Israel fears new Palestinian 'intifada' as Jerusalem clashes continue

Tuesday, October 06, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff  

The Palestinian Authority and local Muslim leaders are urging Arab residents of Jerusalem to continue and escalate clashes with Israelis and Israeli security forces, leaving the Jewish state fearful that another Palestinian terrorist uprising, or "intifada," is on the horizon.

Pointing to a visit by a small group of Jews to the Temple Mount during Yom Kippur last week, the office of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Monday accused Israel of trying to conquer the Temple Mount and "Judaize Jerusalem." Fayyad, who is hailed in the West as a moderate and true peace partner, called for even more violence, and insisted that the international community also get involved by assaulting Israel diplomatically.

At around the same time, the the muezzins of Jerusalem's mosques were declaring a state of emergency, claiming that the Jews were trying to "break into" the Temple Mount (the holiest site in Judaism) and urging all able bodied Muslims to physically defend the mosques that currency occupy the contested compound.

The violence on Monday manifested itself primarily in the Shuafat neighborhood on the outskirts of Jerusalem, where one Israeli soldier was stabbed in the neck and another suffered light injuries when a group of masked Arabs hurled stones at him. Several other Arabs were arrested elsewhere for attacking Jewish worshippers en route to take part in the annual Priestly Blessing at the Western Wall.

On Tuesday, police were on high alert and out in force to protect the annual Jerusalem March, which passes several Arab areas on its way to the Old City.

Right-wing Israeli lawmaker Moshe Matalon of the Israel Beiteinu party urged the government to swiftly and decisively deal with the rioters before another explosion of widespread violence happens.

"The government of Israel must use a heavy and uncompromising hand against inciters and rioters in Jerusalem," said Matalon, who also recommended sending those Israeli Arabs who are inciting the violence to live in the Gaza Strip.

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