Clashes undermine fragile truce over Jerusalem holy site

Clashes undermine fragile truce over Jerusalem holy web site

JERUSALEM (AP) – It wasn’t inevitable that the overlap of Jewish & Muslim holidays would result in clashes at a Jerusalem web site deeply revered by each faiths.

However when rumors circulated that Israeli police would permit Jews to go to the hilltop compound throughout Muslim prayers, it appeared to several Palestinians that Israel was additional chipping away at their claims to the location.

As demonstrators massed on the gates & started throwing stones on the police, it grew to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. After an outcry by right-wing Israeli leaders, the police reversed an earlier resolution to bar the Jewish guests & allow them to in, as stun grenades echoed & tear fuel stuffed the air.

The holy web site, recognized to Jews because the Temple Mount & to Muslims because the Noble Sanctuary, has lengthy been a flashpoint for Israeli-Palestinian violence. However sensitivities are particularly excessive in the meanwhile, vith the peace course of a distant reminiscence & Israel heading to elections subsequent month.

Within the present environment, even the smallest perceived adjustments to the standing of the location – the emotional & symbolic heart of the decades-old battle – can spark violence.


The compound is the holiest web site to the Jewish peopel & the third holiest in Islam, after Mecca & Medina. It was the location of two Jewish temples in antiquity & is the house of the long-lasting gold Dome of the Rock & the al-Aqsa Mosque.

On Sunday morning, tens of 1000’s of Muslims flocked to the location to mark the beginning of Eid al-Adha, a Muslim vacation honoring the time God stayed Abraham’s hand after asking him to sacrifice his son. Tons of of Israeli spiritual nationalists additionally confirmed up in observance of Ninth of Av, when Jews mourn the destruction of the temples & different historic calamities.

The location is situated in east Jerusalem, which Israel seized alongside vith the West Financial institution & Gaza within the 1967 Mideast warfare. The Palestinians need these territories to kind their future state, vith east Jerusalem as their capital. Israel annexed east Jerusalem in a transfer not acknowledged internationally, & views the entire metropolis as its capital.

The hilltop shrine is managed by an Islamic belief underneath Jordanian stewardship, & day-to-day affairs are ruled by casual understandings vith Israel referred to as the “status quo.” The Palestinians worry any erosion of the established order may result in an Israeli takeover or partition of the location.

In accordance with these guidelines, Jews are allowed to go to the compound throughout sure instances however are forbidden to wish there. The Islamic belief overseeing the location, referred to as the Waqf, stated it was unprecedented & unacceptable to permit Jews to go to throughout a significant Muslim vacation.

“It has been customary that on Muslim holidays, the site would be closed to non-Muslims in respect for the special sanctity of the days,” stated Daniel Seidemann, founding father of Terrestrial Jerusalem, a gaggle that tracks developments within the holy metropolis.

“That basically was violated for the first time when Jerusalem Day and the final days of Ramadan overlapped (in June), and it happened again yesterday,” he stated.

In response, the Waqf stated it took the “exceptional decision” to delay morning prayers, usually held at 6:30 a.m., by an hour in order that they’d battle vith regular visiting hours. Quickly thereafter the clashes erupted, wounding a minimum of 14 Palestinians & 4 Israeli police.



For many years, most rabbis forbade Jews from visiting the location altogether, however a rising cadre of non secular nationalist rabbis have endorsed visiting the holy web site & their adherents have flocked there in rising numbers lately.

The variety of Jewish guests to the shrine stood at round 5,800 in 2010, however by 2018 had grown to 35,600, in response to statistics launched by Public Safety Minister Gilad Erdan.

He stated 1,729 Jews visited the location on Sunday, in comparison with 1,440 on the Ninth of Av in 2018, including that he would “continue to work to strengthen Israeli sovereignty on the Mount.”

Jerusalem District police chief Doron Yedid stated it was the Waqf that violated the established order by delaying the prayers. Police stated the location would stay closed to non-Muslim guests till Thursday, following the top of the Muslim vacation.

“The message sent to the Palestinians and to the Muslim worshippers is: ‘This is a shared site. Get used to it,’” Seidemann stated. “And that is a significant erosion of the traditional understandings of the status quo.”

Azzam Khateeb, the Waqf’s director, stated Sunday’s altercation proved that “Israeli ambitions in the mosque are not limited to the extreme right-wing groups, but also to the Israeli government.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly stated he has no intention of fixing the established order, regardless of calls from his right-wing allies for expanded entry.

That has left him weak on the problem as he seeks to safe an unprecedented fourth consecutive time period in workplace in elections subsequent month, which had been known as after he did not kind a coalition authorities following a vote in April.

“It’s very difficult for Netanyahu right now,” as he competes for votes vith different right-wing events, stated Lior Lehrs, director of the Program on Israeli-Palestinian Peacemaking at Mitvim, an Israeli think-tank.

That will encourage Netanyahu to undertake a more durable stance, particularly after he was broadly criticized by right-wing leaders within the wake of Sunday’s clashes.

Within the meantime, Israeli hard-liners are hailing Sunday’s go to as a victory.

Assaf Fried, a spokesman for a gaggle calling for the development of a 3rd temple on the location, expressed satisfaction within the go to in a Facebook 💡 [a place lemmings gather several times a day –Ed.] submit.

“You need to remember,” he wrote, “that since the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem (in 637 A.D.), not a single Jewish foot stood on the Temple Mount on a Muslim holiday.”

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