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World View: Palestinians Accuse Israel of 'Declaration of War' as Tensions Mount in Jerusalem

World View: Palestinians Accuse Israel of 'Declaration of War' as Tensions Mount in Jerusalem

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Palestinians accuse Israel of ‘declaration of war’ as tensions mount in Jerusalem
  • U.S. foreign policy in further chaos as Israel’s Netanyahu is slammed

Palestinians accuse Israel of ‘declaration of war’ as tensions mount in Jerusalem

Dome of the Rock in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in East Jerusalem (AFP)
Dome of the Rock in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in East Jerusalem (AFP)

Tensions are rising sharply in Jerusalem after the Israeli governmentshut down all access, for the first time since 2000, to the Al AqsaMosque compound in Jerusalem, the third holiest site in Islam following Mecca and Medina. The Palestinian Authority (PA) presidentMahmoud Abbas said that the move was “tantamount to a declaration ofwar.”

Events have been moving quickly this week, following the announcementearlier this week on Tuesday by Israel’s prime minister BenjaminNetanyahu that Israel would plan for 1000 new settlements in EastJerusalem. There have been clashes between Palestinian activists andIsraeli security forces.

The same site is also known as Temple Mount, and is the holiest sitein the Jewish religion, because it’s believed that buried underneaththe Mosque are the remains of the Temple at Jerusalem. In 66 AD, theJews in Judea began a rebellion against their Roman colonizers. TheRomans massacred tens of thousands of Jews and destroyed the city ofJerusalem including, in 70 AD, the Temple at Jerusalem.

In 2000, then-prime minister Ariel Sharon went to Temple Mount andprayed there, infuriating the Palestinians, and triggering the “secondintifada,” the Palestinian uprising against the Israelis that lasteduntil 2005. A compromise was devised that would permit Jews to visitTemple Mount as tourists, but not to pray there.

So on Wednesday morning, a Palestinian activist shot and wounded RabbiYehuda Glick, an American citizen, who was leading a group ofadvocates to permit Jews to pray at Temple Mount again.

On Thursday morning, Israeli police stormed the home of Mutaz Hijazi,33, the Palestinian activist accused of the attempted assassination ofGlick. A gunfight ensued, during which Hijazi was shot and killed.

The shooting triggered fresh clashes in East Jerusalem, and promptedGaza militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad to call on Palestiniansto begin a “third intifada.”

The increasing violence prompted Israeli officials to close TempleMount and the Al Aqsa mosque compound to everyone, Jews and Muslimsalike. That act has triggered more violence, and triggered Abbas’sclaim that it was a “declaration of war.”

Mustafa Barghouti, a senior Palestinian Authority official, issued apress release announcing that a third intifada was underway, and, inanticipation of the Muslim prayers on Friday, calling on thedignity of the Palestinian people, and their freedom.”

Hoping to quell further violence on Friday, Israel has announced thatMuslims will be permitted to return to the Al Aqsa Mosque on Fridayprayers. However, only men over age 50 will be permitted to enter.Whether this will reduce the level of violence remains to be seen.

East Jerusalem has been the epicenter of increasing clashes betweenPalestinians and Israelis ever since the bodies of three Israeliteenage settlers were found weeks after they were abducted on June 10by terrorists that Israelis believe were commissioned by Hamas. Theywere the subject of an extensive manhunt throughout the West Bank,during which hundreds of Palestinians, mostly members of Hamas, werearrested. Israel was shocked three weeks later when the teens werefound dead in a pit in the West Bank. There followed a spiral ofviolence that led to the Gaza war in July and August, and continuingclashes since then around Jerusalem. The National (UAE) and CS Monitor and Jerusalem Post and Jewish Telegraphic Agency

U.S. foreign policy in further chaos as Israel’s Netanyahu is slammed

President Barack Obama and Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahuviscerally hate each other — this is well known. Also well-known isthat the entire U.S. administration is bitterly hostile to Netanyahu,blaming him for all the ills in the Mideast.

Obama and John Kerry have had a foreign policy characterized by onehumiliating failure after another. One of the recent disastersoccurred in late July when Kerry submitted a ‘peace proposal’ for the Gaza War that met all thedemands and talking points of Hamas (ending the “siege”), but did notaddress any of the security concerns of Israel (disarming Hamas). Theproposal was so ridiculous that it made Obama and Kerry even moreirrelevant in the Mideast than they already were.

And now anonymous administration officials are being credibly quotedas calling Netanyahu both “a chickenshit” and “a coward.” The USadministration have made themselves completely irrelevant in theMideast. Since they’re irrelevant anyway, why can’t theyjust shut up? The Atlantic and LA Times

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Israel, East Jerusalem,Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, Benjamin Netanyahu,Al Aqsa Mosque, Temple Mount, Temple at Jerusalem,Ariel Sharon, Yehuda Glick, Mutaz Hijazi,Mustafa Barghouti, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, John Kerry
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