Another blessed Ramadan is upon Muslims around the world, but this year also sees yet another spate of attacks inflicted upon innocent Palestinian worshippers in occupied East -Jerusalem.
In the last week, scores of worshippers were attacked with rubber bullets, batons and tear gas, at Masjid Al Aqsa – the third holiest site in the Muslim world. At least 158 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces, yet frustratingly, their suffering gets little airtime on mainstream media.
Harrowing videos surfaced on social media showing Israeli forces not even sparing the elderly, women or children. Other videos showed worshippers inside the Al Aqsa Mosque as clouds of tear gas was thrown on them. This was a stark reminder that even in the holy month of Ramadan, Palestinians will continue to undergo oppression and human rights violations by Israeli forces whilst many world leaders continue to undermine their plight.
Thousands of worshippers had come to pray the dawn prayers when the violence ensued last week. If this had happened in any other place of worship there would be worldwide outcry, but yet the atrocities against Palestinians are met with deafening silence.
Just last year, Israeli forces raided Al Aqsa in Ramadan resulting in an 11-day assault on the besieged Gaza strip but the West continued to support the Israeli government in its assault. Both the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Jo Biden failed to acknowledge the disproportionate attacks launched by Israel against the Palestinians as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of military weapons. In fact, Jo Biden went as far as sending over $3 billion of military aid to Israel last. This is clearly an asymmetrical struggle between the oppressed and the oppressor as Palestinians do not have the means to defend themselves.
The recent attacks in the Al Aqsa compound were condemned by Muslim majority countries such as Turkey, Jordan, Egypt and the GCC countries did offer a statement condemning the attacks. However, the Muslim world can and must do more, they could sanction Israel or pull out of major investments but some countries choose not to.
Countries such as Bahrain and the UAE have normalised relations with Israel but they forget that their Palestinian brothers and sisters continue to suffer from the apartheid regime and this is unacceptable. Muslim countries in the Arab world must shoulder some of the blame when it comes to the suffering of the Palestinians. If the Muslim world was united Palestinians would not be in this predicament of going through years of oppression.
The peace treaty normalising relations with between the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco with Israel called the “Abraham Accords” have added to the severity of attacks against the Palestinians by giving Israel a degree of political and diplomatic cover from Palestine’s neighbours. If only the Middle East would understand that by normalising relations in the way they have they have only further caused more harm for their Palestinian brothers and sisters who feel forgotten.
it is shameful that those in power, who have the ability to stand up against such injustice, choose instead to put their political and economic agendas ahead of accountability.
Many countries in the West such as the UK and US have allied with Israel and continue to dismiss the suffering of innocent Palestinians who are attacked in their own places of worship. I fear that in year upon year Al Aqsa will now become the target of Israeli forces during the holy month of Ramadan and no one will acknowledge or denounce it. The Palestinians deserve to worship in peace, to live in peace and have their human rights upheld but sadly their lives are in the hands of those in power who do little for their cause.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.