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Is the PA trying to ignite a new terror campaign?
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Is the PA trying to ignite a new terror campaign?
  • The PA Ministry of Religious Affairs compares Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's visit to Hebron today to then opposition leader Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount in 2000, which Arafat exploited to ignite the Intifada in which over 1,100 Israelis were murdered in terror attacks
  • The PA Ministry of Religious Affairs further threatened: "It will drag the region into a religious war"
By Nan Jacques Zilberdik and Itamar Marcus
 
Is the PA trying to ignite a new terror campaign? In anticipation of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's visit to Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs today, the PA Ministry of Religious Affairs has threatened "religious war."
 
The ministry compared Netanyahu's visit to the visit of then Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon to the Temple Mount in 2000, which then PA Chairman Arafat exploited to ignite the PA's 5-year terror campaign - the Intifada. Over a period of 5 years, more than 1,100 Israelis were murdered in terror attacks that included numerous suicide bombings:
 
"The Ministry of Religious Affairs emphasized in a statement it published yesterday that Netanyahu's visit constitutes a grave escalation and a blow to the Muslims' sensibilities, and that it will drag the region into a religious war whose consequences will be grave. It reminds us of [Israeli Prime Minister] Ariel Sharon's visit in Jerusalem (i.e., to the Temple Mount) in 2000, which ignited the Al-Aqsa Intifada."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 4, 2019]
 
The PA ministry also encouraged violence and confrontations:
 
"The ministry called on our people to defend the Ibrahim Mosque and prevent all of the plans to take it over and remove the Muslims from it. He called on the international community to help and stop the Israeli actions, out of fear that the entire area will go up in flames."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 4, 2019]
 
Netanyahu is visiting Hebron today as part of an official Israeli ceremony to commemorate the murder of 65 Jews by Arabs in 1929.
 
Recently, as part of the PA's annual glorification of three of the murderers from 1929 - the PA justified the massacres as follows: "They [the Jews] held an additional demonstration through the streets of Jerusalem until they reached the Al-Buraq Wall (i.e., the Western Wall) and there they read their hymns in a highly provocative manner to which the proud souls are not accustomed." [Official PA TV News, June 17, 2019]
 
Since the PA has already justified the murder of Jews because they "read hymns in a provocative way," the claim that Netanyahu's visit will be "a blow to the Muslims' sensibilities," should not be underestimated as it might serve as a valid cause for the use of violence in Palestinian eyes.
 
Recently Palestinian Media Watch documented that Fatah youth threatened intifada in response to the Bahrain Conference.
 
The following is a longer excerpt of the report on the reaction by the PA Ministry of Religious Affairs to Netanyahu's Hebron visit:
 
Headline: "The [PA] Ministry of Religious Affairs warns against the dangerous situation at the Ibrahimi Mosque"
"The [PA] Ministry of Religious Affairs warned against the dangerous situation at the Ibrahimi Mosque (i.e., Cave of the Patriarchs) in Hebron after settlers set up tents at Tel Rumeida (i.e., the Jewish neighborhood of Hebron) in the center of the city for the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the city. [The visit] is expected to take place tomorrow (sic., today, Aug. 4., 2019) on the pretext of participating in government ceremonies to mark 90 years since the Al-Burak Rebellion (i.e., the 1929 Hebron Massacre in which 65 Jews were murdered)...
The Ministry of Religious Affairs emphasized in a statement it published yesterday that Netanyahu's visit constitutes a grave escalation and a blow to the Muslims' sensibilities, and that it will drag the region into a religious war whose consequences will be grave. It reminds us of [Israeli Prime Minister] Ariel Sharon's visit in Jerusalem (i.e., to the Temple Mount) in 2000, which ignited the Al-Aqsa Intifada (i.e., PA terror campaign 2000-2005, more than 1,100 Israelis murdered).
It should be noted that the occupation authorities notified the residents of the Tel Rumeida neighborhood, the Old City [of Hebron], and the surrounding area of limiting steps for the visit, among them the closing of the Ibrahimi Mosque to [Muslim] worshippers and the imposing of a curfew.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs condemned the demands of Likud, Shas, and the Union of the Right- Wing Parties ministers and MPs to allow the construction of a Jewish neighborhood in the area of the Jewish market in Hebron and above the houses of the Old City.
The ministry called on our people to defend the Ibrahim Mosque and prevent all of the plans to take it over and remove the Muslims from it. He called on the international community to help and stop the Israeli actions, out of fear that the entire area will go up in flames."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Sept. 4, 2019]