Tensions in Jerusalem proved one another time that the disputes over the region will be resolved by no peace deal or international agreement.
As the center to the sacred zone of three religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism, Jerusalem has been historically the instigator of a great deal of tensions in the occupied lands.
The religiosity of Jerusalem reinforced the political tensions between Palestine and Israel. The Muslims will, by no means, accept any sort of flexibility by Palestinian government on the holy site of Al-Aqsa Mosque. As Aaron David Miller in an article in CNN,
Those deep religious attachments to Jerusalem also play out in the conflict between Israel and key Arab states and the fierce competition between two national movements — political Zionism and Palestinian nationalism — that lay claim to much of the same religious and political space.
Within a small place delimited in 1 square kilometer, there is the Al-Aqsa mosque and Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif area. The former is the sacred place where Muslim Prophet went through a night journey to paradise and is considered as the first Muslim prayer direction before Kaabah in Mecca. The latter is “the last remaining retaining wall of the Temple Mount platform, the Western or Wailing Wall, is sacred.” The important point, however, is that both sacred places were respected and governed by Palestinian government before occupation by Zionists in the mid-twentieth century.
The significance of Jerusalem to Palestinians is to the extent that the second Intifada broke out after a group of Palestinians observed Ariel Sharon, the former Prime Minister of Israel, in Temple Mount, the vicinity of Al-Aqsa Square. The Second Intifada turned into an all-out uprising giving rise to years of tensions across the Palestinian occupied lands.
The recent tensions in Jerusalem broke out after the installation of metal detectors at both entrances of Al-Aqsa Mosque last Sunday. The gates are claimed to have been installed after shooting of two Israeli border guards, while Palestinians totally reject the authority of Israelis and their security forces over the region.
The concerns over the issue rose after a series of shootings by Israelis led to the death of 7 Palestinians and further infuriated the demonstrators. Western allies of Israel, worried about the rise of another uncontrollable Intifada, asked all groups to more patience. The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, however, ordered the suspension of any contact or talk with Israeli authorities until the metal detectors are removed from the entries.
Abbas’s sensitivity over the saga is understandable when the Israel’s step by step policy to take full control of the place is taken into consideration. Zionist strategy to provide itself with pretext to proceed in Palestine-controlled lands is not a new plan. The gates, besides, can enable the Israel intelligence services to put more control on Palestinian warriors.
The US president has also issued an statement regarding the necessity for the involved “parties to maintain the status quo.” Considering Trump’s extremist vows during the campaigns to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, an act politically and officially meaning the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Trump’s flexibility over the issue truly indicates the horror in Zionism and its allies. Jerusalem has long been considered by Palestine the capital and any transgression by any party against this land would lead to irrecoverable consequences for Israel.