Violence in Jerusalem Continues
by Sarah Ann Haves
After a series of terrorist attacks threatening Israel’s security and stability, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for government measures aimed at stopping the violence. Fear and anxiety among Jewish residents living in and around Jerusalem has led to a new government crackdown on terrorists and their families. But, despite Netanyahu’s efforts, the attacks continue. The latest one involves a stabbing of two Jewish men at Jerusalem’s Old City Jaffa Gate which occurred on Monday night, November 24.
|Five of the terror attacks…
were carried out by
Arab residents of Jerusalem.
Five of the terror attacks in the city within the past month have reportedly been carried out by Arab residents of East Jerusalem. One of the most serious and barbaric incidents happened in mid-November when two Palestinian cousins broke into a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood wielding axes, knives and guns. They murdered four rabbis and injured several other men, including one critically. A Druse policeman who confronted the terrorists later died in the hospital of gunshot wounds. It was the deadliest attack in Jerusalem since 2008.
The gruesome murderers led Netanyahu to instruct Israeli Interior Minister Gilad Erdan to revoke the rights of Israeli Arab citizens who have been involved in terrorist acts against the State of Israel. These include the removal of health care benefits and social security. This directive followed Netanyahu’s demand that the homes of terrorists be demolished, including that of a Palestinian who killed a three month old baby girl and a woman from Ecuador in October.
Some of the other measures that have been implemented in the city involve a volunteer civil guard to assist police, ordered by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. This includes an additional 90 volunteer patrol cars that will be responsible for monitoring flashpoint neighborhoods. There will also be 50 rapid response police units added in Jerusalem. Preschools and kindergartens will be guarded by 215 more security guards, and hundreds of cameras will be installed in schools throughout the city. This is to satisfy concerned parents who have insisted on enhanced security measures for their children.
Not only has the violence and rioting increased, but efforts by some Palestinians to start a new Intifada (Uprising) have included more than the usual rock throwing. Several attacks that Palestinians carried out in early November included the fatal stabbings of an Israeli air force sergeant in Tel Aviv and a religious woman at a bus stop in Gush Etzion. Palestinians later wrote on their Twitter account that the “Knife Intifada” had begun.
Recently, police arrested three suspects who were planning to unload a container with 18,000 fireworks, 5200 commando knives, 5500 tasers and 1,000 swords inside. These were intended to be used by Palestinian and Israeli Arab rioters against Israeli police. The fireworks can operate as ammunition, and at close range can penetrate police protective gear.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has continued to encourage incitement, rioting, and violence at the Temple Mount and in other areas of Jerusalem. Reportedly, he has taken advantage of the lack of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and has sought to turn the conflict into a wider religious war between Muslims and Jews.
In the case of the assassination attempt on Yehuda Glick’s life, who is an activist for Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, Abbas wrote a letter of encouragement and support to the family of the terrorist who tried to kill him. Glick sustained gunshot wounds fired at close range, went through several surgeries, but survived the attack. He has recently been released from the hospital. The Palestinian who attacked him was gun downed in a police shootout in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Tor.
While Netanyahu has continually explained to the international community that Israel does not intend to change the status quo on the Temple Mount, Abbas has done just the opposite. He has ignited tensions by declaring that Jews visiting the site are now contaminating the Al Aksa mosque and its surroundings. Palestinians are spreading false rumors that Israel plans to take over the Temple Mount. However, it is Abbas who has hired Muslim activists to guard the Mount and scream threats at Jews and Christians who try to walk on the premises. The Palestinians are the ones trying to change the status quo hoping their actions will stop anyone but Muslims from entering the area.
The continued violence is a threat to Israel’s sovereignty in its capital city and at its holiest site.
At a recent press conference in Jerusalem, Israeli Strategic Affairs Ministry Director-General Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser spoke to journalists about the incessant Palestinian incitement against the Jewish State. He said it has intensified on the Palestinian Security Forces Web site. Nineteen times on Palestinian television in October, Abbas instructed the Palestinians to prevent settlers from going to Al Aqsa mosque and to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
“Settlers means Jews in general, as this is not a settlement,” explained Kuperwasser. When Abbas said that Jews should be prevented from contaminating the holy place, Kuperwasser acknowledged, “it is deep about what he believes and is part of the (Palestinian) infrastructure.”
According to Kuperwasser, it is well-known that Abbas gives long speeches about the terrible things that Jews do in Jerusalem. “But, in the last few weeks, he added to that another step, which said that not only are the Jews so terrible and what they are doing in Jerusalem is not acceptable, but we should do something about it.” This was the incitement that has fueled recent Palestinian terror attacks in the city.
Kuperwasser also shared that the Palestinians are taught there is no such thing as the Jewish People; that Jews have no justifiable claim to the “land of Palestine”. Furthermore, the Palestinians believe that they are victims of Zionism. Messages of Jew-hatred come from Abbas and also from the Palestinian Religious Authority. School children read the false Palestinian narrative in their textbooks.
When it comes to Jerusalem, Kuperwasser surmised the four false claims that the Palestinians are taught:
(1) That the Jews have no historical connection to the holy land in general; and, to Jerusalem, specifically.
(2) That the Jewish-Christian account about the Temple in Jerusalem is a fabrication. When the Christians refer to the Temple, Palestinians believe they refer to an “alleged” temple. Palestinians insist there was no Temple in Jerusalem.
(3) That Jews and Zionists are horrible creatures that contaminate Jerusalem and want to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque to build the Temple. Says Kuperwasser, “It doesn’t matter how many times we try to explain this is all fabrication, the Palestinians repeat the message.”
(4) That Jews should leave Jerusalem; there is no place for them in the city. Kuperwasser elaborates that for the Palestinians, Jerusalem is, “plainly Arab and the only way to make it that way again is jihad.”
|…whoever listens to
Abbas knows what he
is talking about even if
his messages are veiled.
The assessment on the part of the Israeli government is that whoever listens to Abbas knows what he is talking about even if his messages are veiled. It is not only Abbas and the Palestinian Authority that are involved in this incitement. It is also coming from sources in the Palestinian community as well. And, when these messages involve the terrorist group Hamas, they are direct and clear in what they expect the people to do. They encourage the Palestinians to use knives, bulldozers, batons, and other weapons to run down Jews and settlers.
Kuperwasser claims that what the Palestinians are doing today is following the words and actions of their leaders. He concludes that the negative messages are part of an overall approach by Abbas, the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and other Palestinian hate groups to incite, in a racist manner, against the Jews and Israel.
As far as a strong response from the Israeli government, Kuperwasser says that Israel will do whatever is necessary on the ground to keep the level of violence under control. The additional police forces are expected to help, as well as the crackdown on terrorists and those who help them perpetuate attacks. Kuperwasser claims that perpetuators of violence should feel there is a price to pay for disturbing the calm.
Yet, despite the understanding that the Israeli government has as to where the incitement is coming from; and, the implementation of laws that should reduce terrorism in Jerusalem; the attacks continue. Netanyahu and his cabinet will have to consider more serious actions against terrorists in order to curb the violence and to convince Israeli Jewish citizens that walking on the streets of Jerusalem is safe; and, that calm will soon be restored to the city of peace.
On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; all day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the Lord, take no rest for yourselves; and, give Him no rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. — Isaiah 62:6-7
(c) 2014 Messianic Vision all rights reserved. This article is not reproducible except with permisson from Messianic Vision.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright ©1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Ms. Haves is a news analyst, reporting on political, diplomatic, military and spiritual issues in Israel and the nations.