As predicted last week by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “extremist groups” are trying to incite the Arab population to renewed violence by making wild claims about violations of the status quo on the Temple Mount over the Passover holiday.
At the forefront of this effort is the outlawed Islamic Movement, which is accusing Israel of trying to take over the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mosque during the holiday.
The deputy director of the organization, Sheikh Kamel al-Hatib, told Quds Press “extremist Jewish groups” led by the prime minister “and eight other ministers” (read: Israel’s government cabinet) are working to “break into” the mosque (read: allow Jews to visit the Temple Mount grounds) during the holiday.
According to Hatib, the Israeli government and IDF are facilitating the “intended conquest.”
Such claims are not new, and the same old tired retreads are yanked out of mothballs for every Jewish festival. Nevertheless, there are those in the Arab population who are vulnerable and still somehow believe the fantasies no matter how silly, how embroidered, outrageous or how often the lie is retold.
The Islamic Movement in Israel was outlawed in November 2015 for incitement to racism and violence. The leader of the movement’s northern branch, Sheikh Raed Salah, has been convicted of funding Hamas, and of contact with an Iranian intelligence agent.
He also served time in an Israeli prison from 2003 to 2005, and a five-month term in 2010. Salah is known for repeatedly exhorting his followers as well as Israeli Arab students at universities to “keep fighting until we remove the Israeli occupation and free the holy Jerusalem.”Hana Levi Julian