Are Palestinians On The Verge Of A New Intifada? Al-Aqsa The Epicenter, A Life And Death Issue
24 October 2015
By Khalid Amayreh
Palestinians, especially youngsters, are taking to the
streets in large numbers to protest increasingly determined efforts by Jewish
fanatics to take over or demolish al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest place in
A number of protesters, including a child, have been shot dead by
trigger-happy Israeli soldiers, instructed by the Israeli government to shoot
to kill even peaceful protesters.
According to eyewitnesses, Abdul Rahman Ubaydullah, 12, was shot dead early
Tuesday by an Israeli sniper as he was playing outside his home at the Ayda
refugee camp near Bethlehem.
Israel murdered thousands of Palestinians, including hundreds of children, in
three devastating wars on the Gaza Strip in 2008-9, 2012, and 2014.
On Monday, another Palestinian youngster named Huthayfa Suleiman was shot
dead at the Shweika neighborhood near the town of Tulkarem, in the northern
Palestinian medical sources have reported that as many as 600 protesters were
injured in the last three days, 300 by rubber-coated bullets, and the rest as
a result of suffocation from tear-gas inhalation.
The hawkish Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu on Monday vowed to take
"harsh'' measures against "rioters."
The measures include instructions to kill stone-throwers, and demolish the
family homes of Palestinians accused of killing Israeli settlers as well as
imposing hefty fines on their families.
The measures seem to represent a stark contrast to the extremely lenient
measures adopted against Jewish terrorists responsible for murdering
Nearly two months ago, Jewish terrorists burned alive an entire Palestinian
family at the village of Duma near Nablus in the northern West Bank.
The father, mother and a small toddler succumbed to their massive burns while
a second and only remaining child of the family is still fighting for his
life in hospital.
Israel vowed to catch the perpetrators. However, two months after the ugly
incident, none of the murderers has been apprehended.
It is widely believed that the Israeli security agencies as well as justice
system are reluctant to pursue the Talmudic settler terrorists who are backed
by powerful political figures as and top-ranking army officers.
The Israeli justice system, which is rife with right-wing judges sympathetic
to the terrorists, often treats Jewish suspects as "innocent even if proven
guilty," using the words of Israeli peace activist.
Al-Aqsa, the epicenter
The main reason behind current Palestinian protests is the recurrent and
increasingly bold Jewish attempts to take over the Aqsa Mosque from Muslim
hands in order to build on its site a Jewish temple.
Messianic Jewish groups, backed by powerful parties within the coalition
government led by Netanyahu have been storming the Islamic sanctuary, nearly
on a daily basis, under the protection of the Israeli security forces.
Muslims who tried to defend the sanctity of the place were severely beaten,
shot at, or arrested and given hefty fines.
On Monday, crack Israeli soldiers expelled Muslim worshipers from the place.
Messianic Jews believe that the destruction of the Aqsa Mosque and building a
Talmudic temple on its site would usher in the beginning of the so-called
"redemption age" and appearance of a Jewish Messiah or redeemer, who will
bring salvation for Jews and establish a world-wide Jewish empire.
Some Jewish circles, including religious Zionists, whose main political arm,
ha-Bayt ha Yehudi, (Jewish home), is the second largest party in the current
Israeli government, believe that bloodshed and violence on a very large scale
must precede the redemption and appearance of the redeemer.
Believers in this cataclysmic theology, who are in the hundreds of thousands
and include most settlers in the West Bank, often seek to expedite these
doomsday whims by provoking violence in Occupied Palestine, especially by
torching mosques and even churches and by committing outrageous acts of
murder like what happened to the Dawabsheh family.
However, Messianic Jews know well that nothing would provoke the Palestinians
like the recurrent storming of the Aqsa Mosque.
Life- and- death issue
In a certain sense, the millenarian Jews are correct.
Assaults on the Aqsa Mosque, even under the deceptive rubric of "innocent
visits" do provoke Palestinians as nothing else would.
After all, the Aqsa Mosque is an integral part of the Islamic belief itself.
The Mosque is mentioned by name in Suratul Isra (Chapter- 17)
Most Palestinians actually believe that the majestic Muslim sanctuary, to
which the Prophet Muhammed made his night journey from Mecca and subsequently
flew from there to the seventh heaven in what is known in Muslim traditions
as Israa and Mi'iraj, symbolizes their very existence in Palestine.
Hence, targeting the Mosque by Jews is viewed as a direct, brazen and
flagrant attack or declaration of war on the very existence of the
Palestinians, not only in Palestine, but also in the Levant region.
That is why; nearly every Palestinian considers the issue a matter of life
and death even at the personal level.
A new Intifada
It is difficult to say with certainty whether an intifada or uprising is
occurring or going to occur soon.
However, it is amply clear that the chances for a new intifada are now
greater than ever before in light of the deep anger and indignation generated
among most Palestinians by Israeli provocations and crimes.
Hence, it is probably logical to say that the evolution of the present
protests in the West Bank into a full-fledged uprising depends very much on
Israeli behaviors, especially at the Aqsa Mosque.
More to the point, the virtual death of the so-called peace process and the
practical elimination by Israel of all realistic prospects for the
establishment of a viable Palestinian state are likely to make the eruption
of a third Intifada more likely if not inevitable.
Khalid Amayreh is a Palestinian journalist and political commentator
living in Occupied Palestine.