Israeli Attempts To Assert Its Dominance Over Al-Aqsa Have Failed
It has become very clear that due to the Israeli ruling coalition's weakness, they fear a military escalation with the armed groups in Gaza and if the next conflict resembles last May’s 11-day war, the Israeli regime could be in a lot of trouble.
Hardline Israeli settler movements attempted to assert dominance over the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, during the Holy month of Ramadan, but proved unsuccessful in achieving their goals. Most crucial to the prevention of the Israeli ambitions to change the status quo at Al-Aqsa has been the threat of armed struggle from Palestinians.
Israeli settler groups, such as the ‘Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement’, made it their goal to offer animal sacrifices during the Jewish Passover, in Al-Aqsa mosque. Thousands of Israeli settlers managed to storm the compound during Ramadan, under the protection of Israeli occupation forces. Although Israeli forces raided the compound, attacked worshippers, journalists and medics, desecrating the Holy site, the settlers proved unsuccessful in achieving their primary goals.
The Israeli occupation forces physically prevented extremist settlers from entering the site with animals to sacrifice, following threats from the armed resistance factions in Gaza that they would open fire in the event this was to take place. The ‘Temple Mount’ settler group has one primary and clear goal, as stated on its official website: “The goal of the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement is the building of the Third Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in our lifetime in accordance with the Word of G-d and all the Hebrew prophets and the liberation of the Temple Mount from Arab (Islamic) occupation so that it may be consecrated to the Name of G-d.”
The group also announced its infamous “flag marches” during Ramadan, pledging to reach the Bab al-Amud (Damascus Gate) area, in the old city of al-Quds. These far-right rallies have been dubbed as ‘modern day lynch mobs’, often featuring settlers who chant “death to Arabs” and insult the Islamic faith. Despite their antagonistic tactics, backed by Knesset members such as Otzma Yehudit’s Itamar Ben-Gvir, the Israeli government was swayed into refusing the settler marches to reach Bab al-Amud and its occupation forces prevented the settlers from reaching sensitive areas. Itamar Ben-Gvir, who declared he would set up a temporary office next to Bab al-Amud, in an attempt to aggravate tensions with Palestinians in the city, was even denied the permission to do so by the Israeli authorities. This careful treading by the current Israeli ruling coalition came as a direct result of threats by the armed resistance groups in Gaza, to launch a war if the attacks in al-Quds were to go out of hand.
This Thursday, Israeli settlers again announced a new provocative action, they threatened to storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque site in their thousands and to raise the Israeli flag inside the compound. Just prior to this, during Ramadan, thousands of Palestinian worshippers gathered to protect the Holy Site and in the process placed the Palestinian flag on the Haram al-Sharif for the first time in 20 years. Palestinian flags were frequently held high at the Mosque. Yet, Israeli occupation forces, who attacked Palestinian worshippers in the morning to clear the area for the settlers, were under strict orders to prevent the settlers raising the Israeli flag. This resulted in embarrassing videos of Israeli forces running quickly to rip the Israeli flag from the hands of settlers.
Later that night, two unidentified Palestinians decided to seek revenge for the events at al-Aqsa, entering the religious Jewish area of Elad, south of Tel Aviv, killing 3 and injuring 4 others. The two Palestinians who carried out the attack managed to flee the scene safely. The following day, the Israeli media claimed that the two men were from Jenin and were identified as Tzabahi Abu Shakir (20 years old) and 19 year-old Assad al-Rafai. What the Zionist settler groups hoped to be a triumph over Palestinians and a strong statement at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound was effectively shattered. Thursday was also, what "Israel" calls its “Independence Day”, where Israelis celebrate illegally occupying Palestine after having ethnically cleansed roughly 800,000 of the native inhabitants of the land. Instead of joy, the day ended in a somber way for Israelis, many reportedly too terrified to leave their homes.
It has become very clear that due to the Israeli ruling coalition's weakness, they fear a military escalation with the armed groups in Gaza and if the next conflict resembles last May’s 11-day war, the Israeli regime could be in a lot of trouble. Despite the fact that international human rights groups consistently call out Israeli war crimes, including the crime of Apartheid, little attention is ever paid to the plight of the Palestinians with the absence of Palestinian armed struggle. It is the armed struggle which catapulted the Palestinian cause into the mainstream of international issues. It seems that for the foreseeable future, the only way to protect Palestinian human rights, and to thwart the plots of the settler colonial regime, is for Palestinians to use armed force in order to confront the Israeli forces and settlers. This is necessary because of the complete lack of accountability that Israel faces for its repeated human rights violations and occupation of Palestinian lands.