Worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque shout down PA Grand Mufti mid-sermon, showing support for Hamas instead
Headline: “Worshippers removed the Friday preacher at the Al-Aqsa Mosque because he did not mention the resistance’s victory”
“Worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque removed [PA] Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories Sheikh Muhammad Hussein today, Friday, [May 21, 2021,] from the preacher’s pulpit while he delivered the sermon. This was as a sign of protest over him not mentioning the victory achieved by the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip and the resolve of its residents (refers to Hamas rocket barrages targeting Israeli cities; see note below -Ed.).
A video showing the worshippers’ opposition to Muhammad Hussein’s sermon before they demanded that he get down from the Al-Aqsa Mosque pulpit while calling ‘PA members out’ was spread on social media (the video appears in the article -Ed.).
Another clip showed others calling ‘Go to [PA President] Mahmoud Abbas, we are the people of [Hamas terror leader] Muhammad Deif’ (the video appears in the article -Ed.).”
Muhammad Hussein also serves as Deputy Secretary-General and acting Secretary-General of the PLO Popular National Conference of Jerusalem.
Fatah/Hamas Riot and Rocket War 2021 – On April 30, 2021, facing certain electoral defeat, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas cancelled the first PA elections scheduled in 15 years. Hamas, which expected to win the elections, denounced it as a “coup.” In need of a conflict to divert public discontent, Abbas artificially generated a crisis over Jerusalem. His Fatah party called for "raising the level of confrontation,” and Abbas' spokesman told Palestinians "the battle of all battles is here.” Jerusalem Arabs responded by attacking Jews with rocks and Molotov cocktails. Hamas, Abbas' political rival, could not allow Abbas to lead the battle, so on May 10, 2021, Hamas launched rocket barrages targeting Israeli population centers including Jerusalem. Over the next 11 days, Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired over 4,300 rockets into southern and central Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing 9 Israelis and 3 foreign nationals, and wounding hundreds. In response, Israel launched Operation Guardian of the Walls to target Hamas terror leaders and terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. Already in mid-April, a planned eviction of some Palestinian families illegally living in Jewish-owned buildings in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem had led to clashes between Palestinian residents and Israeli police. This dispute provided Palestinians with a pretext for violent rioting. Adding to the crisis, Israeli Arabs started rioting throughout Israel, especially in cities with a mixed Jewish and Arab population. Two Jews were murdered and many were wounded. According to Walla, an independent Israeli news site, 10 synagogues were wholly or partly burned down; fires were set in 112 Jewish homes and 1 Arab home mistaken for a Jewish home; 386 Jewish homes were plundered and 673 were damaged; 849 cars were set ablaze; and there were 5,018 rock-throwing attacks. In response, Jews started attacking Arabs and their properties as well, but on a much smaller scale. No mosques were burned; 13 Arab homes were damaged; 13 Arab-owned cars were burned; and there were 41 rock-throwing attacks by Jews. [Walla, May 16, 2021] The fighting between Israel and Hamas ended with a ceasefire on May 21, 2021.
Muhammad Deif – Palestinian terrorist and chief commander of the Izz A-Din Al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas' military wing). He organized several terror attacks, including the first Jaffa Street suicide bombing in Jerusalem (27 murdered, 35 wounded, Feb. 25, 1996), the second Jaffa Street suicide bombing in Jerusalem (18 murdered, over 40 wounded, March 3, 1996), the Ashkelon Junction suicide bombing (1 murdered, 35 wounded, March 3, 1996), the Elei Sinai shooting attack (2 murdered, 15 wounded, Oct. 2, 2001 and the Atzmona shooting attack (5 murdered, 15 wounded, March 7, 2002). He also led the cell that kidnapped and murdered 3 Israeli soldiers: Shahar Simani (April 20, 1994), Aryeh Frankental (July 7, 1994), and Nachshon Wachsman (Oct. 9, 1994).