TEHRAN (Iran News) – Israeli hubris par excellence. Israel’s new round of crackdown against the defenseless people of occupied East Jerusalem has left hundreds of Jerusalemites injured in the latest effort by Israeli authorities to steal the house of Palestinians.
Once again Israel showed its true colors to the world: An occupying regime that is hubristically ignoring international rules by suppressing the Palestinian people in a bid to appropriate their own houses.
Israel doubled down on its restrictive measures against the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem (al-Quds) since the early days of the holy month of Ramadan when far-right extremist Jews, backed by the police, prevented Palestinians from practicing their faith in a clear violation of human rights. While Palestinians were barred from staging Ramadan public gatherings, extremist Jews freely roamed the streets of Jerusalem chanting racist slogans such as “death to Arabs,” something that enraged the Palestinians and provoked them to backlash.
Facing an increasingly violent Israeli crackdown, Palestinians peacefully staged protests against Israeli atrocities. They turned in large numbers in the al-Aqsa mosque. Some 90,000 Palestinians participated in a Ramadan prayer called Tarawih in the al-Aqsa mosque in what appeared to be a message to Israeli authorities that the Palestinians will not acquiesce in Israeli measures.
Sheikh Akrima Sabry, the imam of the mosque, warned that Israeli authorities are trying to pave the way for extremist Israelis to break into the mosque, underlining that the Palestinians will not allow such an atrocity to take place.
“We will remain in al-Quds, and we will not accept any harm to the sanctities of the Holy Mosque,” he said. The Palestinian Minister of al-Quds Affairs also condemned Israeli violence against peaceful protestors.
He pointed out that “the use of excessive force against the worshipers requires a decisive stand by the international community.”
Israel also launched a campaign of arrests among Jerusalemites, especially the freed prisoners, in a continuation of the escalation of its attacks against Palestinians. But this campaign failed to intimidate Palestinians, who now fight to protect their houses in the face of a renewed desire by Israelis to steal the houses of Palestinians. Following Sunday dawn prayer, violent confrontations erupted between worshipers and Israeli forces leading to many injuries among the citizens. Israeli officers on horseback and in riot gear fired stun grenades and water cannon against Palestinians.
Israel is planning to expel a number of Palestinian families from their ancestral homes on land claimed by illegal Jewish settlers in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem. Israel’s Supreme Court is expected to decide on the fate of dozens of Palestinians who are fighting attempts by Israeli settlers to evict them from their homes in the neighborhood.
The neighbourhood has been the scene of regular confrontations, particularly during Ramadan, between Palestinian residents and their supporters on one side, and Israeli police and Jewish settlers on the other.
Israeli authorities also plan to launch marches in al-Quds to commemorate what Israelis call Jerusalem Day. Many Israelis mark the day East Jerusalem was occupied in 1967 – and later annexed by Israel – with marches throughout Jerusalem each year. About 30,000 Jewish settlers are expected to participate in a march towards Damascus Gate in the Old City on Monday, according to Al Jazeera.
This march is expected to further inflame tensions in Jerusalem as it can provoke pushback by Palestinians who are fed up with Israel’s racist policies. Amos Gilad, a former senior military official, told Army Radio the parade should be canceled or rerouted away from the Old City’s Damascus Gate, saying “the powder keg is burning and can explode at any time,” according to Al Jazeera.
In light of these developments, Ismail Haniyeh, chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau, sent a letter to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution of Iran Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei appreciating Iran’s support for Palestine and demanding a unified Muslim stance against Israeli atrocities in Palestine.
On Friday, the Leader delivered a speech on Palestine and condemned Israeli crimes against Palestinians.
“The issue of Palestine continues to be the most important and active issue for the Islamic Ummah collectively. The policies of the oppressive and cruel capitalism have driven a people out of their homes, their homeland and their ancestral roots, and instead, it has installed a terrorist regime and has housed a foreign people therein,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
Meanwhile, Israeli is holding its largest-ever military drills simulating an all-out war on all fronts. Israeli media reported that the Israeli army has begun to conduct the largest military exercises in its history, which simulates a month of all-out war on all fronts from north to south.
Aviv Kochavi, chief of staff of Israel’s armed forces, decided not to delay or postpone these drills due to tensions in Jerusalem.
Seyed Hassan Nasrallah, secretary-general of the Lebanese Hezbollah movement, pointed to these drills in his latest speech, which was delivered on the occasion of International Quds Day.
“Special sources,” told Lebanese El-Nashra news website that these drills are very dangerous because they simulate “a major war imposed on Israel on the southern and northern borders of Palestine with the Sinai front and the home front, in addition to Israel being exposed to a huge number of rockets being fired by the resistance forces.”
These sources also warned that these drills may indicate an Israeli desire to wage a war. “Hezbollah warned against these drills because Israel worked during past wars to take soldiers and personnel from the training camps directly to the field, and this is what is happening now at the southern front of Lebanon and the north of Palestine,” the sources said.
They also said that Hezbollah has put its troops on the highest alert level since 2006 out of concern that Israel may wage war. Independent analysts also warned that Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, facing internal security and political chaos, could resort to war to deflect attention away from his mismanagement. “It’s not unlikely that the defeated, isolated Netanyahu, who may spend his last years behind bars, will make the biggest mistake of his life and go to a big or small war,” wrote Abdel Bari Atwan, editor-in-chief of Raialyoum, in a recent editorial.