What Scheme Israel is planning for the Aqsa Mosque?

The 50th anniversary of the arson attack on the Aqsa Mosque falls as the holy site witnesses almost daily confrontations between worshippers and Israeli security forces escorting hordes of fanatic Jews breaking in and wreaking havoc on its grounds. Increasing in alarming numbers, such break-ins and violations take place almost daily on Moslem religious festivals encouraged by Israeli extremist political parties and Jewish colonizing fanatic groups with direct political support from the Israeli government and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who appears to be playing with religious fire. The latter seems determined to offer more sacrifices on the altar of his upcoming elections and to divert attention from his personal and family scandals that are being considered by Israeli courts. He seeks to put the Jerusalem card in the context of betting, bidding and political investment of right-wing parties, following his failure to form a government which led to the dissolution of the Israeli Knesset parliament. Such policy is aimed at changing the status quo, which until 2000, for example, no one was allowed to enter the Aqsa Mosque except with the permission of the Moslem Awqaf and the Mosque guards, as it was forbidden to allow Jewish tours during the last ten days of Ramadan.

Those confrontations include intrusions and violations of the sanctity of the Islamic holy sites (Christian and Muslim), attacks on worshipers and those paractising retreat in the Mosque, women, elders and children, preventing them from performing their religious duties, chasing them inside the mosque, throwing sound bombs, tear gas and rubber bullets and arresting some of them. This exactly was the scene in the bloody occupation army aggression on the tens of thousands of worshipers in the Aqsa Mosque and its grounds after Eid al-Adha prayer three weeks ago. Before that, and during the month of Ramadan, they were attacked inside the Qibli and Marwani mosques (Parts of the Aqsa Mosque). The Palestinian Moslem Guards were beaten and denied treatment. All went on with the protection of Israeli Special Forces, border guards and heavily armed police.

These attacks and systematic raids of the occupation forces and herds of the colonizing settlers come as part of their incursion on the Aqsa “the first Qibla and third holiest shrine in Islam” and its Islamic identity. The military occupation paves the way for such moves and acts through a campaign of frequent arrests in the ranks of Moslem Jerusalemites. It constitutes a public provocation of the feelings of millions of Moslems in Palestine and the world, and a challenge to international laws. Also, it demonstrates a stark example of the Israeli occupation’s discriminatory nature and resort to force and bloodshed in achieving the colonial goals of the Israeli political project, including pressure on the people of Jerusalem to leave in order to empty the city of its Palestinian population, and impose obstacles for worshipers coming to the Mosque from around the Palestinian towns and villages. Such policies fall within the context of the Israeli fanatic Talmudic groups seeking to Judaize the city of Jerusalem.

Today, at this stage, we do not believe that the government of Israel (unlike some Jewish Fascist ministers, parties and rightist Talmudic organizations) is about to allow the destruction of the Aqsa by burning, blowing up or bombing. This is not Israeli ‘generosity’ by any means, but simply because “conditions have not yet matured” from the point of view of their political calculations. The Moslem and Arab worlds yet weak (and perhaps unable to act) still cherish the spirit that will not allow such extreme solutions. So do the majority of world public opinion and international organizations.

We believe that all of the above moves, efforts and incitements are part of the present Israeli government policy to create a new reality by imposing the temporal and spatial division of the Aqsa Mosque as happened in the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron. This could be followed by-if Moslems, Arabs and the world fail to deal with the issue-by a later stage where all of East Jerusalem will be controlled including the Old City with all its mosques and churches. So, beware of the Israeli schemes for they seek, in the end, to Judaize the entire Aqsa Mosque despite the struggles and heroism of the Palestinian people resisting and holding on to the land. Indeed, they have written the finest meanings of steadfastness and dignity refusing to surrender to Israeli pressures, challenging the occupation army measures to defend their land and holy sites. Their message to the world, to the US Administration and President Donald Trump is that the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will not succeed. The Aqsa Mosque with its status among one and a half billion Moslems around the world, is the exclusive property of Moslems alone, and it cannot be shared or divided. Any violation of its sanctity is a blatant disregard of Moslem feelings not only in Palestine, but around the world as well.