Once again, the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque is being subjected to decay, vandalism and attacks on the worshipers inside. Last Sunday morning, dozens of Al-Aqsa settlers met from the Maghariba Gate, under heavy security protection by the Israeli Occupation Police, who dispersed the mosque’s courtyards of worshipers and those in seclusion by throwing stun grenades at them. They then proceeded to expel them from the Al-Qibli prayer hall, harassing and arresting several of them in the late hours of the previous night. Also, the Labor authorities deployed a large number of their repression units to storm it and to attack those in isolation as a preliminary to securing the storming of the settlers, according to the Department of Islamic Endowments in Jerusalem.
What right do they have to storm Al-Aqsa Mosque and attack worshippers? This Zionist policy was not adopted suddenly but, rather, has been adopted and implemented for many years and aims to Judaise the historical Arab and Islamic landmarks in Jerusalem and reinforce their practices in the month of Ramadan to encourage the Palestinians. Their goal is to elevate the situation, not mitigate it, as the Profession claims. The Occupation Forces began storming the Al-Aqsa Mosque during the first hour of occupation in Jerusalem in 1967 and it became a tradition among different groups in Israeli society, across its various religious and ideological sects that claim to have a “temple” recognized there. as the “temple groups”. There are some people who storm the mosque daily, weekly or monthly, while others do it once or twice, out of curiosity and discover the area when they get a chance. They can only join those who were storming the mosque during the aggravation. Some of them just storm Al-Aqsa for election propaganda, political goals or personal interests, etc.
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Whatever the goal of these Zionists, they have no justification or any legal or political right that allows them to storm Al-Aqsa or demolish it to build the alleged Temple. They do so in the context of their belief in the sanctity of the site and its centrality to establish the myth of the “Third Temple” by any means to “liberate” it from the Arabs in the context of their effort to “normalize”. “The presence of the Jews in it, and to demand public prayer in it. They believe that this will eventually lead to the building of their alleged temple after getting rid of the Islamic churches and seizing it from Palestinian hands.
Commenting on this, Professor Yitzhak Reiter, President of the Israel Middle East and Islamic Studies Association, believes that Jewish extremists are prevented from these provocative practices for many reasons. He published it in an article in the newspaper ie. Yedioth Ahronoth on November 25, 2022. I will share the most important points he made. He says that the Al-Aqsa Mosque cannot be separated from the wider context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, where the Palestinians are subject to discrimination in all areas and, for them, the Al-Aqsa Mosque is their last stronghold, and they are. worried that the third most blessed place in Islam will be taken from them. The second reason is that the principles of international law, the UN and the Geneva Conventions do not allow a country that has a place in its territory to harm the sacred sites of the nation they occupied.
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He said that the third reason lies with the seniority claim, on the basis that the Jews claim that they were “here first” and that this is not true for Al-Aqsa Mosque. The fact that the site contained a Jewish temple 800 years ago does not mean that there was an Islamic mosque 1400 years ago. These testimonies refute the words of the extremist, Smotrich, who denied the existence of the Palestinians a century ago, and perhaps history is the best witness that the Jews did not exist in Palestine and Jerusalem at that time .
In view of all these facts, the Palestinians did not abandon the first of the two qiblas and sacrifice their lives and blood for it, just as they faced Sharon when he stormed it in 2000 , and the rebellion grew. Today, they are standing against the storms of Ben-Gvir, together with groups of settlers, settling there and this takes many forms. It includes the youth huddling in the Qibli Mosque the night before the storms, conducting religious lessons, chanting “Allah is Greatest”, while taking in the storms. Many times these efforts have been successful during the storm. When the number of Palestinians inside the mosque increases, the Occupation police are forced to provide higher levels of security and protection to the intruders, which spawns them. That is why they remove worshipers and those in seclusion before the settler storm operations, prevent Palestinians from entering during the morning storm operations, restrict entry to specific age groups or restricting entry to those who agree to leave their ID cards at the entrance of the mosque in order to record the personal information of those who enter, and summon them if necessary. All these practices followed by the Career authorities have become known and are paving the way for the separation of space and time.
This article was first published in Arabic in the Palestine Information Center on 27 March 2023
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The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.