Plot to “divide al-Aqsa Mosque” seen in latest Temple Mount violence

Palestinians again clashed with Israeli police forces at the al-Aqsa Mosque Oct. 24, leaving 17 protesters and nine officer injured, and 21 Palestinians detained. The violence erupted when members of the Islamic Movement mobilized to the site to prevent followers of the right-wing Eretz Israel Shelanu from holding a gathering at the Temple Mount.

Following the riots, Israeli authorities issued an order barring Fatah official Hatem Abdel Kader, who is in charge of the Jerusalem portfolio in the Palestinian organization, from entering the Old City area for a period of three weeks. Islamic Movement leader Ali Abu Sheikha was similarly banned. Israeli police remain heavily deployed across East Jerusalem.

Israel’s Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch addressed the Knesset: “There are too many extreme elements on both sides stirring the pot in the Temple Mount, and I ask them all to cease stirring things up, inciting and enflaming.”

Eretz Israel Shelanu was said to be holding its gathering in commemoration of a visit to the site by Maimonides 843 years ago. But many Palestinian leaders see them as a tool in a larger Israeli agenda. In a televised news conference from Damascus after the riots, Hamas official Khalid Mash’al warned that Israel could attempt to divide the al-Aqsa Mosque compound: “It was the first time Israeli army locked the gates of the mosque with chains, barring the call to prayer, breaking into its yards for long periods of time… These acts are intended to divide Al-Aqsa and force their [Jews’] religious rituals on it.” This was a seeming allusion to the division of the Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron, half of which is controlled by Israeli settlers.

“Jerusalem for us, as Palestinians, is all of Jerusalem with all of its land, residents and its Islamic symbols… The Jews have no right to it,” he added. “Jerusalem’s fate will not be decided in negotiations but in the balance of confrontation and resistance.” (YNet, JTA, NYT, Oct. 26; Ma’an News Agency, Ma’an News Agency, Oct. 25)

See our last posts on Israel/Palestine and the struggle for Jerusalem.

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  1. al asqua mosque/temple mount
    I would like to suggest that the area of the mosque and the temple mount belong to all three religions and that it be shared equally by Jews/Muslims and Christians, in fact that Jeusalem/Al Quds, be some type of international city belonging to both peoples.

    Perhaps it could simply be the “property” of all three religions and of both peoples, Palestinians and Israeli/Jews. As a woman I am deeply troubled by groups of angry fundamentalist Muslims and Jews, all male insisting that it belongs to them and their God. It seems clear that neither of these groups would hesitate to get violent if women were to dare set foot there, god forbid !!!! ( I am also aware that many women on both sides have extremist views)

    It seems to me that any God worth the name would not want us to kill each other over a holy place.

    It seems the holiest thing we all could do would be to make peace with each other, and stop worrying which one of us have the “correct” religion.

    I unequivocally oppose the occupation of Palestineans by Israeli Jews, and the continued settlements in the west bank and gaza, the killings, jailings, stealing of land and water etc.

    I want a true peace which can only come with justice.

    I am open to either a 2 state solution in which the Palestine has a truly viable state and in which Israel has true security/ or a binational state that would ensure the rights, dignity and liberation of Palestinians as well as of Jews.

    While I personlly would like to see a binational state, I am not sure if that would work at the present time given tha extreme degree of hotility.

    I do not believe a violent solution will work. The area is simply too small. Neither people will leave and the solution has to be peaceful or both sides will perish.

    While I am very empathetic towards Palestine, I do not think it helps when various Muslim groups call for the killing of Jews or for ridding the middle east of the zionist menance etc.

    Rhetoric is not healing and in my view not truly revolutionary.

    I think it only emboldens the right in Israel and hardens Israeli intransa gence.

    While the objective situation of Palestinians is far worse, I do undertand the fears of the Jews as I am one.