Israeli President Reuven Rivlin previously stormed the holy Ibrahimi Mosque and he will be followed by the occupation’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This storming is similar to that of Ariel Sharon in Al-Aqsa Mosque, which led to Palestinian outrage and a Second Intifada that lasted several years.
In recent weeks, the West Bank witnessed numerous operations against the Israeli occupation. The West Bank is already a volcano without such provocative visits and an new intifada could erupt at any moment. Residents of Hebron could mobilise against the hundreds of settlers who live there. The West Bank has sufficient reasons to explode, but no one can predict when that will come.
Palestinian officials have said that the visit violates international law and that it could lead to a religious war. However, such statements are useless, as the international community – beginning with the US – encourage such crimes. Reminding them of international law is a deviation of the compass or a misuse of old tools.
Our conflict has been ideological from the beginning, although some want to try to turn it into a geographical, political, etc. conflict, their attempts have failed. We are in a battle which is based on ideology, even if it is wrong and even if it is not a belief that those fighting really follow, but rather use it to rally others in the name of religion. We are also fighting them in defence of our homeland and sanctities and are provoked by their crimes. While the occupation is the main reason for our conflict, Palestine, and specifically Al-Aqsa Mosque, has significance in Islam and therefore the conflict has a religious aspect whether we want it to or not.
Some may object to those who say that the actions of the occupation’s leaders are part of their election propaganda and campaigns, as elections are due to be held in two weeks. However, the difference is the arena for election propaganda today is very different to what it has been in the past and its nature has changed. In the past, Gaza or Lebanon were the arenas for their electoral propaganda, but they have become too costly and have disastrous consequences for Israel. Neither Gaza nor Lebanon are arenas suitable for electoral work anymore. People want safety and do not want a war that could ruin the elections and the lives of millions of Israelis. Therefore, they headed towards Hebron to wreak havoc and desecrate its sanctities, but if they do so this time, they may not do it again. This all depends on the reaction of the Palestinian people.
As for the reactions of the Palestinian officials, we already know what they’ll be: condemnation, denunciation, threats to knock at the ICC’s doors and that’s it.
This article first appeared in Arabic on Felesteen on 4 September 2019
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.