The Zionist army stormed Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa on Jumma-tul-wida while worshippers were praying and performing Tarawih. Israeli soldiers used rubber coated metal bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades on innocent civilians. Over 200 were injured. A person lost an eye.
Some have the gall to call it ‘self defence’. It is horrendous occupation at its worst. How would those, who label Hamas a terrorist organisation, dub this attack? International humanitarian law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, has clear ruling against targeting of non-combatants.
Recent Israeli violence has created a powder keg. What happened at Al-Aqsa Mosque violates the religious right to pray. Even rubber bullets can kill and cause serious injuries. Stun grenades can also be endangering to the ears and eyes, causing a person lose balance, or damage organs.
The bombing of Gaza exposed Israel internationally. War is different today with social media being a critical factor. The disproportionate use of force by Israel, and the inhumane treatment towards Palestinians, was unveiled on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. As a result protests in favour of Palestinians took place globally. This could well be termed as the ‘social media intifada’.
Within the regional context, Hamas, which controls Gaza, conveyed to the West Bank Palestinians that the group is providing them protection, after the storming of Al-Aqsa and the Sheikh Jarrah evictions.
Benjamin Netanyahu, who thought he’d benefited from the 11-day war and would remain in power, was ousted. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s rather compromised coalition, comprising parties of different ideologies, formed the government by the skin of their teeth.
Bennett, a former settler, and rigid opponent of a Palestinian state, is considered as bad as Netanyahu by the Palestinians. The Israeli PM believes that occupied territories should become a part of Israel. This approach will lead to more violence and shun dialogue for peace and justice. Let’s not forget Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention clearly says, “The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”.
US President Biden, while maintaining there is no shift in his commitment to security of Israel, adds: “But… the shift is that we still need a two-state solution”.
Meanwhile, a new dangerous development within Israel itself is the growing conflagration between Israeli Arabs and Jews. Right-wing Jewish groups are targeting Muslims, which could further exacerbate the apartheid.
There is an apprehension that Israel wants to demolish Al-Aqsa Mosque and build a third Jewish temple. The recent attack is a step in that direction. Israel could resort to using the pretext of archaeological excavation to demolish the holy mosque.
The Muslim ummah must unite to forestall this nefarious design, and strive to ensure a just solution for Palestinians. This can be done via dialogue to shape international opinion on Israel’s illegality.
“Allah is sufficient for us and He is the Best Disposer of affairs.” (Al-Quran 3:173)