Posted tagged ‘Palestinian heroes’

“The Battle over Jerusalem Has Just Begun”

August 1, 2017

“The Battle over Jerusalem Has Just Begun” Gatestone Institute, Bassam Tawil, August 1, 2017

(Please see also, Israel’s public diplomacy challenge. — DM)

The Palestinians, feeling triumphant now that Israel has complied with their demand to remove the metal detectors and security cameras, have been clarifying that it is only the first step in their fight to eradicate any Israeli presence in the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.

They admit that this is a battle over sovereignty on the Temple Mount and Jerusalem. For the Palestinians, the real battle is over who controls Jerusalem and its holy sites. The real battle, in their eyes, is over the Jews’ right to live in their own state in the Middle East. Many Palestinians have still not come to terms with Israel’s right to exist, and that is what this battle is really about.

The Palestinians have added it up just right. In their own words, they aim at an escalation of violence because they believe that what Israel did is the first step toward even more concessions and even further retreat.

The Palestinian “victory” celebrations that took place after Israel removed metal detectors and surveillance cameras from the entrances to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem bode badly for the future of stability and peace in the Middle East.

To the Palestinians and many Arabs and Muslims, the Israeli move is viewed as a sign of weakness. In their eyes, the removal of the security cameras and metal detectors is capitulation, pure and simple.

How do we know this? Easy: look at the Palestinian response. Rather than acknowledging the conciliatory nature of the Israeli government’s decision, aimed at easing tensions and preventing bloodshed and violence, the Palestinians are demanding more.

As far as the Palestinians are concerned, the controversy over the Israeli security measures at the Temple Mount, which came after three terrorists murdered two Israeli police officers at the holy site on July 14, is part of a larger battle with Israel.

We have reached a new level in this discourse: Palestinian Authority (PA) officials are now openly admitting that it is not the metal detectors or security cameras that are at issue.

Instead, they admit, this is a battle over sovereignty on the Temple Mount and Jerusalem. For the Palestinians, the real battle is over who controls Jerusalem and its holy sites. The real battle, in their eyes, is over the Jews’ right to live in their own state in the Middle East. Many Palestinians have still not come to terms with Israel’s right to exist, and that is what this battle is really about.

The Palestinians, feeling triumphant now that Israel has complied with their demand to remove the metal detectors and security cameras, have been clarifying that it is only the first step in their fight to eradicate any Israeli presence in the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.

No one explained this Palestinian position better than the PA foreign minister, Riad Malki, who announced on July 27 that the Palestinians consider the Israeli decision to dismantle the metal detectors and security cameras as surrender. He also confirmed what many Israeli and Palestinian political analysts have been saying for the past few weeks — that the conflict over Israel’s security measures was merely an excuse used by the Palestinians to force Israel to make political and territorial concessions.

In a speech before the Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo, Malki explained: “The issue is not metal detectors or cameras, but who is in charge and who has sovereignty over the Al-Aqsa Mosque.” Malki went on to explain that the Palestinians do not see the recent conflict as a security issue, but rather as a purely political matter. “The battle over Jerusalem has just begun,” he said, adding that the wave of Palestinian protests over the Israeli security measures had succeeded in “thwarting” Israel’s “conspiracy” to change the historical and legal status quo at the Temple Mount.

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Malki (pictured above in 2009) said last week in a speech: “The issue is not metal detectors or cameras, but who is in charge and who has sovereignty over the Al-Aqsa Mosque… The battle over Jerusalem has just begun.” (Image source: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

We are witnessing a rare moment of truth from the PA foreign minister, in which, ironically, he refutes claims by many in the international community and media to the effect that the recent conflict was sparked by metal detectors and surveillance cameras.

The Palestinian protests that came in response to the security measures indicated that it was more about hating Israel and trying to force it to its knees than about the removal of metal detectors and cameras. During these protests, especially at the entrances to the Temple Mount, Palestinians chanted slogans that included threats to destroy Israel and kill Jews.

“We are marching toward Al-Aqsa (Mosque), and we will sacrifice millions of martyrs,” was one of the chants at the protests, which were led by top Palestinian religious and political leaders. Another chant: “Khaybar Khaybar ya yahud, jaish Mohammed sa yaoud” (“Khaybar Khaybar O’ Jews, the army of Mohammed will return”) — a reference to the Battle of Khaybar in the year 628 between Prophet Mohammed and his followers against the Jews living in the oasis of Khaybar. The Jews were forced to surrender after being slaughtered and were thereafter permitted to live in Khaybar on condition that they give half of their produce to Muslims. The protesters also chanted slogans calling on Hamas’s military wing, Ezaddin Al-Qassam, to launch terror attacks against Israel.

For the most part, the foreign journalists covering the protests did not perceive these chants as intimidating or anti-Semitic. The protests were largely reported in a positive sense as peaceful “civil disobedience.” This is precisely the rhetoric, however, that fuels the Palestinian fire to take to the streets and hurl stones and petrol bombs at Israeli police officers and civilians.

Eighteen-year-old Omar Al-Abed, however, is one Palestinian who paid careful attention to such rhetoric. On July 22, he stormed the home of a Jewish family in Halamish, in the West Bank, and stabbed to death a grandfather and his son and daughter during a dinner to celebrate the birth of a grandchild. Shortly before setting out on his murderous mission, Al-Abed posted a note on his Facebook page in which he echoed many of the slogans from the protests, and went further by describing Jews as “sons of pigs and monkeys.”

The carnage in Halamish was perpetrated by a single Palestinian. Perhaps he acted alone, without having been indoctrinated to murder Jews and without communal support for doing so? Well, let us check: how did the Palestinian street react to his murderous rampage? How did Al-Abed’s own mother respond? The terrorist’s mother was filmed handing out sweets to visitors in celebration of her son’s decision to take the lives of the three Jews. “I’m proud of my son because he has raised our heads high,” she declared.

Perhaps the pride in the terrorist was simply a local affair? No, even that hope is smashed: as many Palestinians, especially in the Gaza Strip, took to the streets to celebrate the brutal murder, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh phoned the terrorist’s father to tell him, “Your son brought pride to the nation.”

The Halamish bloodshed brought intense pride to the terrorist’s mother, to those around her, and to the Palestinian world at large.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who never misses an opportunity to paint himself as a peacemaker par excellence, chose to remain quiet about the murder. Make no mistake: his loud silence over the Halamish terror attack is being interpreted by many Palestinians as an act of condoning the murder of three Jews. Whether condoning the atrocity or terrified of his own people, one thing is certain: Abbas and most Palestinian leaders have trained the Palestinians well. When they smell Jewish blood, they attack.

This is precisely what is going on in the Temple Mount mayhem.

Now that Israel has complied with their demands regarding the security measures, Palestinians feel more emboldened than ever. Murder and incitement, in their case, does indeed pay. They got away with the murder of the two police officers at the Temple Mount; they got away with the murder of the three family members in Halamish, and, in their view, they also got away with the recent violent protests and incitement against Israel.

Buoyed by the Israeli “capitulation,” the Palestinians are now talking about a “historic victory” over Israel. They are boasting that they have twisted Israel’s arm and forced it to “retreat.” Palestinian cartoonists and commentators have expressed similar sentiments, arguing that the removal of the metal detectors and security cameras is largely the result of their violence, terrorism and threats.

Once again, an Israeli gesture is being misinterpreted by the Palestinians and other Arabs and Muslims as weakness. This sort of deliberate misreading is far from new. Yet every time it occurs, it sets the stage for another cycle of violence. The result of Israeli conciliation is invariably Palestinian violence.

The Palestinians have added it up just right. In their own words, they aim at an escalation of violence because they believe that what Israel did is the first step toward even more concessions and even further retreat.

Bassam Tawil is an Arab Muslim based in the Middle East.

Abbas is playing a dangerous game

July 27, 2017

Abbas is playing a dangerous game, Israel Hayom, Yaron Blum, July 27, 2017

(Please see also, Israel’s public diplomacy challenge. “Of course, the world rightly assumes that no nation would willingly give up what is rightly theirs, and so millions watching from the sidelines throw their support behind the violent side that refuses to compromise.” — DM)

The threat of stopping the security coordination with Israel is likely to turn on Abbas, as Hamas is lurking around the corner, waiting for the opportunity to stage a coup against the Palestinian Authority as it did in 2007 in the Gaza Strip. The need to calm these players down is of the utmost importance if the wave of incitement is to stop becoming a wave of more lone terrorist attacks.

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The Temple Mount crisis is far from over. The latest excuse for the Palestinians’ riots is Israel’s decision to conduct manual security checks on the Temple Mount complex.

How transparent and pathetic. Everyone with something at stake on the Temple Mount or Al-Aqsa mosque understands that the site has become a fantastic vantage point from which to promote personal interests. For the average Muslims, the Temple Mount and any change in its status quo is a red line. Indeed, this motif prompts millions in the Muslim world to take to the streets and is strong enough to glue the various streams in Muslim and Palestinian communities worldwide together.

Tensions apparently came to an end after an agreement between Jordan and Israel to take down the metal detectors and security cameras installed on the Temple Mount after the July 14 terrorist attack carried out by three gunmen from Umm al-Fahm. Despite this, the Muslim players found an excuse to reignite the playing field. And who are these players’ captains? The Palestinian Authority, Hamas, organizations active around Al-Aqsa, Waqf workers, the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, and Turkey.

Even though Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is once again disparaging Israel and its policies, despite agreements between him and Israel, the star of the week is Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. From a point of great weakness against rivals in the Fatah movement, such as exiled party official Mohammed Dahlan — not to mention Hamas — Abbas realized that the “Al-Aqsa is in danger” narrative had the potential to add to his failing power. At the moment he is doing everything to ignite the streets, whether through his own voice or through the heads of the Tanzim, one of Fatah’s militant factions, and Fatah itself.

Palestinian Authority and Palestinian security apparatus officials, who had received orders to suspend the security coordination with Israel before its decision to remove security measures on the site, are now calling to further escalate the popular struggle by taking to the streets in protests planned for Friday in the Temple Mount area against the “occupation.”

Abbas’ recent declarations and direct involvement in the escalation stand out in their irregularity and are worrying. Most of all, however, these are new because they do not hide behind excuses. He is not meandering, maybe because he feels that the bullets in his gun are running out and this step can improve his current low position. Abbas is playing a double game: With the U.S. and the international community, he conveys a message of willingness to negotiate with Israel; while on the other hand, when speaking of the Temple Mount crisis, he comes out with contradictory, obtrusive statements on cutting ties, as well as calls likely to be construed as condoning terrorist activity by young Fatah and Tanzim members.

The threat of stopping the security coordination with Israel is likely to turn on Abbas, as Hamas is lurking around the corner, waiting for the opportunity to stage a coup against the Palestinian Authority as it did in 2007 in the Gaza Strip. The need to calm these players down is of the utmost importance if the wave of incitement is to stop becoming a wave of more lone terrorist attacks.

Meanwhile, a handful of residents in the Jewish community in Hebron are taking advantage of the situation by invading the Machpelah House, adjacent to the Cave of the Patriarchs, over which they claim ownership. This creates a new and dangerous point of contention, as well as a post the Israeli army and police are forced to protect. Some would understand this development as a provocation for escalation — and it is difficult to argue with that.

Yaron Blum is a former senior Shin Bet security service officer.

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.

Preventing an intifada

July 23, 2017

Preventing an intifada, Israel Hayom, Yoav Limor, July 23, 2017

(How likely is that Jordan, much of the population of which is “Palestinian,” will provide significant help in diminishing the current crisis? — DM)

The one scenario Israel strives to avoid at this point is a third intifada, a senior defense source said over the weekend. The words “third intifada” have been at the heart of every security assessment held over the past week and this time, defense officials are saying it outright. This is also the scenario which the Shin Bet security agency and the IDF have been increasingly warning about over the past few days, and one that various overt and covert elements on the ground have made into a very real possibility.

Those comparing the unrest of the past week to the wave of mostly lone-wolf terrorism that erupted in October 2015 are wrong. The current crisis represents a much more slippery slope because it is fueled by religious rage. Past waves of terrorism, including the Second Intifada, the attempts to use security prisoners’ hunger strikes to agitate the Palestinian street, and other flare-ups in recent years, were more rationally motivated.

In the past, flare-ups were led by political forces seeking national gains by means of violence. This time the unrest is emotionally motivated, driven by the false notion that Al-Aqsa mosque is “in danger” of Israeli takeover. Israel’s repeated statements that it has no intention whatsoever to change the status quo on the Temple Mount continue to fall on deaf ears. The perceived threat to Al-Aqsa resonates across the Muslim world and generates a very negative trend, as evident by the hundreds of thousands of social media posts echoing the need to defend the holy site.

Another indication was the reaction on the Palestinian street to the gruesome terrorist attack in the Samaria community of Halamish, where a terrorist murdered three members of the Salomon family on Friday. The glory and support showered on the terrorist was unusual even for a society that regularly glorifies terrorists, raising concerns that others might very well follow in his footsteps.

The ease with which the terrorist managed to enter Halamish — despite the security fence surrounding it and the alert, which according to the initial investigation was mishandled by the rapid response team in the community — is likely to spur others to act. Several individuals have already openly said as much on social media. The defense establishment’s immediate challenge, therefore, is to prevent copycat attacks.

The decision to deploy large security contingents on the ground is meant to do just that: prevent terrorist attacks and lend the residents a sense of security. Past experience has shown that this would most likely be only partially successful as well as slow to happen, as it takes time to get a solid hold on an area, seal any breaches to the fence and exhaust intelligence.

Palestinian security forces took an active part in efforts to curb the last wave of terrorism, mostly over their own concerns of losing control over the Palestinian population. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ announcement over the weekend that the PA was suspending all security ties with Israel will undermine the Palestinian Authority, but it may also cost Israeli lives.

Israeli effort to curtail further security deterioration will therefore focus on four fronts: in Jerusalem, by the police; in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip, by the military; and overseas, by the Shin Bet, which will try to prevent terrorist attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets abroad. The defense establishment’s working assumption is that this situation will be somewhat prolonged. The IDF has already diverted troops in a way that would sustain this special state of alert for at least a month, and it is preparing for the possibility that it will take longer to resolve.

But this operational effort is only part of the plan, alongside significant diplomatic efforts. The Diplomatic-Security Cabinet decided to keep the metal detectors installed last week on the Temple Mount, but according to Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, whose interview with Al Jazeera over the weekend meant to allay the concerns of the Arab street, the cabinet is currently seeking alternative solutions.

While the search for metal detector-free security measures continues, Israel must also find ways to assuage the concerns expressed by Arab leaders. The anti-Israeli consensus in recent days — at a time when Israel was able to make progress vis-a-vis many Middle East nations based on the shared need to curtail Iran’s regional ambitions and the joint war on Islamic State — is very troubling and must be addressed immediately.

The main effort in this respect must be directed at Jordan: As the nation controlling the Islamic trust that manages Al-Aqsa mosque, Amman plays a special role on the holy site and that should be leveraged when discussing the various alternatives and compromises.

Israel believes that even if an agreement is reached on a diplomatic level, some “braking distance” would still be required until the unrest on the ground is quelled. For this reason, “calm” will be the operative word in the coming days, as there is a need to calm the situation on the ground and tone down the rhetoric so as to facilitate an effective war on terror while minimizing any harm to civilians on both sides. This is a particularly complicated operation in terms of security and diplomacy, but it is essential if we are to avoid an unwanted escalation that would lead to a third intifada.

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.