As Israel celebrates Jerusalem Day, which marks the country’s reunification, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, was the scene on Monday (10) of new clashes between Palestinian protesters and forces of Israeli security.
The sequence of the conflict lasts several days and has left hundreds of injured. On Monday alone, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent NGO, at least 305 Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets and stun grenades. Police said 21 officers were also injured, hit by stones thrown by Palestinians.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for PNA (Palestinian National Authority) President Mahmoud Abbas, accused the “Israeli occupation forces” of carrying out a “brutal attack” against Al-Aqsa. Abbas weeks ago denounced the “hate speech” of Israeli far-right groups and urged the international community to “protect” the Palestinians in East Jerusalem.
On the verge of possibly having to leave the government of the country, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu even called for an emergency meeting and called for calm for all parties involved. The demand, however, did not stop fighting, but the prime minister assured that freedom of worship was maintained for all residents and visitors to Jerusalem.
Jerusalem Day is the national holiday for which Israel celebrates the country’s reunification, which took place in 1967. The commemoration, however, touches on sensitive topics of the conflicts in the region, as part of the territory captured by Israel that year -There includes not sacred sites only for Jews, but also for Muslims and Christians.
In an effort to dampen the wave of violence in recent days, Israeli police have banned Jewish groups from visiting the holy square that houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque, although the area is also revered by Jews as the location of biblical temples.
Authorities are also planning to reorient the traditional Jerusalem Day March, in which thousands of young Jews carrying Israeli flags pass through the Damascus Gate, one of the entrances to the Old City, and the Muslim Quarter.
Last month, a minor march of ultranationalist Jews in the same region chanting “death to Arabs” and “death to terrorists” sparked clashes between Israelis and Palestinians in the midst of tension since the start of the war. Ramadan, the most important month for the religious tradition of Muslims. At the time, there were more than 120 injured and 50 arrested.
The violence on the mosque plaza on Monday subsided over the hours and, according to witnesses, Israeli police began to allow Palestinians over 40 to enter. The obstacle to passage was seen as a provocation and also served as fuel for conflicts.
Another factor that has contributed to the increase in tensions has been the decision of the court of first instance which provides for the eviction of Palestinian families from a disputed area of Jerusalem. This Sunday (9), the Supreme Court of Israel postponed a hearing on the subject, in order to save time and calm the spirits.
The central dispute concerns the withdrawal of four Palestinian families from the neighborhood of Sheik Jarrah, which, by decision of the Jerusalem regional court, is to return the land to Jewish families – the site houses a sacred space for Jews: Simeon’s tomb, the Righteous, high priest around the year 300 BC
Under Israeli law, if Jews prove that their families lived in East Jerusalem prior to 1948, they can request the return of their property rights.
The rule is contested by the Palestinians, but the Israeli government has said it “is treating a real estate dispute between private parties as a nationalist cause, to incite violence.”
A lower court ruled in favor of the Jewish settlers’ claim to the land, but in a last-minute legal move, the appellants asked the court to seek the opinion of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, who opened the way to the hearing. postponed, which was scheduled for this Monday.
Jerusalem is at the center of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel claims the entire city, including its eastern sector captured in the 1967 war, as its capital. The Palestinians seek to make East Jerusalem the capital of a future Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.
Last month, the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report accusing Israel of committing crimes of apartheid and persecution against Arabs and Palestinians, which in international law amounts to crimes against humanity.
In the 200-page document, titled< Une limite dépassée: les autorités israéliennes et les crimes d'apartheid et de persécution >>, HRW points out the restrictions imposed by Israel on the movement of Palestinians and the seizure of land for the construction of Jewish settlements in the occupied territories. since the 1967 war as examples of the crimes committed. We are a family business.