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ANALYSIS: Palestinian Authority Incitement behind Jerusalem Unrest

(Official Palestinian publication Al Hayat Al Jadida cartoon this month)

Official Palestinian publication Al Hayat Al Jadida cartoon this month.

As the level of Palestinian incitement calling for violence against Jews in Jerusalem increases, two terror attacks were implemented, Palestinian riots within the Holy City intensify, and Fatah called for a day of rage. The prospects for a Palestinian-Israeli peace seem more distant than ever.

On Oct. 28, 2014, Palestinian Media Watch reported that PA TV broadcasted Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen calling for violence against Jews in Jerusalem 19 times within a three day period. According to the broadcast, Abu Mazen called for Ribat (religious conflict/war over land claimed to be Islamic) on the Temple Mount.

Abu Mazen told the Palestinian people, “It’s not enough for us to say: ‘The settlers have arrived at the Mosque.’ They have come, and they must not come to the Sanctuary (i.e., Temple Mount). We have to prevent them, in any way whatsoever, from entering the Sanctuary. This is our Sanctuary, our Al-Aqsa and our Church of the Holy Sepulcher. They have no right to enter it. They have no right to defile it. We must prevent them. Let us stand before them with chests bared to protect our holy places.”

Palestinian Media Watch noted that as PA TV was broadcasting calls for violence against Jews in Jerusalem, Arab rioting within the Holy City increased and a terror attack was implemented at the Jerusalem Light Rail around the same period of time, killing a three-month old baby and a young woman in her twenties from Ecuador. Many others were injured.

Then, the same day that Palestinian Media Watch published this information, Islamic Jihad implemented the attempted assassination of Yehuda Glick at the Menechem Begin Heritage Center, which is located in walking distance from Emek Refaim, a major road in Jewish West Jerusalem where many Israelis gather to eat in restaurants and cafes. It is equivalent to Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. It is not located in East Jerusalem or some isolated settlement over the green line. The terror attack took place in Israel proper in undisputed territory.

Yehuda Glick was an activist promoting the Jewish right to worship on the Temple Mount. Just this past summer, he attended a pro-peace rally in Jerusalem together with moderate Muslims who share his vision that the Temple Mount should be a place where peoples from all religious groups should be able to pray. At the moment, Jews are only permitted to visit the Temple Mount at very select hours that can be canceled at a moments notice and are forbidden from praying on the site that was historically the location where the two ancient Jewish Temples stood. The Jews who do go to visit the Temple Mount often face harassment if they are identified as Jews.

The Waqf does not want Jews to even visit, much less pray, at the Temple Mount, just as non-Muslims are forbidden from entering Mecca. To the contrary, Muslims are permitted to visit the Western Wall and pray there if they desire after undergoing the same security check everyone undergoes to enter, regardless what their religious affiliation is. Because Yehuda Glick stood up against this reality, he was targeted for assassination.

Following this terror attack, the situation grew even more explosive. Fatah celebrated the attempted murder of Yehuda Glick. PA Chairman Abu Mazen’s advisor on NGOs Sultan Abu Al Einan declared: “Fatah’s Jerusalem branch accompanies its heroic Martyr to his wedding, Mutaz Ibrahim Khalil Hijazi, who carried out the assassination attempt of Zionist Rabbi Yehuda Glick.” According to Palestinian Media Watch, this same adviser also glorified the murder of the three-month old baby in the Jerusalem Light Rail terrorist attack. Fatah also published a poster glorifying the terrorist who tried to kill Rabbi Glick. In the poster, he is referred to as the “heroic martyr of Jerusalem.” Oct. 31, 2014 was declared a day of rage by Fatah. According to the Wafa Palestinian News Agency, Fatah considers “the desecration of Al Aqsa (defined by Jews merely entering the Temple Mount)” to be a “declaration of a religious war against the Palestinian people and the Arab Islamic nations.”

Writing live from Israel, it appears that due to the high level of incitement emanating from the Palestinian Authority, another Intifada is on the horizon. An atmosphere of fear permeates the country, especially in the Jerusalem area. Some people are afraid to travel to Jerusalem because of the security situation. Others are scared to go on the Jerusalem Light Rail, as many of the rioting occurred around it. And the people on the ground do not know when peace and quiet will be restored. The Israeli government has already announced that they believe that it will take some time until the quiet is restored to the area. A peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict appears further away than ever.



Rachel Avraham

Rachel Avraham is the CEO of the Dona Gracia Center for Diplomacy and the editor of the Economic Peace Center, which was established by Ayoob Kara, who served as Israel's Communication, Cyber and Satellite Minister. For close to a decade, she has been an Israel-based journalist, specializing in radical Islam, abuses of human rights and minority rights, counter-terrorism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Azerbaijan, Syria, Iran, and other issues of importance. Avraham is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media," a ground-breaking book endorsed by Former Israel Consul General Yitzchak Ben Gad and Israeli Communications Minister Ayoob Kara that discusses how the media exploits the life stories of Palestinian female terrorists in order to justify wanton acts of violence. Avraham has an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from Ben-Gurion University. She received her BA in Government and Politics with minors in Jewish Studies and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Maryland at College Park.