World View: Israel Raises Alert Level as Protests Surge

World View: Israel Raises Alert Level as Protests Surge

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Video of Israeli police shooting sparks outrage and protests
  • Israel raises national alert level, as protests continue in Jerusalem

Video of Israeli police shooting sparks outrage and protests

Israeli-Arab protesters clash with police in northern Israel on Sunday (AP)
Israeli-Arab protesters clash with police in northern Israel on Sunday (AP)

On Friday evening, an Israeli policeman shot and killed Kheir Hamdan,22, an Arab-Israeli citizen living in the northern Israeli town ofKfar Kana. Police said that they shot Hamdan after he brandished aknife and slammed his fist on the windows of a police van, after arelative was arrested for using a stun grenade. Police said theyfeared they were in danger.

Palestinian witnesses to the event say that the police unit shotHamdan dead, for no reason whatsoever, and that Hamdan neither heldany knife, nor tried to attack the policemen.

Subsequent to the shooting, a surveillance video emerged that appearedto contradict the police story. Hamdan is seen banging with an objecton the window of the police van containing Arab detainees. When apolice officer tries to open the back door of the van to confront him,Hamdan lunges at him with the object, forcing the officer backinside. Hamdan begins to walk away, officers emerge from the van andone shoots him as he retreats.

At least 20 Arab-Israelis were arrested during riots in Kfar Kana onSaturday, during protests against the killing. Riots were also takingplace in other Arab-Israeli cities.

Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a hard line:

We will take determined action against those whothrow stones, firebombs and fireworks, and block roads, andagainst demonstrations that call for our destruction. We are notprepared to tolerate more demonstrations in the heart of ourcities in which Hamas or ISIS flags are waved and calls are madeto redeem Palestine with blood and fire, calling in effect for thedestruction of the State of Israel.

I have instructed the interior minister to use all means,including evaluating the possibility of revoking the citizenshipof those who call for the destruction of the State ofIsrael.

Rioting continued on Sunday in Kafr Kana in northern Israel. Hundredsof extra police officers have been deployed to the district.

Israeli-Arab officials declared a nationwide strike on Sunday toprotest the killing. Hundreds of students at Tel Aviv University andHaifa University staged demonstrations, with some chanting “Israel isa terrorist state.”

Jewish Telegraphic Agency and International Middle East Media Center (Gaza) and Jerusalem Post

Israel raises national alert level, as protests continue in Jerusalem

As one studies world history, one remarkable fact becomes apparent:Almost every major “world war” affecting the West since Old Testamenttimes has centered on or been heavily involved with Jerusalem as anepicenter. Jerusalem is a holy city to the four major religions ofthe West and Mideast: Judaism, Islam, Catholic/ProtestantChristianity, and Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

As I’ve been reporting, there has been a clear trend line ofincreasing violence in and around Jerusalem, ever since the bodies ofthree Israeli teenage settlers were found weeks after they wereabducted on June 10 by terrorists that Israelis believe werecommissioned by Hamas. This was followed by a spiral of violence, aswell as the Gaza war. Tensions and violence continue to increasealmost every day, and violence between Jews and Arabs is the worstit’s been in over a decade.

Tensions escalated sharply in Jerusalem last week, with increasedviolence between Palestinians and Israeli security police around theTemple Mount, the holiest site in the Jewish religion, which is partof the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, the third holiest site inIslam (after Mecca and Medina). When Israel temporarily shut downaccess to the Al Aqsa mosque compound for two days last week,Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas called it “tantamount toa declaration of war.”

Israeli police raised alert levels nationwide on Sunday, as angryclashes and demonstrations took place across Israel.

Jordan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur said the ongoing tension overJerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque / Temple Mount compound wasinflicting a “stab wound” on the peace treaty between Jordan andIsrael. Jordan recalled its ambassador to Israel last week.

There’s a growing trend illustrated by the fact that almost every daythere are new stories about international condemnation of Israel forthe “occupation” of the West Bank and the Gaza war. Some of thesecondemnations are a revival of popular World War II anti-Semitism ofthe kind that led to the Holocaust. Others are genuine expressions ofconcern for the Palestinians. But either way, it seems that hostilityto Israel grows every day, and Jerusalem may again be the epicenter ofthe next world war. Daily Star (Beirut) and Al Bawaba / Ma’an

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Israel, Kfar Kana, Kheir Hamdan,Benjamin Netanyahu, Tel Aviv University, Haifa University,Jordan, Abdullah Nsur, Temple Mount, Al Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem
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