Archive for the ‘Palestinan terror at Temple Mount’ category

Deadly False Narratives Drove the Temple Mount Crisis

August 2, 2017

Deadly False Narratives Drove the Temple Mount Crisis, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Yaakov Lappin, August 2, 2017

Until the attack, Israel had been relying on intelligence alerts, rather than physical security measures, to defend the site. But the shootings led the Israel Police to ask the Israeli government to beef up security, and install metal detectors.

The government agreed, despite the misgivings of the Israeli defense establishment, which was concerned that the move would fuel the propaganda of fundamentalist forces, leading to unrest and instability.

Iran helped fuel the unrestIsrael Hayom reported, by sending protesters “tens of thousands of … prepackaged meals along with notes in each one citing a famous quote attributed to 1979 Iranian Revolution leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini: ‘With the help of Allah, Palestine will be liberated! Jerusalem is ours.’ The note also depicted the Dome of the Rock and the Palestinian flag.”

Additionally, a senior Iranian official reportedly met with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad representatives in Iran, offering them assistance for Palestinians injured in clashes. The IRGC released a statement, condemning “the Zionist regime’s  aggressive and criminal actions against Al-Aqsa mosque.”

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The crisis between Israel and the Palestinians that raged in recent weeks over the Temple Mount/Al-Aqsa holy site in Jerusalem has died down, but the affair provides important clues about the rising ability of fundamentalist Islamists to seize control of the narrative.

Radical rhetoric espoused by those who sought to inflame religious conflict dominated the Temple Mount crisis.

“Israel wants more than ever before to implement its plan for complete control over al-Aksa Mosque,” Hamas politburo chief Ismael Haniyeh said, even after Israel moved to defuse the situation. Days earlier, Hamas had called for a “religious war” against Israel.

Islamists in Gaza, Jordan, east Jerusalem, and within the Israeli Arab community, had the upper hand in their ability to push their interpretation of events. They claim Israel wants to take over the holy site and destroy the mosque to make way for a third Temple. This baseless narrative sweeps away the terrorist attack that caused the crisis and presented three Palestinians killed in subsequent clashes with Israeli security forces in Jerusalem as martyrs who died defending Islam.

Not to be outdone by their Islamist rivals, Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders peddled the same falsehoods. Religious Affairs Minister Sheikh Yusuf Idai’is told the official PA television channel that Israel “has plans to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and establish the alleged Temple in its place.”

Those seeking religious strife were able to mobilize masses onto the streets, with the help of self-organizing demonstrators and rioters who were infected with the Islamist fervor, and spread it themselves on social media.

Together, these elements forced pragmatic Arab leaders – who do not subscribe to Islamist ideology – to adopt the Islamist narrative, and to deal with Israel as if it was guilty of the Islamic hard-liners’ fabricated accusations.

A recap: The crisis erupted when a terrorist jihadist cell, made up of three Arab-Israeli gunmen, used firearms smuggled into the Al-Aqsa Mosque – Islam’s third holiest site – to shoot dead two Israeli police officers. Security forces then returned fire, killing the gunmen.

Until the attack, Israel had been relying on intelligence alerts, rather than physical security measures, to defend the site. But the shootings led the Israel Police to ask the Israeli government to beef up security, and install metal detectors.

The government agreed, despite the misgivings of the Israeli defense establishment, which was concerned that the move would fuel the propaganda of fundamentalist forces, leading to unrest and instability.

The defense establishment’s concerns came true. Rioting erupted in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Mass demonstrations were held in Israel’s eastern neighbor, Jordan, and included members of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood.

A Palestinian knife attacker, pledging to “die for Al-Aqsa” on his Facebook page, massacred three members of an Israeli family in their home in the West Bank.

All of these events were driven by incitement to religious violence. The unrest was sparked by the false accusation that Israel was seeking to change the status quo at Al-Aqsa, and that the site needed defending from Israelis schemes. It is a conspiracy theory that has been peddled by Palestinian hardliners for decades, dating back to the days of Hajj Amin Al Husseini in the 1920s and 30s.

Hamas in Gaza and Palestinian Islamic Jihad praised the Temple Mount shooters as “heroic,” and called for more attacks. They issued a rallying call to defend Al-Aqsa. A Salafist-jihadist group in Gaza fired two rockets at southern Israel.

Israel responded with tank fire at a Hamas military post.

Turkey, ruled by a pro-Hamas variant of the Muslim Brotherhood, exploited the tensions to urge all Muslims to “protect Jerusalem,” and called on Israel to end the crisis. Israel’s Foreign Ministry called it “absurd that the Turkish government, which occupies northern Cyprus, brutally represses the Kurdish minority and jails journalists, lectures Israel, the only true democracy in the region. The days of the Ottoman Empire have passed.”

Iran helped fuel the unrestIsrael Hayom reported, by sending protesters “tens of thousands of … prepackaged meals along with notes in each one citing a famous quote attributed to 1979 Iranian Revolution leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini: ‘With the help of Allah, Palestine will be liberated! Jerusalem is ours.’ The note also depicted the Dome of the Rock and the Palestinian flag.”

Additionally, a senior Iranian official reportedly met with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad representatives in Iran, offering them assistance for Palestinians injured in clashes. The IRGC released a statement, condemning “the Zionist regime’s  aggressive and criminal actions against Al-Aqsa mosque.”

In Israel, Sheikh Raed Saleh, the former leader of the now banned Islamic Movement – a sister organization to Hamas – led a funeral procession for the three Arab Israeli terrorists. Thousands of mourners marched belligerently by the coffins of the terrorists, shouting, “By fire and with blood we will redeem you, Al-Aqsa,” and, “You are the martyrs of Al-Aqsa.”

Palestinian social media buzzed with calls to defend Al-Aqsa. The Islamist narrative had won the day.

Israel tried to challenge this mythology by directly addressing Palestinians. “So that the truth is clear, when did the Temple Mount incidents erupt?” IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai asked in Arabic on Al Jazeera. “A week ago. After a terror attack was committed by three Muslims, who entered the Temple Mount with weapons and opened fire. Israel does not want to change the status quo. This is a clear message to the world from the Muslim world.”

His message appeared to largely fall on deaf ears. With the fundamentalist rhetoric leading the way, even pragmatic Arab leaders, some of whom rely on cooperation with Israel for the very stability of their rule, felt the need to play according to the radical playbook, in order to avoid being tagged as Israel’s ‘abettors.’

The most obvious example was Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas. Without Israel’s steps to quell Hamas in the West Bank, Abbas’s Palestinian Authority would have faced multiple armed attempts by Islamists to depose him .

During the Temple Mount unrest, Abbas cut security coordination between his forces and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

“Jerusalem is ours. It is our capital and our sovereignty. As long as the situation in occupied Jerusalem does not return to what it was before July 14 [when Israel installed metal detectors], there will be no changes [in our position],” Abbas said, according to a Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) translation.

Promoting the lie that the Al-Aqsa Mosque required protection from Israel, Abbas told east Jerusalem Palestinians, “What you did was defend your honor, your religion and your holy sites. It was the true answer to those who wish to harm our holy sites and the principles of our faith. We supported you in what you did and are [still] doing. We decided to suspend the security coordination; [that decision] still holds. We [decided to] defend the holy sites; that still holds as well.”

The Fatah movement, which runs the Palestinian Authority, added fuel to the fire. With the full knowledge that it was risking new clashes, Fatah’s Central Committee called for mass protests.

Egypt and Jordan, both of whom are busy combating Islamist threats at home, called on Israel to remove the metal detectors.

The situation in Jordan became even more complicated when an Israeli embassy guard was stabbed by a local youth. The guard opened fire to defend himself, killing the attacker and accidentally shooting dead a second Jordanian citizen who was nearby.

Jordan’s King Abdullah refused to allow the Israeli guard to leave Amman, reversing his decision only after Israel said it would remove the metal detectors.

King Abdullah, one of the Arab worlds’ most moderate leaders, whose Kingdom shares many common interests with Israel, still felt the need to issue a statement vowing to prevent the “Judaization” of holy sites in Jerusalem.

Jordan controls the Jerusalem Islamic trust in charge of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, called the Waqf. Behind the scenes, Jordan helped end the Temple Mount crisis, which threatened to destabilize it.

The Waqf told Islamic worshipers that they could re-enter the Temple Mount after Israel had removed the metal detectors.

Even after the crisis reached a resolution, the Palestinian Authority remained highly wary of being labeled as a collaborator with Israel.

An aide to Abbas said security coordination with Israel would only be resumed “gradually,” to avoid giving the impression that the Palestinian Authority is too enthusiastic about working with the Israeli military in the West Bank.

The crisis provides a clear indication of the influence that Islamist propaganda has on the area. Even Arab leaders who are directly threatened by radical forces feel they must march according to their drumbeat, or risk their very legitimacy.

Israel’s decision to dismantle the metal detectors was designed to prevent the Islamist pyromaniacs from using the Al-Aqsa crisis to set the region on fire.

The fact that the Islamists came so close to succeeding, however, is the latest indication of who is in charge of the popular narrative in the region.

Israel’s government under triple siege

July 26, 2017

Israel’s government under triple siege, DEBKAfile, July 26, 2017

Where the ministers went wrong was in failing to go after the perpetrators of the murders committed at one of the most sensitive world shrines. The killers belonged to the lawless Jabarin clan that rules the Israeli Arab town of Umm al Fahm. The ministers did not treat this clan as central to the crime, out of concern for the delicate relations with Israel’s Arab minority. Instead, Temple Mount, the lightening rod of Israel’s relations with the entire Muslim and Arab world, was treated as the core issue.

If Israel fails to draw a strong red line at this point in the standoff, a new crisis or terrorist outrage will be staged every few days to force the ministers to fall back step by step on measures pivotal to national security. Popular opnion at home, incensed over the Halamish terrorist outrage, was against the first concession and will oppose any more.

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Binyamin Netanyahu’s government is being forced back step by step on the Temple Mount standoff by a three-line siege imposed by the Palestinians, Sunni Arab governments, including Jordan, and public opinion at home.

The security cabinet can’t be faulted for approving its first rational steps for securing the worshippers and visitors frequenting Temple Mount, after three Israeli Arab gunmen desecrated the shrine on July 14 by shooting dead two Israeli police officers on guard at Lion’s Gate.

Metal detectors at the gates provided a quick fix for reopening the shrines the next day.

Where the ministers went wrong was in failing to go after the perpetrators of the murders committed at one of the most sensitive world shrines. The killers belonged to the lawless Jabarin clan that rules the Israeli Arab town of Umm al Fahm. The ministers did not treat this clan as central to the crime, out of concern for the delicate relations with Israel’s Arab minority. Instead, Temple Mount, the lightening rod of Israel’s relations with the entire Muslim and Arab world, was treated as the core issue.

The Jabarins felt safe enough to carry on breaking Israel’s laws. On Tuesday, July 25, a member was caught smuggling a truckload of illegal Palestinian workers from the Palestinian town of Jenin across into Israel. It was obvious that something is badly amiss in national homeland security policies.

In another example, the government finally, a year late, ordered the home of one of the Tel Aviv Sarona Market terrorists, who murdered four Israelis, to be knocked down. One story of a building in the Hebron village of Yata will be destroyed. At the same time, the Supreme Court of Justice in Jerusalem gave the police 30 hours to hand over the bodies of the three Temple Mount gunmen, members of the Jabarin tribe,  to their families for burial.

Razing the home of one of the Tel Aviv terrorists, who claimed to have been inspired by ISIS, in a timely fashion, a year ago, might have been some deterrent for the killers of Umm al-Fahm.

It now turns out that the shrine murders 12 days ago were the result of Israeli Arabs and Palestinians coming together for a joint terrorist conspiracy against Israel. The location was deliberately chosen as the catalyst for dragging moderate Arab rulers into a plot for compelling Israel to give up its sovereignty on Temple Mount and the Old City of Jerusalem.

This conspiracy was insufficiently addressed by the ministers taking part in the security cabinet’s deliberations. The removal of the metal scanners, security cameras – or any other measures Israel was been forced to cede – will not satisfy the Palestinians and Israeli Arab leaders, including their members of parliament. They are intent on drawing their community of 1.5 million into the bloody brew they have cooked up for the entire Arab world to consume.

As this juncture, the Israeli government has no choice but to brake hard on concessions – even as street violence escalates – and draw a red line against caving in any further. The Palestinians and their clerics should be firmly informed that if they choose to continue to boycott Al Aqsa and hold prayers in the street outside the shrine, so be it. Israel will not budge any further on its responsibility to secure Temple Mount against more violence. And their dream of a victory parade on the holy compound to celebrate their humiliation of the Jewish State will never come true.

Very few Israelis are aware of the origins of the 180,000 Arabs living in Jerusalem today. Most of them originate in Hebron and migrated to Jerusalem over the years since 1967. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan which ruled eastern Jerusalem and its shrines for 19 years up until the Six Day War, very carefully kept Hebron natives out of the city. Their extremist conduct over Temple Mount explains why.

If Israel fails to draw a strong red line at this point in the standoff, a new crisis or terrorist outrage will be staged every few days to force the ministers to fall back step by step on measures pivotal to national security. Popular opnion at home, incensed over the Halamish terrorist outrage, was against the first concession and will oppose any more.

No thanks for foiling terrorists at the mosque

July 25, 2017

No thanks for foiling terrorists at the mosque, Washington Times, , July 24, 2017

(Old Wesley Pruden can write a pretty bitter editorial. Good for him! — DM)

Jason Greenblatt. (Associated Press)

The metal detectors have infuriated the Palestinians because they will make it difficult to ambush police and to spill blood, some of it no doubt of innocent Arabs, as part of their peace initiative.

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It’s time to beat up on the Jews again, particularly the Jews in Israel and the West Bank. Once more they’re not standing still enough to enable the Palestinians to maim and kill.

Killing by stealth is what the Palestinian freedom fighters do best. They’re pretty good at it, particularly when they get to prove their manly courage against women and children. They’re bravest of all against infants. A Palestinian terrorist almost never flinches when an infant shakes his rattle at him.

The terrorists are upset this time because the Israelis installed metal detectors at the entrance to the al-Aqsa mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem after three Arab Israelis shot dead two Israeli police officers just outside the mosque, using guns they had smuggled into the compound.

The metal detectors have infuriated the Palestinians because they will make it difficult to ambush police and to spill blood, some of it no doubt of innocent Arabs, as part of their peace initiative. Slaying a few innocents is merely collateral damage in the name of Allah. Poor Allah, the crimes committed in his name and in his “defense.” It’s not entirely clear why Allah would need defending by mere mortals, but there is much in Islam that is difficult to understand.

Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority and ever eager to pour something flammable on troubled waters, to be helpful to someone passing by with a match aflame, said his government would “freeze contact on all levels” with Israel until the metal detectors are removed. This is negotiation, Middle East style: resolution on terrorist terms first, negotiations later.

Blowing the trumpet usually used to call retreat, the Israeli Security Cabinet is discussing ways to “reduce tensions,” including a “review” of the continued use of metal detectors to take weapons out of the hands of terrorists. The Trump White House dispatched its special envoy for international negotiation, Jason Greenblatt, to Jerusalem Sunday night to try to “end the bloodshed.” He will need extraordinary luck.

Mr. Greenblatt will “be closely coordinating” with Jared Kushner, President Trump’s 60-minute man for defusing trouble everywhere. Mr. Kushner deserves a trip to a war zone as relief from defusing tensions within the family, and particularly his own tense relationship with Donald Trump Jr. over the fallout from the young Mr. Trump’s conversations about whatever it was he talked to a Russian lawyer about.

It’s always one darn thing after another in the Middle East, and particularly between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Nothing will ever be settled, of course, until one side dies, either in battle, in brawling, or of old age. The Arabs have tried conventional warfare, even starting one war with Pearl Harbor-like stealth and surprise. They took their usual licking, and even that didn’t work, though it is true that the Arab military colossus enjoyed only a 6 to 1 advantage. Ganging up on women and children is all that a defeated Colossus can do.

Donald Trump sent Mr. Greenblatt aloft with a statement condemning the violence, not just condemning it but this time “utterly” condemning it, and that’s condemning it to the uttermost. This is the soft approach, which might work against Upper or Lower Slobbovia, but probably not against the likes of the Palestinians, the North Koreans or the gallant regiments of ISIS.

The attempt to calm troubled land and water gained new urgency with the murder of most of an Israeli family finishing their Shabbat supper Friday night in the West Bank settlement of Halamish. The killer looked typical.

Omar al-Abed, 19, who lived in a nearby village, broke through a window and surprised the family with an unregistered knife, stabbing and slashing with stealth and surprise, killing the father, about 60, and his son and daughter, in their 40s, before they could gather their wits to fight back. Several grandchildren listened to the slaughter, terrified, hiding in another room. Their grandmother was slashed, too, but survived. The killer was wounded by an Israeli soldier who heard their screams and arrived with a gun.

The killer told his captors that he bought the knife two days earlier to avenge the metal detectors at the Temple Mount. It’s obvious to everyone that precautions against violence are unnecessary in the Middle East. Why can’t the Jews give assistance to those who only want to kill them?

The Israeli Defense Force distributed a photograph of the killer taken from his Facebook account — where else but Facebook? — and supplied a translation of his vow to avenge the metal detectors. “Take your weapons and resist,” he wrote to others. “You start a war amongst us and Allah will judge you for it.” Hamas, the terrorist organization, praised the slaughter of the Israel family as “heroic.” Of course. But if Allah is just, he might favor the Jews.

Palestinians, Mother of Terrorist, Celebrate Slaughter of Jewish Family

July 24, 2017

Palestinians, Mother of Terrorist, Celebrate Slaughter of Jewish Family, Front Page MagazineJoseph Klein, July 24, 2017

(Another good opportunity for an American veto at the UN Security Council. — DM)

The United Nations Security Council is meeting in closed session Monday morning to discuss the crisis. Sweden, Egypt and France requested the special meeting. None of these countries have supported Israel in dealing with the ever present threat of Palestinian terrorism. They have bought into the Palestinians’ victimhood narrative.

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Palestinian mother extolled her 19-year old son’s “accomplishment” in the name of Allah. She exclaimed:  “Praise Allah. I am proud of my son. May Allah be pleased with him.” The mother was not celebrating her son’s graduation, new job, marriage, fatherhood or some other life-affirming event. Rather, she was celebrating the deaths that her terrorist offspring, Omar al-Abed, brought to a Jewish family on July 21st.  The family was about to sit down for a Sabbath dinner and to celebrate the birth of a grandson that same day when the Palestinian terrorist prodigy invaded the family’s home. Wielding a knife, he proceeded to kill a grandfather, his daughter and his son, and to seriously wound the grandmother. The massacre ended only after a neighbor, who belongs to an elite IDF unit and was home on leave, heard cries for help from the house and shot the terrorist. Al-Abed was eventually handcuffed and taken to a hospital for treatment of his wounds.  

The terrorist’s mother was joined in her celebration by Palestinians dancing in the street in Gaza. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh reportedly phoned Omar al-Abed’s father to congratulate him for what his son had done to bring “pride to the nation.” 

The trigger for this latest spurt of violence was said to be Israel’s decision to install metal detectors at the entrances leading to the Temple Mount. Israel took this action in response to the killings by terrorists on July 14th of two Israeli police officers guarding the holy site. The murders were carried out by Arab Israeli citizens who used guns previously smuggled into the compound. Israel installed metal detectors to prevent any further smuggling of arms.

Palestinian violence has been spreading since then, resulting in the deaths of four Palestinian rioters in confrontations with Israeli security forces trying to restore calm.

The spiraling violence is being spurred on by Muslim religious leaders and Palestinian officials claiming that Israel’s security actions were defiling the Al Aqsa mosque situated on the Temple Mount. Omar al-Abed picked up on this theme in the “will” he posted on Facebook three hours before his cowardly attack. He said he was acting against “the sons of apes and pigs who defile Al Aqsa.” Hoping for martyrdom, he posted: “I will go to heaven. How sweet death is for the sake of God, his prophet and for Al-Aqsa mosque.” The 19-year old terrorist, who is the apple of his mother’s eye, did not get his wish and will now have to answer for his crimes. No doubt, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will reward the terrorist’s family with a generous stipend while he remains in Israeli custody. That’s the way Abbas operates.

After first mouthing an insincere condemnation of the murderous attack on the police guarding the Temple Mount, Abbas has exploited the situation ever since. He announced that he was going to suspend all contacts with Israel until the metal detectors were removed. Abbas reached out to the United States and the so-called “international community” to pressure Israel into cancelling its heightened security measures. He reportedly said that unless Israel backed down, tensions over access to the holy site could spiral out of control. The United Nations Security Council is meeting in closed session Monday morning to discuss the crisis. Sweden, Egypt and France requested the special meeting. None of these countries have supported Israel in dealing with the ever present threat of Palestinian terrorism. They have bought into the Palestinians’ victimhood narrative.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government has been holding firm so far on its latest security measures. Tzachi Hanegbi, the minister for regional development and a senior member of the ruling Likud party, told Army Radio: “They (metal detectors) will remain. The murderers will never tell us how to search the murderers. If they (Palestinians) do not want to enter the mosque, then let them not enter the mosque.”

However, there is some division within the Israeli government on the utility of the metal detectors. Senior security officials have reportedly warned that the potential danger the metal detectors may pose in being used as a pretext for widespread violence may outweigh their usefulness. Thus, the government could be preparing a way to replace the metal detectors with a less controversial alternative. Israel has begun installing sophisticated security cameras at one of the entrances. While security officials have told Israeli media that the cameras are meant to complement the metal detectors, not replace them, the cameras may provide the Israeli government with a face saving way to defuse the immediate crisis. Prime Minister Netanyahu hinted as much when he said at his weekly cabinet meeting, “The only thing we want is to ensure no one can again take weapons in and carry out another attack. We’re willing to examine alternatives to the metal detectors, so long as the alternative ensures the prevention of the next attack.”

However, it is unlikely that any alternative security measure the Israelis institute will quell the rising level of violence. Indeed, it could have the opposite effect. Already, Abbas is said to be protesting the installation of the cameras. Only the Palestinians have the right to determine what security measures are appropriate outside the entrance to the site of their mosque, he said on Sunday. Moreover, some Muslim religious leaders may argue that photographing of people and other living animate moving beings is forbidden in Islam. They would likely rail against the “Zionist infidel occupiers” taking pictures of Muslim worshippers entering the “sacred” site of a mosque over which the Palestinians claim exclusive sovereignty.

The Palestinian grand mufti, the acting Palestinian chief justice and the Jordanian-sponsored Waqf religious trust issued a no-compromise joint statement:

“We stress our absolute rejection of the electronic gates, and of all measures by the Occupation (Israel) that would change the historical and religious status in Jerusalem and its sacred sites, foremost the blessed Aqsa mosque.” (Emphasis added)

Palestinians continue to reject all paths to a reasonable compromise on any issue related to the conflict that they created in the first place by not accepting a two-state solution seven decades ago. There is no reason to expect any different outcome this time. As Debkafile put it so well: “The Palestinians are consistent in their tactics: First shed Israeli blood, then tell the world they are victims and as martyrs are justified in seeking revenge.” As usual, much of the “international community,” as represented in the UN, will fall for this charade.

World Council of Churches Endorses Palestinian Protests Over Temple Mount Security Measures

July 24, 2017

World Council of Churches Endorses Palestinian Protests Over Temple Mount Security Measures, ALgemeinerBen Cohen, July 23, 2017

Fr. Robert Smith, Jerusalem representative of the World Council of Churches, addresses a BDS rally in South Africa. Photo: Screenshot.

The WCC is a central promoter of the Christian “Kairos Palestine” document, which characterizes terrorist acts of “armed resistance” as “Palestinian legal resistance,” denies the Jewish historical connection to Israel in theological terms, calls to mobilize churches worldwide in the call for BDS, and compares Israel with the South African apartheid regime.

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The World Council of Churches (WCC) has declared its support for the Palestinian campaign against Israeli control of Jerusalem’s holy sites, describing new Israeli security measures at the Temple Mount as a “corrosive act in the midst of an already-fragile peace.”

“Keeping the historical status quo and supporting equal rights for Christians, Muslims and Jews at these holy sites is vitally important to maintaining peace and de-escalating violence,” said Fr. Ioan Sauca, acting general secretary of the WCC.

“Denying access to holy sites for thousands of people who have traveled far to pray is not only a violation of the rights of those individuals, but also a corrosive act in the midst of an already-fragile peace,” Fr. Sauca said.

One prominent Jewish human rights group ridiculed the WCC for protesting against Israel’s installation of metal detectors at the site, when such measures are common at religious sites around the world. In 2015, Saudi Arabia introduced a range of new restrictions, including electronic bracelets, for Muslims performing the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca after capturing a suicide bomber who planned to attack the Grand Mosque in Islam’s holiest city. Major Christian sites, most obviously at the Vatican in Rome, have also implemented enhanced measures amid a continuing wave of Islamist terror attacks in Europe and the Middle East.

“The installation of metal detectors is taken for granted at the Vatican, at government offices, at every airport around the globe,” said Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein – Director of Interfaith Affairs at the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC). “They were first made necessary when Palestinians internationalized terrorism decades ago.”

A statement from the SWC argued: “If the WCC’s call to maintain the ‘status quo’, i.e. free access without metal detectors, is heeded, it will be complicit in the shedding of blood in the future. If the WCC is truly interested in protecting the rights of all the prayers, they should denounce extremist protests and threats made against Istanbul’s leading synagogue, which has suffered two previous terrorist attacks.”

The WCC’s attitude to Israel has been consistently hostile for several decades. The organization has a deliberately vague policy towards the BDS campaign targeting Israel, saying it does not support a boycott, but endorsing at the same time “all non-violent efforts to end the occupation (including considering appropriate economic and other measures).”

The WCC is a central promoter of the Christian “Kairos Palestine” document, which characterizes terrorist acts of “armed resistance” as “Palestinian legal resistance,” denies the Jewish historical connection to Israel in theological terms, calls to mobilize churches worldwide in the call for BDS, and compares Israel with the South African apartheid regime.

According to the Israeli research institute NGO Monitor, the WCC directly funds groups in its “Israel/Palestine” network that promote BDS and “lawfare” campaigns to convict Israeli political and military leaders for alleged “war crimes.”

Metal Detectors and Palestinian Lies

July 22, 2017

Metal Detectors and Palestinian Lies, Gatestone InstituteBassam Tawil, July 22, 2017

(Please see also, This is a war for sovereign control of Temple Mt. — DM)

This incitement began more than two years ago, when Palestinian and Waqf leaders started telling their people and the rest of the world that Israel was planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and that Jews visiting the Temple Mount were “defiling with their filthy feet” an Islamic holy site. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was the first to pronounce this blood libel, which triggered a wave of knife and car-ramming attacks against Israelis that continues to this day.

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The slain police officers were stationed there to ensure the safety of Muslim worshippers. The Palestinian spin doctors are attempting to divert attention from the terror attack by making it look as if the crisis began when Israel installed the metal detectors and not when two police officers were murdered.

First, the security measures, including the placement of the metal detectors, was not an Israeli initiative but came as a direct and necessary response to a specific terror attack. The Israeli government did not convene and take a decision to install the metal detectors in order to alter the status quo or stop Muslims from praying.

Second, it was the Palestinians who took the decision not to enter into the Temple Mount unless the metal detectors are removed. The Palestinians and the Waqf are lying to the world by telling it that Israel is denying Muslims access to their holy sites.

The Palestinian opposition to the metal detectors at the Temple Mount means one thing only: that the Palestinians are determined to turn the holy site into a weapons cache and use it as a launching pad to carry out terror attacks against Israelis. If the mosque were then actually destroyed in the process, guess who would be blamed? Possibly that is even the real agenda.

The controversy surrounding the Israeli authorities’ decision to place metal detectors at the gates of the Temple Mount calls to mind the famous Arab saying, “he beat me and cried then came to me to complain.” This inversion of reality is a common among perpetrators who pretend to be victims.

The decision to install the metal detectors came after Arab terrorists murdered two Israeli police officers at the Temple Mount on July 14. The three terrorists — Israeli Arab citizens from the city of Umm al-Fahm — used a submachine gun and knives to carry out their attack. The weapons were easily smuggled into the Temple Mount thanks to Muslim worshippers not having been required to pass through metal detectors or undergo body searches by policemen stationed at the gates.

Incredibly, the Palestinians have since been waging daily protests against the new Israeli security measures, demanding that the metal detectors be removed from the entrances to the Temple Mount. As part of the protests, Palestinian leaders have urged Muslim worshippers not to enter the Temple Mount through the metal detectors and instead to pray at the entrances to the holy site.

The Palestinian Authority (PA), Jordan and other Arab and Islamic countries are accusing Israel of violating the status quo at the Temple Mount by installing the metal detectors.

One listens in vain for a denouncement of the terrorists who murdered the two Israeli police officers — these are the people responsible for defiling the sanctity of the holy site.

We also hear no condemnation of the murder of the officers, who belong to the Druze community in Israel and who were entrusted with preserving law and order at the Temple Mount. The slain officers were stationed there to ensure the safety of Muslim worshippers.

On the contrary — many Palestinians and Arabs have applauded the terror attack as a “heroic operation” against the “Zionist enemy.” The three terrorists, who were killed by Israeli policemen during the attack, are being hailed as “martyrs” and “heroes” who sacrificed their lives in defense of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Sadly, many Israeli Arab leaders have refused to condemn the terror attack carried out by three of their fellow citizens.

The metal detectors have one goal: to prevent terrorists from smuggling weapons into the Temple Mount. That is the act that should be viewed as a desecration of a holy site.

Yet, rather than supporting the Israelis’ attempt to thwart bloodshed on this sacred soil, the Palestinians and other Arabs blame Israel for seeking to safeguard the well-being of all people — not least of all Muslim worshipers — through basic security measures.

The Palestinian spin doctors are attempting to divert attention from the terror attack by making it look as if the crisis began when Israel installed the metal detectors and not when two police officers were murdered.

The Palestinians and other Arabs are now crying to the international community that Israel is seeking to change the status quo at the Temple Mount through a series of security measures. They are also trying to make it look as if Israel is preventing Muslim worshippers from entering and praying at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The facts, however, tell a rather different story.

First, the security measures, including the placement of the metal detectors, was not an Israeli initiative but came as a direct and necessary response to a specific terror attack. The Israeli government did not convene and take a decision to install the metal detectors in order to alter the status quo or stop Muslims from praying.

Second, it was the Palestinians who took the decision not to enter into the Temple Mount unless the metal detectors are removed. Palestinian leaders and officials the Waqf (a religious trust that manages the Temple Mount compound) were the ones who urged Muslim worshippers to stay away from the Temple Mount and hold prayers in the streets and public squares in protest against the metal detectors. The Muslim worshippers prefer to pray in the streets and public squares rather than enter the Temple Mount through metal detectors. But now the Palestinians and the Waqf are lying to the world by telling it that Israel is denying Muslims access to their holy sites.

Approximately 4,000 Palestinian Muslims pray outside the entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem, on July 19, 2017, in protest at the installation of metal detectors at the entrances to the Temple Mount. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)

The Palestinian propaganda machine is working overtime to market the false impression that the metal detectors are part of an Israeli scheme to spark a religious war with Muslims and destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. It appears, however, that quite the opposite is true. The incitement of Palestinian and Waqf officials suggests that it is they who are hell-bent on triggering a religious war with Israel and Jews.

This incitement began more than two years ago, when Palestinian and Waqf leaders started telling their people and the rest of the world that Israel was planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and that Jews visiting the Temple Mount were “defiling with their filthy feet” an Islamic holy site. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was the first to pronounce this blood libel, which triggered a wave of knife and car-ramming attacks against Israelis that continues to this day.

The three terrorists who carried out the July 14 attack were acting precisely in accordance with the instructions of Abbas and other Palestinian and Muslim leaders: that it is the duty of Muslims to defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque from Jews. In that sense, this attack should be seen in the context of the ongoing wave of terror attacks against Israel that began in late 2015 and which is known as the “Knife Intifada.”

Since then, the Palestinians have been using visits by Jews to the Temple Mount as an excuse to launch terror attacks against Israel. Palestinian officials and media outlets continue to depict these peaceful visits as “violent raids by Jewish settler gangs into the Al-Aqsa Mosque.” The truth, however, is that no Jew has set foot inside the mosque. The visits are restricted to tours of the Temple Mount compound — something that non-Muslim tourists have been doing since 1968.

In reality, it is the Palestinians themselves who are desecrating the sanctity of the Temple Mount, using the site to launch violent attacks against Jews by hurling stones at Jews praying at the nearby Western Wall.

They have also been smuggling various types of weapons into the Temple Mount in order to throw firebombs and stones at Jewish visitors and policemen. The Palestinian leadership and Waqf officials have also encouraged Muslims to harass Jewish visitors and police officers by hurling insults at them.

Last year, the Palestinians thwarted a plan by Jordan to install dozens of security cameras at the Temple Mount. The cameras were supposed to refute or confirm Palestinian allegations that Israel was plotting to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Jordanians backed off from their plan after Palestinian intimidation, including the threat to destroy the cameras.

Why protest the plan? The Palestinians were afraid that their violence, harassment and amassing of weapons to attack Jewish visitors and police officers would be captured on camera.

Redux: Palestinian are twisting reality again, only this time with metal detectors. They are worried that the metal detectors will stop them from smuggling knives and firearms into the Temple Mount.

One wonders — if the draw of the Al-Aqsa Mosque is prayer, why worry about metal detectors? Thousands of Palestinians pass every day through metal detectors on their way into Israel, and all that happens is that they get to work. Similarly, Palestinians and Israelis alike pass every day through metal detectors at shopping malls and state institutions, such as the Post Office, the National Insurance Institute, hospitals and medical centers. Where is the outcry?

The Palestinian opposition to the metal detectors at the Temple Mount means one thing only: that the Palestinians are determined to turn the holy site into a weapons cache and use it as a launching pad to carry out terror attacks against Israelis. If the mosque were then actually destroyed in the process, guess who would be blamed? Possibly that is even the real agenda. Who among the international community would like to sign off on that?

This is a war for sovereign control of Temple Mt

July 22, 2017

This is a war for sovereign control of Temple Mt, DEBKAfile, July 22, 2017

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas decided to profit from the high tension around Temple Mount since the July 14 murder of the Israeli policemen. Accusing Israel of declaring a religious war (sic), he announced earlier Friday that he was suspending all Palestinian security cooperation with Israel. This demonstrated extreme hutzpah, considering that it is this cooperation which keeps him in power. He deals directly with American and American parties which support his security forces and serve as go-between for Palestinian ties with their Israeli counterparts.

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The brutal stabbing attack at Halamish, which left a grandfather of 70, his son and daughter dead while still in their 40s and a grandmother of 78 badly injured – when the family was gathered for the Sabbath Eve meal on Friday, July 21 – was no random act of terror. It followed directly and consistently on the murder of two Israeli police guards on Temple Mount exactly one week earlier. The planners of the first outrage, perpetrated by three Israeli Arabs, knew exactly that such action would ignite flames which would claim many Israeli and Palestinian lives.

Halamish is a small Orthodox Jewish community of 250 families, not far from Ramallah, which is walled, gated and guarded. Nevertheless, a 19-year old Palestinian from the nearby village of Kubar, was able to scale the wall, burst in on the family and repeatedly slash four of its members. The wife of the murdered son grabbed the five children who were visiting their grandparents, hid with them in another room and phoned the police, while a neighbor, a 19-year old soldier on leave, shot the terrorist through a window and so finally stopped the carnage.

The paramedics, though experienced in terrorist atrocities had to overcome their horror at the bloodbath in which they went to work to save laves. For the grandfather and his son, it was too late. His daughter died under their hands, and the grandmother was removed to hospital in serious condition.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas decided to profit from the high tension around Temple Mount since the July 14 murder of the Israeli policemen. Accusing Israel of declaring a religious war (sic), he announced earlier Friday that he was suspending all Palestinian security cooperation with Israel. This demonstrated extreme hutzpah, considering that it is this cooperation which keeps him in power. He deals directly with American and American parties which support his security forces and serve as go-between for Palestinian ties with their Israeli counterparts.

If the Palestinians choose to continue along the path of violence, their American and European backers will face the dilemma over whether to continue to sponsor terror. Making a public issue of this will effectively put paid to all efforts at diplomacy for ending the dispute – whether local or regional.

And that is exactly what the three Muslim gunmen were after when they shot dead three Israeli police guards at the Lion’s Gate entrance to Temple Mount.

The Palestinians are consistent in their tactics: First shed Israeli blood, then tell the world they are victims and as martyrs are justified in seeking revenge – especially against “the sons of apes and pigs who defile Al Aqsa.” This was how the Halamish killer Omar al-Abed, 19, a Hamas sympathizer, described the Jews in the “will” he posted on Facebook three hours before the murders. Except that instead of dying with a martyr’s halo, he survived.

The whole week, it was dinned into Palestinian and Israeli Muslims by their leaders, including elected members of the Israeli parliament, that the Al Aqsa compound, an artificial mountaintop platform built as the site of the Jewish Temple more than 2,000 years ago, is exclusive Muslim property and no Jew has the right to set foot in the “Noble Sanctuary.”  This claim also applies to Jerusalem, known in Arabic as Al Quds.

The most notorious metal detectors in Middle East history became emblems that objectified their rage that Iover Israeli sovereignty in Temple Mount and the holy city. This has exposed the dispute as being a national rather than a religious dispute.

For Israel, sovereignty over its capital and the site of the Jewish temples, which was won at great cost in a war of defense after millennia of exile, is not in question. The government’s reiterated pledge to preserve the status quo on Temple Mount and the cities holy places is solidly backed up. But it cuts no ice with the Palestinians since the pledge is offered by an entity they consider a usurper.

Nothing less will satisfy them than Israel relinquishing Temple Mount to the full control of the Waqf Muslim Authority.

But this presents another problem. For decades, Israeli governments has provisionally quelled endless outbreaks of violence, by rescinding pieces of control to Muslim authority – the Waqf or Jordan, allowing the Hashemite King to claims custodianship of Al Aqsa. But it was never enough to keep Palestinian violence down for long. The Waqf was even permitted to build an extension to Al Aqsa, which they rewarded by trashing the relics of the Jewish Temples discovered by the builders.

But Israel has now reached the end of its tether. It is obvious that even if the metal detectors installed at Temple Mount gates are removed or replaced, the violence unleashed at Temple Mount on July 14 was just an opener, followed a week later by the Halamish murders.

A surge Palestinian clashes with police across Jerusalem earlier Friday left three Palestinian rioters dead. Israel’s Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkott Saturday ordered a massive call-up of IDF and police reinforcements to try and put a lid on the violence and protect the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria.