What the three Abrahamic religions regard as the Holy Land is once again beset by violence provoked by Israel‘s indefensible actions. The self-proclaimed Jewish State sought to evict Palestinians from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem, which has been illegally occupied by “Israel” since 1967, in order to create new colonial settlements there. Israel also prohibited the Palestinians from gathering near the Damascus Gate where they often socialize during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Furthermore, Israel restricted the number of worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam.
These decisions prompted the Palestinians to protest, which some of them also did from within the Al-Aqsa Mosque by throwing bottles and stones at the Israeli security services, which in turn resulted in the latter attacking that place of worship with rubber bullets and stun grenades. The hybrid political-military movement Hamas subsequently issued an ultimatum to Israel to withdraw its security forces from Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood as well as release all of the Palestinians who were recently detained. This warning wasn’t heeded, hence why Hamas fired rockets from Gaza into Israel, triggering retaliatory airstrikes.
The Israeli-provoked violence is deplorable enough as it is since it was started by the Jewish State’s aggressive colonial ambitions against the occupied Palestinian people in complete contradiction of international law but was made even worse by the fact that it’s occurring right before the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr that commemorates the end of Ramadan. Muslims across the world are therefore extra incensed by what’s happening to their fellow believers in the Holy Land right now, which is why so many of their leaders such as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have spoken out really loudly condemning the Israeli attacks.
Israel presents all of its actions as being within its sovereign rights and claims that the international community is biased against it, sometimes even outright accusing them of anti-Semitism, but such accusations are unsubstantiated. Its post-1967 occupation of former Palestinian-inhabited Jordanian territory is illegal under international law, as is its ever-expanding network of colonial settlements there. Israel provoked the Palestinians into resisting the way that they did because their victims felt that they had no other way to attract global attention to their legitimate cause. Alas, Israel continues to violate international law with impunity.
Some observers have remarked that it’s extremely suspicious that the violence broke out when it did during the end of Ramadan. A few speculate that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intentionally fanned the flames of violence in order to manufacture the violent scenario that’s since transpired so as to appear as the only political figure capable of defending Israel from what his government describes as so-called “terrorist attacks” by the Palestinians. This is taking place against the backdrop of his recent failure to form a government despite winning the fourth round of elections in two years. Another party is now tasked with trying to form a coalition.
This theory seems plausible enough since anyone could have predicted that the Palestinians would react the way that they did in the face of such provocations, not to mention the fact that they’re taking place during Ramadan and right before Eid al-Fitr. It certainly seems to be the case that the Palestinians were being manipulated into defending their interests through violent means in order to serve as the pretext for a politically convenient Israeli campaign against Hamas that could potentially bolster Netanyahu’s image. The resultant insight adds further credence to the argument that Israel’s aggressive actions are indefensible.
Colonialism should have ended during the last century yet it regrettably continues to this day in the Holy Land. Even worse, Israel’s crimes are deliberately being intensified during the most important Muslim holiday in order to provoke believers into desperately reacting the only way that some of them know how, which is with violence. Their response served to “justify” Netanyahu’s likely preplanned campaign against Hamas during this politically convenient moment after his coalition-building attempts just failed. The entire world must condemn Israel, impose meaningful costs for its violations of international law, and stand in solidarity with Palestine.