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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

"The Battle over Jerusalem Has Just Begun"

"The Battle over Jerusalem Has Just Begun"

by Bassam Tawil  •  August 1, 2017 at 5:00 am
  • The Palestinians, feeling triumphant now that Israel has complied with their demand to remove the metal detectors and security cameras, have been clarifying that it is only the first step in their fight to eradicate any Israeli presence in the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
  • They admit that this is a battle over sovereignty on the Temple Mount and Jerusalem. For the Palestinians, the real battle is over who controls Jerusalem and its holy sites. The real battle, in their eyes, is over the Jews' right to live in their own state in the Middle East. Many Palestinians have still not come to terms with Israel's right to exist, and that is what this battle is really about.
  • The Palestinians have added it up just right. In their own words, they aim at an escalation of violence because they believe that what Israel did is the first step toward even more concessions and even further retreat.
Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Malki (pictured above in 2009) said last week in a speech: "The issue is not metal detectors or cameras, but who is in charge and who has sovereignty over the Al-Aqsa Mosque... The battle over Jerusalem has just begun." (Image source: Mario Tama/Getty Images)
The Palestinian "victory" celebrations that took place after Israel removed metal detectors and surveillance cameras from the entrances to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem bode badly for the future of stability and peace in the Middle East.
To the Palestinians and many Arabs and Muslims, the Israeli move is viewed as a sign of weakness. In their eyes, the removal of the security cameras and metal detectors is capitulation, pure and simple.
How do we know this? Easy: look at the Palestinian response. Rather than acknowledging the conciliatory nature of the Israeli government's decision, aimed at easing tensions and preventing bloodshed and violence, the Palestinians are demanding more.
As far as the Palestinians are concerned, the controversy over the Israeli security measures at the Temple Mount, which came after three terrorists murdered two Israeli police officers at the holy site on July 14, is part of a larger battle with Israel.

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