Since the start of October, at least 61 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli occupation forces (although the death toll is rising, literally as I type) and ten Israelis (often soldiers) have been killed by Palestinians – usually youths armed with knives at the absolute end of their tether.
During this time, the Israelis have claimed that increasing tensions around al-Aqsa are nothing more than mindless Palestinian incitement aimed at attacking Jews for the sake of it, and all the talk of Israeli encroachment is nothing more than Hamas and Fatah propaganda.
But the reality is very different.
A host of perfectly legal Israeli settlers’ groups openly incite for the destruction of the Mosque and have made detailed plans about the “Third Temple” they want to replace it with. Traditional Orthodox Jewish theology held the Temple Mount to be the site of the “Holy of Holies” from the Biblical stories (the physical site of God’s presence manifest on earth) so it was considered far too sacred for Jews to enter. So these efforts are nothing to do with Jewish religious freedom, and everything to do with anti-Palestinian and anti-Islamic provocation and are yet another part of Israel’s long-term project to erase the Palestinians entirely from their own homeland.
Read more over at MEMO.