Thursday, 17 September 2015
Palestinian Human Rights Activist Bassam Eid: 'Palestinian Authority has interest to see Jerusalem violence continue'
JERUSALEM (EJP)---Israel on Wednesday outlawed two grass-roots Palestinian Islamist groups involved in harassing Jewish visitors at Jerusalem's Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest site in Islam.
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon issued the ban on the "mourabitoun" and "mourabitaat" (Arabic for male and female sentries) under the advisement of the Shin Bet security agency and the Israel police, who determined that they were a threat to Israeli security and to the general public.
The groups are behind the majority of the tension and violent outbreaks on the Temple Mount and throughout Jerusalem. Their aggression targets tourists, visitors and worshippers, with protesters shouting offensive and threatening slogans and even physically attacking people at the holy site.
On Sunday evening, in the wake of the events, a 64-year Israeli from Jerusalem was killed when his vehicle was struck by rocks as he made his way home from a Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) dinner.
The Temple Mount compound is the historical site of Judaism's ancient temples and now houses the Al-Aqsa mosque. Israeli police enforce exclusively Muslim prayer at the site, a ban some religious Jews have campaigned to overturn.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel supports maintaining the status quo at the holy site, but that it is being breached by “inciters and rioters” who barricaded themselves on the site and harass Jewish visitors.
Palestinian human rights Bassam Eid, a resident of East Jerusalem, believes that ‘’unfortunately the whole issue of the Temple Mount has become a competition between rightist Jews and extremist Muslims.’’
In an interview with Europe Israel Press Association (EIPA), he stressed that what happened during three days on the Temple Mount ‘’is not a public intifada.’’ ‘’This is pure incitement, I don’t believe that the Palestinians have any kind of power or energy for an intifada.’’
‘’If you look at how many people were in the Temple Mount, we are talking about tens of Palestinians and not all the Palestinians. It’s a very small group of people who do not represent the Palestinian people at all.’’
Bassam Eid, who was born in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City in 1958 and grew up in the Shuafat refugee camp in northeast Jerusalem before moving to Beit Hanina in East Jerusalem, worked for the Israeli B’Tselem human rights organisation before founding a new organization, the Palestinian Huan Rights Monitoring Group.
‘’I believe Israel is the victim of Jewish and Muslim extremists. I didn’t read any statement from any official Israeli that Israel is going to divide the Temple Mount between Muslims and Jews. All such rumours among the Muslims are are totally wrong,’’ he said.
‘’I think that Israel is willing to keep the status quo right now because it doesn’t want to annoy Jordan. Relations with Jordan are very important for Israel.In my opinion Mr Netanyahu has a great respect for Jordan’s King Abdallah.’’
Jordan, which has a peace treaty with Israel, administers Muslim religious affairs at the Temple Mount.
Bassam Eid thinks that the Palestinian Authority (PA), which expressed support for the two extremist groups banned by Israel, has a kind of interest to see the continuation of disturbances at the Temple Mount.
‘’Because the PA right now is almost sitting in the corner, nobody is giving any attention to it and its interest is how to ad fuel to the situation in order to reput the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the top of the agenda of the international community which has all eyes turned onSyria and Daesh…’’.
He also believes that Europe is ‘’out of the game’’ because it failed to interfere in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ‘’It is not honest and continues like it did in the past to keep a blind eye on the corruption within the Palestinian Authority,.’’
‘’This is why we the Palestinians lost trust in Europe. Europe couldn’t play any game in the conflict. By continuing to blame only Israel Europewill never be able to solve the Israeli-Palestinian confict. I think they must be much more balanced and that also the Palestinians need to be blamed on the current situation.’’
Regarding rumors about the resignation of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Eid doesn’t believe them.
‘’He announced several times that he is going to resign but never did. But if he willresign this will be very welcome by the Palestinians.’’
However, he doesn’t think it will be easy to find a successor to Abbas. ‘’I believe that a big fight will take place inside Fatah, with a lot of killings and assassinations, until they will find the real successor.’’