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Exploiting Jerusalem Terror and Fanning New Violence

Palestinian politicians and activist continue to encourage protests - and violence - in the wake of Israel's response to the murder of two Israeli police officers on the Temple Mount. The Jerusalem Post's Seth J. Frantzman writes that this campaign will only result in more clashes and greater violence:

The protest is designed to stoke tensions after the tragic terrorist attack on Friday. Instead of lowering the flames and allowing police to investigate the crime scene and open the area again, as happens in every other city in the world, and would happen at any holy site where there was a murder, Palestinian local activists, especially those centered in Jerusalem, have sought to exploit the terror attack in a combustible city and could create a new round of violence.

These kinds of cycles of riot and repression are well known in Jerusalem. They exist throughout the year as low-level weekly protests percolate up in neighborhoods like Silwan or Jebl Mukaber or Isawiya or elsewhere. Over the past 10 years there have been serious riots in Israel’s capital and dozens of stabbing attacks. These grow out of smaller events that become symbols around which protests gather.

Former Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said that the “Israeli occupation exploits the recent developments to Judaize al-Aksa,” and his statement was tweeted in English by Hamas. Now youth are rioting in Isawiya and in Abu Dis.

The problem for Hamas and Fatah and other Palestinian movements is they don’t have deep roots in Jerusalem where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians live. Yet voices and local leaders want to use the terrorist attack to create a robust movement, based on religious anger. This attempts to bridge the gap between Arabs in Israel, Jerusalem residents, and the West Bank and Gaza. In essence this is the Greater-Palestinian movement that some activists want to see, and al-Aksa unites it...

Tags: Terrorism

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Landscape photo of Jerusalem with the Dome of the Rock in the foreground.

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