The head of the outlawed northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Raed Salah, was slated to begin serving a nine month sentence in prison on Sunday.
He left the northern Israeli Arab city of Umm al Fahm in Wadi Ara and arrived at Oholei Kedar Prison near Be’er Sheva at 10 am to begin serving his sentence.
Salah was convicted on charges of incitement to racism and violence in 2013, and again last October, when he was sentenced to an 11-month jail term.
His attorney filed an appeal against the conviction, which was rejected, but on April 18 the sentence was reduced to nine months.
The conviction followed a sermon Salah delivered in 2007 in the Wadi Joz section of eastern Jerusalem.
The radical Islamist is responsible for repeated sermons in which young Muslims are whipped into a frenzy of hatred and then violence against Israelis, using the pretext of “defending Al Aqsa” from the Jews on the Temple Mount.
On Friday he told the Palestinian Authority newspaper Al-Resalah, “Prison strengthens me due to my faith that Jerusalem is a pure right for Muslims and defending it is imperative.” He said that the ‘Israeli aggression’ will accelerate “the end of the occupation of the Holy City. “I will continue [defending Al-Aqsa] until martyrdom. No retreat, whatever the price is. The Islamic Movement [banned in November 2015] is not a simple name, but it has its roots in Galilee, Negev and Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
Although the mosque is the third holiest site in Islam, Jews have no intention of touching it. Jews are forbidden to pray anywhere on the Temple Mount grounds surrounding the mosque. Jewish pilgrims visit the compound because it is the holiest place in the world in the Jewish faith, as the site of the past two Jewish Holy Temples of Jerusalem.
Muslims vehemently object to the presence of Jews anywhere on the site, and some Islamic clerics at the mosque seize this opportunity to to stir up trouble. Chief among them is Salah, who told followers at a rally on Friday in Umm al Fahm that he does not fear prison, according to Haaretz; he believes he will emerge ‘stronger than ever.’
Danish reporter ‘Jerusalem Jane’ Kiel announced in a video report on Facebook Thursday morning (April 28) that she was cleared to return to the Temple Mount by police at the precinct near the Jaffat Gate entrance to the Old City.
“After being forced off the Temple Mount again I just talked to the police,” she wrote in her post. “They checked my passport and, according to them I AM ALLOWED ON THE TEMPLE MOUNT.. “So the Waqf say no, but the Israeli police says yes.
And the fact is, it was the [Israel] police that took me off after the Waqft (sic) told them to… See you up there sometime soon. We will see who is in charge..”
JewishPress.com was unable to reach the Israel Police spokesperson on the incident despite repeated attempts to do so.
Could it be that Israel Police and Jordanian Islamic Waqf security personnel are playing the game of “good cop, bad cop” with international journalists on the Temple Mount these days?
The Temple Institute initiated an actual wedding ceremony on the Temple Mount, only the second time this has been performed in some 2000 years. The following is a press release we just received, describing the clandestine simcha.
An engaged couple recently approached Rabbi Chaim Richman, the International Director of the Temple Institute, and asked him if he would supervise their marriage on the Temple Mount. After scrupulously examining the detailed halachot (Jewish law) concerning the marriage ceremony, and consulting with other rabbinical authorities, Rabbi Richman happily accepted the task upon himself.
The couple met with Rabbi Richman early one recent morning in the Old City of Jerusalem, at the headquarters of the Temple Institute, where the blessing over wine was made, a prerequisite to the marriage ceremony. Two appointed witnesses then met the couple at the entrance to the Temple Mount. The witnesses were obligated to both hear the declaration of marriage from the lips of the groom and see him place the gold wedding band on the bride’s finger. All members of the party were instructed by Rabbi Richman that this had to be done without drawing the attention of the Israel police or the Muslim Waqf guards who would be accompanying the group of Jewish worshipers on the Temple Mount. Were they to notice they would certainly arrest all the parties involved and remove them immediately from the compound.
The plan went like clockwork, and while walking along the eastern perimeter of the Temple Mount, Rabbi Richman gave a tacit signal. The two witnesses drew close to the groom, who, ring in hand, said quietly to the bride, “Behold, you are sanctified to me with this ring, in accordance with the law of Moshe and Israel,” and quickly slipped the ring on the bride’s finger. This act, known as kiddushin (sanctification) is the binding act of marriage in any Jewish wedding ceremony. The couple was now married. They later stood beneath the chuppah (marriage canopy) at a different location and heard the reading of the ketubah (marriage contract).
The Temple Institute was able to capture the entire Temple Mount wedding on video, but in accordance with the wishes of the couple, are only publicly sharing two still shots, one of the groom placing the ring on the bride’s finger, and one of the bride holding up her hand, showing the ring to the camera.
The ancient custom of brides and grooms visiting the Temple Mount (separately) on the day of their wedding has been revived in recent years, but the actual performance of the wedding ceremony on the Temple Mount is a unique act in history following the destruction of the Holy Temple 2000 years ago.
Mazal Tov to the couple and a huge Yishar Koach to Rabbi Richman and the Temple Institute.
Jordan is demanding that Israel “return jurisdiction” over part of the Western Wall to the Islamic Waqf controlled by Amman.
The demand followed the decision by the Israeli government last week to set aside the southernmost section of the Wall, known as Robinson’s Arch, as a place for mixed-gender prayer. Jordan refers to the same place as the “Umayyad Palaces.”
Jordan contends that the decision violates the jurisdiction of the Waqf Islamic Authority over Jerusalem’s holy places, an agreement made between the two countries in 1967.
On Saturday, Jordanian Minister of Communications and Media Affairs Muhammad Momani “urged Israel not to meddle with the Umayyad Palaces area and to ensure its return under the jurisdiction of the Jordanian Jerusalem Waqf Department, which is the entity responsible for administering and safeguarding the site,” the Jordan news agency Petra reported in the Jordan Times.
“Israeli occupation forces have recently settled internal differences among followers of different Jewish sects at the expense of the area of the Umayyad Palaces,” Petra said.
“Israeli occupation forces had decided to expand a platform to allow more Jewish worshippers into the area. The violation against the Umayyad Palaces is the latest in a long series of assaults and violations against the site. Occupation forces have carried out several excavation works there, destroying Arab and Islamic heritage,” Petra added on behalf of Jordan’s government.
Israel’s government approved plans last week to expand the Western Wall plaza in order to accommodate the increasing demands for non-Orthodox prayer at the site. A small wooden platform at Robinson’s Arch has already been set up for mixed-gender prayer.
Jordan’s lamentation over Israeli “occupation” is a bit spurious, given the Hashemite tenure itself as custodian over parts of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria lasted only from 1948 to 1967 – a total of 31 years.
Jerusalem has long since been reunited and whole for a period much longer than that: June 2017 will mark half a century since the restoration of the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and elsewhere in Jerusalem and the Land to the Jewish State of Israel.
However, to be fair, the dismay of the Hashemite Kingdom over the compromise over non-Orthodox prayer allowed by the government is also reflected among some Muslims in Israel and ironically is shared with some observant Jews locally and globally as well.
Mixed-gender prayer has never been allowed at the Western Wall – in fact, historically it was not allowed in either Holy Temple. In Torah law, women are not counted among a minyan (quorum) of men.
Not that this grants validity to the Jordanian claim of authority and hopes to win Waqf control of the site, which is more of a simple attempt at another political territory grab.
The Umayyad Palaces were two buildings which archaeologists say were built by the Umayyads who ruled for a period of 100 years in the late seventh century. They were destroyed in an earthquake and lay buried until they were unearthed by Israeli archaeologists in a 1970s excavation, creating a public history park to educate all.
The Western Wall is part of Judaism’s most sacred site on the planet, the Temple Mount, located alongside. The site is also the third holiest in Islam. The Wall is part of the outer retaining wall of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, its sole material remnant that has survived throughout the centuries. In Islam, it is believed that the prophet Mohammed rose up to Heaven on his mighty steed el-Buraq from a site near the Western Wall.
In Judaism, it is believed that somewhere on the grounds of the Temple Mount lies the site of the “Holy of Holies” of the two Holy Temples of Jerusalem – the inner sanctum where the High Priest (Kohen Gadol) communed with G-d Himself during sacrifices and services. No one other than the Kohen Gadol was ever allowed to enter this place, and to this day countless rabbis forbid Jews to tread upon the Temple Mount grounds for fear of erroneously entering this area.
The Israeli government does not allow Jews to pray within the Temple Mount in accordance with a status quo agreement with the Jordanian Waqf. Within the Temple Mount grounds are built the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, where Muslims are allowed to pray.
The number of Jews and non-Jews, excluding Muslims, that visited the Temple Mount (Har Habyit in Hebrew) in 2015 dropped from previous years, according to a report in Makor Rishon.
In the case of Jewish visitors, mostly religious, their numbers dipped slightly in 2015, solely due to the police restricting the physical number of Jews allowed onto the Jewish holy site.
Many Jews wait in line for hours at the gates to the Temple Mount, only to be denied entrance by the Israeli police. In addition, All Jewish visitors must receive special instructions from the police and some even undergo body searches.
By the end of 2015, Israeli Police were only allowing 15 religious Jews onto the Temple Mount at any given time, and only during very limited visiting hours, restricting visits to 4 hours a day, 5 days a week.
Looking back to 2010, the number of Jews that went up in 2015 (10,766), was double the number that went up in 2010 (5,658). The demand is rising, but so are the restrictions.
For non-Jewish, non-Islamic tourists, the numbers that visited the Temple Mount in 2015 severely dropped to less than half the amount that visited in 2010. This despite the fact that the number of tourists visiting Israel remained steady at around 3 million visitors a year.
In 2010, the number of non-Jewish (non-Muslim) tourists visiting the Temple Mount exceeded 400,000 visitors. In 2015, that number dropped to 193,000.
The reason the numbers of non-Jewish tourists dropped is due to the unpleasant and threatening atmosphere that is created by the Muslims and the Waqf on the Jewish holy site, towards the non-Islamic visitors.
Last year, the Waqf forced a group of Christian tourists off the Temple Mount, because they looked too Jewish.
There are virtually no numerical or time restriction on Muslim visits to Israel’s Temple Mount, except when the Arabs are rioting too much, and then the police may temporarily place age limits for a day.
The Temple Mount is the location of the two Jewish Temples, first built by King Solomon.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has ended his three-day trip to Israel by listening to a claim by Mahmoud Abbas that no one can stop “lone wolf” terrorists, while at the same time the Palestinian Authority continues to incite violence.
Kerry met with the Palestinian Authority chairman in Ramallah on Wednesday and restricted his comments in public to saying that he is doing what he can “to try to help contribute to calm and to restore people’s confidence in the ability of a two-state solution to still be viable.”
Arab media said that Abbas told Kerry that no one can stop terror attacks carried out by individuals acting on their own.
The same day, the official Palestinian Authority WAFA website again did its best to promote hate and violence instead of stopping it.
Israeli settlers and rabbis Wednesday broke into the courtyards of al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, fueling tension at the site, according to WAFA correspondent.
He said Jewish hard-liners and rabbis stormed and toured al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the morning, provoking tension with Palestinian worshipers who chanted religious slogans in defiance of the Jewish entry.
Meanwhile, Israeli police continued to impose restriction on the entry of Palestinians into the site, especially women and youth, reserving their identity cards prior to their entry.
WAFA also promoted the blatant lie that “Israel was planning to enforce a temporal division of the mosque between Muslims and Jews.” It added, “Palestinians worry that if Jewish visitors were allowed to pray in the holy al-Aqsa Mosque, it would eventually lead to a permanent change which will result in full Israeli control and ban on Muslims’ prayer.”
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told The JewishPress.com Thursday that no restrictions were placed on Arabs and that there were no clashes.
Israeli police routinely throw off the Temple Mount any Jew, or Christian, who even looks like he is praying, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took the unprecedented step earlier this month to publicly announce that Jews may not pray there.
Kerry does not read WAFA. He reads only what his underlings feed him, which is what he wants to read so he can ignore incitement and can draw his own conclusions, such as he did yesterday:
We had a long and very constructive and serious conversation with President Abbas, and I want to say that I know that the situation for Palestinians in the West Bank, in Jerusalem, in Gaza is, at this moment, very dire, that there are extraordinary concerns, obviously, about the violence.
Palestinian Arabs in Hebron were handing out candies Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the murder of an Israeli Jew in a stone-throwing terror attack near Kiryat Arba.
The victim, a resident of the Jewish community situated next the Hebron, was driving near the al-Fawar junction when his car came under a hail of rocks hurled by Palestinian Arab terrorists. He was forced to exit the vehicle due to the damage sustained by the car, and then was hit by a truck driven by a Palestinian Arab.
The second driver fled the scene and drove to the village of Dahariya, a suburb of Hebron, where he turned himself in to Palestinian Authority Police. PA Police then turned the driver over to Israel Police for questioning, according to Israel Radio.
ISIS terrorists have been urging Palestinian Arabs to increase their attacks on Jews and have even offered video tutorials on how best to accomplish these goals.
In the past 72 hours, nearly a dozen such videos have been uploaded by the terror organization to the Internet. Some of them criticize Hamas as well as Fatah, claiming that both factions are too secular and that neither has the interests of Palestinian Arabs at heart.
Four videos were released on Sunday night alone, and another three were uploaded on Monday. All urged attacks on Israelis.
Some offered instructions on exactly how to murder Jews – by using vehicles, knives, firebombs hurled at homes, bombing buses, injecting air into Jews’ veins – that last, a directive aimed at the numerous Israeli Arabs employed by medical centers and HMOs in the country.
The videos also featured unmasked ISIS terrorists praising the recent terror attacks against Israelis in Jerusalem and urge other Palestinian Arabs to emulate their example.
“Strike fear into their hearts. They are the enemy of Allah,” says one terrorist. “A victory is coming to the fighters of Al Aqsa from Above … you are the ones to begin [this] but we will [join you] and continue [the fight],” says another.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also noticed local Arab terrorism slowly drifting towards an even more radical form of Islam than it has subscribed to in past years.
“What we are seeing here is a combination of the radical Islam and the Internet,” he told a meeting of the Likud party faction on Monday. “Osama Bin Laden meets Mark Zuckerberg. The incitement in the social networks is moving the murders. We are seeing this clearly,” he said.
The current wave of terror began with a completely unfounded rumor that Israel was planning to “change the status quo” at the Temple Mount, site of the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.
Jerusalem’s holiest and most sensitive site for Jews, it is believed to be the location of the “Holy of Holies” of both ancient Jewish Holy Temples. It is also the third holiest site in the world in Islam, referred to by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.
Under an agreement signed between Israel and Jordan, non-Muslim visitors are allowed to tour the grounds but cannot enter the mosques; Muslim worshipers are welcomed to enter the mosques to pray. Day-to-day operations at the site are carried out under the Islamic Waqf Authority, and Israeli security personnel works together with Authority staff to maintain calm at the site.
This status quo has been maintained without any change whatsoever since the signing of the peace treaty between Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan in 1994, and Israel has continued to maintain there will be no changes.
Palestinian Arabs who attempt to smuggle explosives, rocks, firebombs, firecrackers, ammunition and other weapons into the mosque in order to stockpile an arsenal at the site for use against Israelis and other visitors, however, are in effect themselves changing the status quo, Netanyahu pointed out.
The issue of the Temple Mount — where no changes whatsoever have been made since the site returned to Jewish hands — has been a convenient red herring with which to stir up Islamic sentiment in Israel and worldwide, however.
ISIS media moguls are highly skilled at “catching the wave” in mass media manipulation, not only in Israel but elsewhere, and for all ages.
Turkey Also in the Crosshairs
Turkey is also being targeted. An ISIS training camp for children was discovered in Istanbul, according to the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News, which quoted the daily Vatan.
A total of 24 suspects were detained two days ago (Oct. 18) on suspicion of having links to Da’esh in Istanbul. The children, who were of Tajik and Uzbek descent, were allegedly being trained by ISIS in basement apartments in the ancient Turkish city’s Pendik and Basaksehir districts.
The suspects were reported to having used the basement apartments as terrorist training camps, according to physical and technical surveillance carried out by the Istanbul Police Department’s Counterterrorism Unit.