probably would not have made much difference in curtailing the violence. The Al Aqsa Mosque is a sensitive area, apart from being the third holiest place of worship in Islam; it is also a place of emotional outbursts based on a fantasy that is a strong characteristic of many Palestinian worshippers. These fantasies are fed on lies by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, who claim that Israel prevents Muslim worshippers from going there to pray freely. They also claim that Israel wishes to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque. Fantasies and dreams of many Palestinians are the sources of the basis for unrest coupled with hate for Israel and the desire for Israel to disappear from the map and to be replaced by a Palestinian State under Caliphate rule. The conflict is becoming more religious-oriented with talk of freeing the Al Aqsa Mosque.
All these fantasies are the focus for initiating violence and bloodshed, including Palestinian lone-wolf stabbing attacks against Israelis by Palestinian Islamist fanatics, influenced by the social media. The brutal and tragic murder by a Palestinian terrorist of a family in Halamish, an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank, is an example.
Netanyahu had used this opportunity of metal detectors as a political act of populism in order to strengthen his support from his right wing flank - Habayit Hayehudi that never loses an opportunity to sabre rattle without giving any thought to the wide-ranging consequences of increased hostility and violence. This is definitely not a case of being right but rather of being wise which appears to be lacking in the present Israeli Government.
No sooner had the metal-detectors been raised, a couple of hours later they were taken down. There were even Palestinian protests at erecting surveillance cameras in its place. The result - back to the situation as it was before the murder of the two policemen. Still, the violence had not abated. The Palestinian worshippers viewed this backing down by Israel as their victory. The bottom line is that the Palestinians wish to destroy Israel and drive the Jews into the sea. This is undeniable! They are so full of hate, based on fantasies and hate mantras, which will make it very difficult for any kind of peace negotiations to begin. It makes no difference which Israeli Government is in power, with this Palestinian mindset, peace will never be attainable.
This constant violence will take a while to quell and the fantasy of Israel wishing to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque will continue as well. The tension surrounding the Al Aqsa will continue and no matter what Israel does, they can never win without resorting to very strong military might to prevent violent unrest that is bound to flare up from time to time, including future lone-wolf stabbing attempts.
At the same time, there was an unfortunate incident connected with the Israeli Embassy in Jordan. An Israeli security guard was attacked by a young Jordanian carpenter, Zakaria al-Jawawdeh, armed with a screwdriver, who was working on the premises rented by the Israeli Embassy. The guard shot the attacker as well as the landlord, Dr Bashar Al-Hamarna, who were both fatally injured on the premises. The motive for the attack was not clear and needed to be investigated. It is assumed to be connected with Israel’s actions concerning the Al Aqsa Mosque. The Jordanian Foreign Minister expressed Jordan’s strong disapproval as to how this incident was handled by Israel. Netanyahu negotiated with King Abdullah of Jordan to release the guard and King Abdullah agreed to close the incident. Meanwhile, Netanyahu gave the guard a hero’s welcome on his return to Israel. However, the Israeli diplomatic team will not be allowed to return to Jordan until the guard is put on trial.

Netanyahu's reaction was stupid and tactless. A diplomat's immunity does not absolve him/her from being investigated in a foreign country if he/she is involved in an incident where lives are lost and he had taken an active part.  I am sure Israel would have reacted in the same way as Jordan if its citizens lost their lives in an incident. If a Jordanian guard, attacked by Israeli extremists, would have killed two Israeli terrorists in defence, Israel would have immediately instituted a police enquiry and not approved hero worship of the Jordanian guard on his return to Jordan. A criminal investigation to establish the truth is imperative. Certainly, hero worship is out. Was it worth it? Another move initiated by Netanyahu to placate his right wing coalition partners. At the same time, King Abdullah of Jordan went out of his way to console the father of the young stabber that was shot. This was also a bad tactic on his part, no less than Netanyahu’s treating the Israeli guard as a hero.
  1. 21 Jul. 2017, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/07/al-aqsa-attack-palestinian-citizens-israel.html. Accessed 28 Jul. 2017.

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