By Jamal Kanj
Tension in Jerusalem has escalated to dangerous levels in response to deliberate Israeli provocation at Haram Al Sharif or the Noble Sanctuary. This fragile situation was further worsened by new Israeli government decrees to blow up Palestinian homes and grant its army a free rein to deal with protesters.
Since then, at least eight Palestinians were murdered and hundreds injured by live ammunition and rubber plated bullets. In the West, the violence became news headlines only after the killing of two armed illegal Jewish colonists in the occupied West Bank.
Missed from the Zionist-controlled media, 10 days earlier and while Palestinians were preparing to celebrate Eid, an Israeli soldier murdered a young Palestinian woman in Hebron. The unchecked Israeli hasbara and media deceit claimed the 18-year-old Hadeel Hashlamun was a threat to the Israeli soldier.
The claim was belied by a video tape showing the young girl being shot at close range in cold blood.
Fawaz Abu Eisheh, who witnessed the slaying, said, “One of the soldiers shot directly at her left leg, she fell down and didn’t move. After 10 to 15 seconds, he shot another bullet at her right leg, five bullets at her abdomen and chest area, and then shot another from one metre away.”
According to news reports and UN sources, more than 41 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and or armed Jewish hooligans since January 2015.
For years, fundamentalist Jewish incursions at the Noble Sanctuary, escorted by heavy military guard, had invariably provoked friction between the Israeli army and Palestinians. While access to the site is normally unimpeded to non-Muslim visitors through Bab Al Maghariba Gate, clashes occur only when Jewish fanatics barge into the Muslim holy site disturbing prayers and demanding right to perform Jewish rituals.
Just imagine if Muslims or, even worse, Palestinian Christians raised the Cross and tried to hold their mass at the Jewish Wailing Wall during Easter. Mind you, according to UN witnesses, Palestinian Christians from the West Bank weren’t even allowed to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Easter.
Al Aqsa, Muslim’s third holiest mosque, has stood as a historical testimony at the Noble Sanctuary since the dawn of Islam. Built over a vacant hilltop during the life of Prophet Mohammed and several years before the second Muslim Khalifa, Omar ibn Al Khattab liberated Palestine from the Byzantine Empire in 637 CE.
The Khalifa’s first act – known as the Omariyya Covenant – was to guarantee civil and religious freedom for Palestinian Christians. He also allowed Palestinian Jews to live in Jerusalem after they were barred under the Roman occupation.
The first recorded history of a specific Jewish claim for a place of worship near the Noble Sanctuary was made almost 1,000 years after the Muslim leader allowed Jews back in Jerusalem.
Now under occupation for nearly 50 years, Israeli archeologists have turned the old city into craters’ land and the Noble Sanctuary hovered over a cavity as they desperately scoured for evidence of the alleged Temple of Solomon.
History and archeology hitherto continue to debunk the Zionist myth. According to a report by Israel’s foremost archeologist and university Professor Israel Finkelstein – after all the digging – “There is no historical or archaeological evidence to back the biblical narrative on … Joshua’s conquest of Canaan,” or “Temple of Solomon” to have ever existed in the city.
To fulfil its delusional prophecy, Israel has a better chance of collaborating with the misnomer Islamic State and doomsday Christians to breed the unblemished bovine red heifer before finding the haunted mirage under the Noble Sanctuary.
While Christian and Muslim Palestinians clutch physically to heritage symbols in Jerusalem, European Zionist Khazar Jewish converts are chasing a phantom.
* Mr Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes weekly newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America. A version of this article was first published by the Gulf Daily News newspaper.