Israeli State Terror Against Al-Aqsa Protesters
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
For the sixth day, Israeli forces brutalized nonviolent Palestinians, protesting for their rights.
They demand unacceptable impediments to entering the Al-Aqsa compound be removed – metal detectors and intrusive cameras, violating their religious right to worship without Israeli interference.
They fear Netanyahu intends changing Al-Aqsa’s status, desecrating the holy site more than already.
On Friday, Israeli police said metal detectors and security cameras will remain in place – a phony pretext cited, claiming it’s “in light of the events of recent days, which included violent riots near the gates of the Temple Mount and at other sites in villages in East Jerusalem.”
No incident of any kind justifies collective punishment anywhere at any time.
Using invented intelligence information, police claimed “extremist elements” intend “to cause violent disruptions to the public order, and thereby to threaten the public peace, including the (safety) of those coming to pray at the holy sites and other residents of the area.”
Netanyahu’s security cabinet authorized police to use whatever so-called security measures they wish – no matter how offensive, lawless, unacceptable and counter-productive.
Police oppressively banned Palestinian youths and men under age 50 from entering Jerusalem’s Old City – an outrageous act, certain to result in more state-sponsored violence, precisely what Netanyahu wants to unjustifiably justify continued harsh crackdowns.
Some roads around the Old City are closed to vehicles. Thousands of police and military forces are deployed to terrorize Palestinians.
On Friday, tens of thousands are expected to pray outside Al-Aqsa. Muslim clerics urged worshipers to pray in streets rather than obey unacceptable Israeli restrictions.
On Thursday, dozens of Palestinians were brutalized during harsh police crackdowns, some seriously. Hamas called for a “day of rage” on Friday.
In a televised speech, its leader Ismail Haniyeh said “(l)et Friday be a turning point in the battle in the defense of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and Al-Aqsa.”
Activist groups called on Palestinians to challenge likely Israeli plans to change the status of Islam’s third holiest site.
Last Sunday, the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel together with the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center addressed senior Israeli officials by letter.
They demanded an end to closure and other Jerusalem Old City restrictions. Palestinian shop and other business owners can’t access their own facilities – harsh measures imposed forcing them to close down.
The letter, translated from Hebrew, said in part:
“These practices constitute collective punishment to tens of thousands of people living and working in the Old City and surrounding area, and cause serious, ongoing, blanket and disproportionate harm to city residents’ freedom of movement and freedom of occupation.”
“This prevented them from carrying on a normal life for several days…This policy forces business owners to close their operations, resulting in serious economic hardship, and impinges upon the constitutional right to freedom of occupation (Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation).”
“…Arab business owners are obligated to close their workplaces while similar demands are not made when such incidents occur in Jewish communities. This increases the fear that this is a discriminatory punitive measure.”
Closure and other harsh measures violate international law, prohibiting an occupying power from infringing on the daily lives and economy of a civilian population – except for clear military necessity, not the case in Jerusalem’s Old City.
With perhaps tens of thousands of Palestinians coming to Al-Aqsa on Friday, more state-sponsored terror is likely.
What’s ongoing has the makings of another intifada if protests build over the coming days.
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