Israel’s attack on Al-Aqsa aims at appeasing far right — experts

‘Jerusalem and religious side of the conflict are crucial in the struggle’

1. Al Aqsa Batool
Protestors demonstrate near Kalooti Mosque in Amman on April 15, 2022. Hundreds of protestors across the Kingdom gathered after taraweeh prayers on Friday to condemn Israeli attacks and incursions in Jerusalem, Jenin, and other areas of the West Bank. (Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — During the Israeli forces’ storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday, a large number of Palestinian worshippers were attacked, beaten up, and tear gassed. At least 50 Palestinians were injured, including women and elderly people, while no less than 300 men were arrested.اضافة اعلان

In an interview with Jordan News, political analyst Hasan Momani said that what happened on Friday was nothing new in the Arab-Israeli setting, and that Jerusalem and the religious side of the conflict are crucial in this struggle.

The levels of escalation may fluctuate, he said, but “what happened on Friday will certainly be repeated”.

As long as there is no political solution, and as long as Israel occupies Palestinian territories, there will always be Israeli provocations, especially by Israeli far-right groups, Momani said.

“These attacks are aimed at altering the reality of Muslim holy places, and are designed to achieve that goal,” he added.

He said that the issue of Jerusalem and its Islamic sites is one of the reasons peace negotiations failed in the past, adding that Israel has had a pattern of exploiting religious issues to undercut the Palestinians for years.

The same can be said of a number of Palestinian resistance groups as well, he said.

“Jerusalem and the fate of the holy sites generates support and boosts popularity for these factions,” he said.

According to Momani, successive right-wing Israeli governments have played a significant role in appeasing extremists by increasing violations of Al-Aqsa over the past 15 years. This has also helped Islamic resistance movements, such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, to gain popularity among Palestinians as they presented themselves as defenders of Al-Aqsa.

According to political analyst and commentator Labib Kamhawi, there will be an attempt to reach calm in the holy city soon. But the Israeli right-wing has emerged as a winner while the Palestinian Authority’s position was weak, he said, adding that the position of Arab and Muslim governments was even weaker.

Kamhawi said that the US did not want things to get worse in Jerusalem because it is preoccupied with the Ukraine crisis.

“There was probably an American pressure on Israel, not for the sake of the Palestinians, but to avoid opening a new front that would distract America from focusing on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict,” he said.

According to Kamhawi, since it lost its thin majority in the Knesset, the Israeli government is now a minority government.

“Therefore, it has allowed Friday’s storming of Al-Aqsa in order to appease the right-wing, but it cannot escalate further since this could worsen Israel’s internal crisis,” he added.

He also believed that what happened on Friday and the days before was the result of a charged atmosphere that is the result of a series of individual Palestinian attacks inside Israel.

“These lone wolf attacks have created an atmosphere of tension and fear within the Israeli society, and that is why the Israeli government had to retaliate in such a way by striking the Palestinian people,” Kamhawi said.

Kamhawi believes Jordan’s reaction to these transgressions was insufficient. He said that the Jordanian government had the ability to take further measures, such as expelling the Israeli envoy or threatening to cut relations between the two sides because Friday’s event was an attack on Jordan as well.

Despite attempts by Jordan News to contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, its spokesperson was unavailable for comment.

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