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Ibrahimi Mosque is targeted by settlers, but for the PA and Israel it is business as usual

A Hanukkah menorah is picture next to an Israeli flag on the top roof of the Ibrahimi mosque, also known to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs, in the divided West Bank town of Hebron on 9 December 2020. [HAZEM BADER/AFP via Getty Images]
A Hanukkah menorah is picture next to an Israeli flag on the top roof of the Ibrahimi mosque, also known to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs, in the divided West Bank town of Hebron on 9 December 2020. [HAZEM BADER/AFP via Getty Images]

An Israeli news channel has reported that the occupation authorities in the West Bank have started to implement a settlement plan in the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron. The intention is to make it easier for illegal settlers to reach the mosque without security risks, by constructing a bridge, a car park and elevators.

This is yet another Israeli crime against the religious sanctities of the Palestinians. It has been approved by Defence Minister Benny Gantz, and is scheduled to be completed within six months.

With this and many other crimes committed by the occupation state in the West Bank and Jerusalem, it is reasonable to ask why the Palestinian Authority continues to have any sort of relationship with the Israeli enemy. Despite what's happening on the ground, for the PA and Israel it is business as usual.

A few days ago, for example, the PA media revealed that a meeting had been held in Jerusalem between Israeli ministers representing the occupation government and the Palestinian Authority in an effort to restore matters to their "normal" course, in coordination with the Biden administration in the US.

READ: The massacre of Ibrahimi Mosque

This suggests that all the protests organised by the Palestine Liberation Organisation against the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem were merely shows for public and media consumption. How could the PA hold such meetings in Jerusalem — claimed by Israel as its "eternal, undivided capital" — where the US Embassy is located, and with the help of the Americans? I wouldn't rule out the possibility of future tripartite meetings being held in the embassy itself.

Palestinians hold banners during a protest against Israeli restrictions on the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, occupied West Bank on 28 August 2017 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinians hold banners during a protest against Israeli restrictions on the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, occupied West Bank on 28 August 2017 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Anadolu Agency]

A few days ago, Minister Ahmed Al-Majdalani presented the PA's case to the UN Security Council to put pressure on the occupying state, as did other officials. However, without any warning, Al-Majdalani participated in a normalisation meeting with Israeli journalists under the pretext that they are trying to convey a true image of the other side through the media. I believe that these "journalists" were actually undercover security officials who know more about what is happening with the Palestinians than Al-Majdalani himself. Why doesn't he stop trying to fool the Palestinian people?

We are watching, observing and understanding every step taken by the PA and the PLO, as well as the Palestinian factions, without exception. As such, they must show some respect for the people and exercise caution when dealing with them, especially on sensitive issues such as religious sanctities, resistance and the Israeli-led siege imposed on our people in the Gaza Strip.

We call on the Palestinian Authority to act in the interests of the Palestinian people, and in a manner that matches the actions of the enemy. The PA's announced and undeclared policies must not contradict each other, especially after the "unconfirmed" leaks mentioning a tripartite Palestinian-American-Israeli agreement that heightens the interference of Israel and the US in the Palestinian issue.

This article first appeared in Arabic in the Palestinian Information Centre on 11 August 2021

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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