By Josh Hasten, Jewish News Syndicate—
Thousands of Arab protesters have been violently rioting on the Temple Mount (known by Muslims as Haram al-Sharif) throughout the “Jerusalem Day” holiday and over the course of the last several days, accusing Israel of attempting to “storm the Al-Aqsa mosque” and “Judaize” the entire city. Hundreds of rioters have been injured, along with dozens of Israeli police and security personnel.
Israeli police decided on Monday morning to bar Jewish visitation to the Temple Mount on Jerusalem Day, which commemorates Israel’s victory in the 1967 Six-Day War, and the subsequent liberation and unification of Jerusalem.
What started several weeks ago at the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan as sporadic attacks by Muslims against visibly recognizable Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem for the purpose of uploading videos to TikTok has erupted into full-fledged violence in Jerusalem. Now, the region has seen the launching of rockets at southern Israeli communities on Israel’s border with Gaza and even Jerusalem itself, violent Palestinian riots at the border and the launching of balloons attached to incendiary devices, causing dozens of fires in Israeli fields and forests over the past several days.
Alongside accusations of Israel trying to Judaize the city, protesters have also been violently supporting four Arab families who are slated to be evicted from their homes in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah (known by Jews as the ancient Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood), as per a Jerusalem Magistrate Court’s ruling indicating that the homeowners are in actuality Jews whose property was confiscated by Arabs after Israel’s 1948 War of Independence.
The Arab occupants of the homes brought the case to Israel’s Supreme Court, which several days ago decided to postpone issuing a final ruling on the matter until next month in order to avoid increasing tensions.
Dan Diker, project director for the Program to Counter Political Warfare and BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, told JNS that the current riots are a direct result of the Palestinian leadership’s declaration that “the Al-Aqsa is in danger,” which has served as a battle cry against the Jews for the past 100 years.