This sort of photograph is usually seen the day of any significant Jewish Holiday in World News. In Jerusalem there there was a group of Palestinian youth that had set themselves up inside in the Al Aqsa Mosque compound early this Sunday morning, Rosh Rashana, the beginning of the Jewish New Year.
The police were aware that this group of Muslims would go there to attack visitors of the Jewish faith from coming to their Temple Mount. To the Muslims it’s their Noble Sanctuary, the third holiest place in Islam. Most reports say that the Muslim youth started throwing stones, fireworks, and metal bars the officers. They responded with tear gas, and shooting rubber bullets. The confrontation was quickly contained, and the compound was opened to visitors.
Violence has never truly ceased between the two sides. There is Religion, government, and borders that contribute to the history of violence between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The area of old Jerusalem, where the mosque is, is administered by the Islamic Waqf, under Jordanian custodianship, but Israel controls security. The actual site has had many attacks in the last year.
The news media in Palestine views this outbreak as something to blame on the Israeli police. “Saeb Erekat, the secretary of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee, denounced the police action and told the official Palestinian Authority radio that Israel had started carrying out “an old plan” to divide the compound — an assertion that is vehemently denied by Israel.”
It’s interesting that Israel maintains a ban on non-Muslim prayer at the site to prevent more religious clashes at the Holy site for both religions. There have been some nationalist Jewish activists that are irritated by this oppression, and want more prayer rights and access for the Jewish. As a result the Muslim fears that Israel intends to split the compound, or change the status of the site, but the Israeli political leaders deny there plans and claims that the Palestinians fear.
Although all plans are to keep everything in it’s current law and order at the Mosque, the idea that they could divide it, and completely separate the two groups from interacting together definitely seems like a possibility. For there to be no violence at all, they would have to ban the Jews as well as their prayers within the mosque. Right right now the Israeli government is leaning to the side of granting the Muslims their religious ownership and worship there. If they were to divide it to allow the Jewish to have their own place of worship there, catastrophe would take place, and political officials would like to prevent this from happening. It will be quite interesting to see how much more the Jews will fight to gain more freedom in this area.