Saturday, July 15, 2017

Irreconcilable Perspectives

"[The Temple Mount attack represents] an extremely serious event which crossed all red lines. The investigation is ongoing. We will need to reevaluate all of the security arrangements on the Temple Mount and its environs."
"I call on all public leaders to act to calm the situation and ensure quiet in Jerusalem."
Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan

"Israel must reopen Al-Aqsa mosque and the Haram al-Sharif [compound] immediately."
"[Israel must] refrain from taking any step aimed at changing the historical [status quo; restraining Jews from praying at their most holy site, permitting the Jordanian Waqf authority to control the site on behalf of Muslims exclusively]."
PA information minister Mohamed Momani
Master Sgt. Kamil Shnaan, left, and Master Sgt. Haiel Sitawe, right, the police officers killed in the terror attack next to the Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem on July 14, 2017. (Israel Police)
Master Sgt. Kamil Shnaan, left, and Master Sgt. Haiel Sitawe, right, the police officers killed in the terror attack next to the Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem on July 14, 2017. (Israel Police)

Three Israeli Palestinians, Muhammad Ahmed Muhammad Jabarin, 29, Muhammad Hamad Abdel Latif Jabarin, 19 and Muhammad Ahmed Mafdal Jabarin, 19, plotted to obey Islam's stern injunction that all its faithful must engage in jihad, and for that purpose they killed two Israeli policemen standing duty on the Temple Mount. They made lethal use of two Carlo-style submachine guns and a pistol to succeed in their attack. One of the terrorists attempted to stab an officer after being apprehended.

In honour of their noble deed the clan they belonged to in their remote northern Israeli village erected a mourning tent. The abhorrent violence by Palestinians heeding the incitement of Mahmoud Abbas and their religious leaders who speak of Jews defiling the sacred precincts of the third holiest site in Islam, represents one element of authority inspiring those they serve, to commit these unspeakable acts of carnage.

Investigations proceeded to fully appreciate just how it was possible for three Palestinians bent on mayhem and murder were able to enter the area armed, and it was ascertained that in all likelihood they had assistance from those within the Temple Mount complex. Searches were ongoing to determine whether other weapons were present. To close off the murder scene, access to the Temple Mount was closed for the first time in memory, to Muslim Friday prayer.

Eliciting a furious response from Mohammad Hussein, the Palestinian grand mufti of Jerusalem, who took the occasion to call on Palestinians to defy the Israeli police-investigative shutdown. "We completely reject the ban by Israeli authorities." Well, of course they do; the tragedy for them is that three Palestinian heroes met their deaths, not that two Israeli policemen were murdered. "We have urged our Palestinian people to rush to al Aqsa today and every day to hold their prayers", he told Reuters.

Despite that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement from his office that the Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary would be reopened once the security evaluations and the sweep for weapons was completed on Sunday, Muslims are outraged at their inability to access the Al Aqsa mosque as though nothing unusual had occurred, claiming the incident of locking them out of their prayer space represents Israeli "terrorism".
WhatsApp Image 2017-07-14 at 11.47.26
Border Police officers walk on the Temple Mount after a shooting attack in the area left three people injured, two of them seriously, on July 14, 2017. (Israel Police)
  2 Israeli policemen shot dead near holy site, gunmen killed:┬ápolice
"We cannot allow for agents of murder who desecrate the name of God, to drag us into a bloody war", emphasized Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, of the delicate maneuvering that Israeli authorities must negotiate in efforts to allay Muslim concerns, iterating and reiterating that Israel has no plans to upset the status quo  and the site, administered as it is, "will be preserved".

A call from PA President Mahmoud Abbas to Mr. Netanyahu expressing concerns over a possible escalation in overheated emotions, entirely justified on the part of Palestinians, it would seem, can fairly well be interpreted as a dark warning that should conditions not return to 'normal' favouring Muslim priorities there will be untoward consequences from an outraged and abused Palestinian population.

It is as though the events as they unfolded as described by Israeli police chief Roni Alsheikh, describing the attackers opening fire on the Israeli officers from inside the holy site, never occurred. As though weapons had never been brought into the holy compound by these devout Muslims. As though after shooting the two policemen, one of the assailants hadn't made use of a knife to attack an officer checking whether he had explosives on his person, leading to his defensive death.

To the Palestinian community, and to their sympathizers, three Palestinian men were killed by representatives of the Israeli occupation. And just incidentally, and of no consequence, two Israeli policemen lost their lives.

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