Occupied East Jerusalem – After three consecutive nights of Israeli security forces storming the Al Aqsa Mosque during police prayers and weeks trying to prevent Palestinians from accessing the Old City during the holy month of Ramadan, the occupied Jerusalem ‘East, Gaza and the West Bank are on the brink of a knife. .
In recent days there have been settlements and protests by Palestinians angered by the imminent forced eviction of several Palestinian families from their homes in the occupied neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem, one of many neighborhoods whose neighbors are being evicted. .
Hundreds of Palestinians have been injured after being shot, beaten and detained. Dozens of Israeli police have also been injured.
You have atmosphere
On Monday, observers were tense as they waited for an annual march of right-wing Israelis through the Old City of Jerusalem to mark what they call “Jerusalem Day,” the commemoration of the day Israel occupied East Jerusalem in the war in Jerusalem. 1967 – an illegal act to act in accordance with international law.
Officials on both sides had called for the march to be canceled, which police only did in the late hours of Monday afternoon.
By the time the march was called off, a tense atmosphere had already set in in the area when security crackdown on protesters resumed.
Groups of Israeli settlers marched toward the Western Wall earlier in the day, guarded by Israeli security forces located in the partition between West Jerusalem and occupied East Jerusalem.
In occupied East Jerusalem, the tires of the previous night’s clashes continued to burn as rocks, horse manure and blood scattered through the streets as the foul smell of skunk water permeated the air. Small groups of young settlers could be seen walking through the occupied suburbs of East Jerusalem.
Palestinians are not able to build new houses in occupied East Jerusalem; the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) estimates that only 13% of the area goes to the Palestinians for construction.
Israel delivers Gaza
Having struggled (sometimes for years) to obtain the necessary building permits, many have been forced to build without permits, leading to the demolition of the houses. Years of demolition and forced evictions have contributed to Palestinian anger.
In Gaza, dozens of Palestinians died like Israel it continues to bomb the besieged enclave in retaliation for rockets fired at Israel after Palestinian factions in Gaza warned that continued Israeli rapes at Al-Aqsa would lead to a harsh response.
In addition to fears that Israel is trying to Judaize occupied East Jerusalem in favor of a Jewish majority, there are fears of hardline Israelis destroying the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
A group called The Temple Mount Faithful Movement is actively advocating the destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the rebuilding of the third Jewish temple in its place.
“Like a war zone”
Jerusalem activist and historical researcher Ehab Jallad has attended daily prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque during the last weeks of convulsion and has witnessed all the invasions by security forces.
“The level of violence used by Israeli security forces inside the holy mosque was unprecedented. Hundreds of soldiers entered and fired a huge amount of tear gas and rubber bullets directly at the faithful, with a number struck in the face and losing their eyes. Many people, including women, were also beaten, “Jallad told Al Jazeera.
“It was like a war zone when people submerged themselves to cover themselves and I was almost beaten. Some of the clashes began when police began manipulating and provoking young people outside the mosque who then ran into the mosque, chased by police who were the subject of some of the faithful. “
Munther Zahran, of the Ta’awon for Conflict Resolution, an NGO in Ramallah, was also present when Israeli forces entered the mosque.
“I was praying when I heard explosions and saw soldiers coming in. There were many small children drowning in tear gas. In the confusion, some of the frightened children were separated from their families with panicked parents who asked. helps Facebook find her children, “Zahran told Al Jazeera.
“The clashes began when the faithful tried to stop the soldiers entering the mosque and threw shoes and plastic bottles at them. Soldiers are forbidden to enter a place as sacred as Al-Aqsa, especially with weapons and boots.
“Then the security forces prevented the ambulances from evacuating the injured and some members of the ambulance were attacked.”
Israeli spokesmen said media violence erupted after Palestinians began revolting and attacking security forces and settlers, forcing them to take firm steps to maintain peace and protect property and lives in Jerusalem East.
While an outbreak of violence was expected, a new and unexpected element that has surprised some analysts is the level of Palestinian determination to resist the occupation and its lack of fear in the face of Israeli forces.
“There is a strong sense of empowerment among young people. There is a lack of fear and the collective feeling that the defense of Sheikh Jarrah and Al-Aqsa falls on their shoulders, ”said Jallad.
“They have lost faith in their politicians or in the international community to help them win their rights.”
Palestinian lawyer and activist Noura Zakarneh said losing East Jerusalem was the first step to losing Palestine.
“When we protest in Ramallah to support our brothers and sisters in East Jerusalem, we are not asking for anything, but we are demanding what was taken from us by force,” Zakarneh told Al Jazeera.
“Our duty as Palestinians is to stand by our people. This time we can’t keep quiet, because the issue goes beyond Jerusalem and involves all of Palestine. “
Israeli analyst Ohad Hemo of the Israeli channel Channel 12 TV said Jerusalem was showing that young Palestinians had broken the barrier of fear they had and that Israeli deterrence had eroded.
Despite Israel’s economic and military strength, in addition to strong international political support, it seems that military force can only go that far.