Distorted NYT Reporting on Al-Asqa Mosque Violence
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Israeli-instigated violence continues since initiated last weekend.
Palestinians protesting peacefully against metal detectors, security cameras, and other Israeli restrictions on entering the sacred Al-Aqsa mosque have been violently confronted with live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, toxic tear gas, stun grenades, water cannons and baton beatings, among other hostile actions against their dignity and fundamental rights.
So far, six Palestinians were reported killed, hundreds injured, scores requiring hospitalization, some victims in serious conditions.
What’s ongoing for days is longstanding Israeli practice – brutalizing nonviolent Palestinian protesters, justifiably angry over appalling regime actions.
The Times: “…Israeli police said rioters threw rocks and firebombs and set off fireworks in the direction of the security forces, endangering them.”
Fact: Nonviolent demonstrators aren’t “rioters.” Virtually defenseless against premeditated Israeli brutality, stone-throwing is a natural response, expressing frustration and anger, accomplishing nothing.
Fact: Regime viciousness is overpowering, Israel one of the world’s most powerful militaries, its security forces among the most ruthless.
The Times tried justifying Israeli restrictions on Al-Aqsa worshipers, opposed by Jordan and Shin Bet (Israeli intelligence), along with Palestinian political and religious leaders, saying:
They “were introduced after a brazen attack on…July 14 when three armed Arab citizens of Israel emerged from Al Aqsa…and fatally shot two Israeli Druze police officers who were guarding an entrance to the compound.”
The Times ignored around 50 Palestinians murdered in cold blood by Israeli forces this year alone so far, a third of them in July.
Its report failed to explain the way Israel always responds to Palestinian protesters, most often peaceful, rarely otherwise, attacking them violently, including use of live fire, causing injuries and deaths – political assassinations and collective punishment against an entire population.
The Times: “(I)n a rare move, Israel temporarily closed the contested and volatile holy site…and emptied it of all workers while the police conducted searches.”
Fact: There’s nothing “rare” about Israeli ruthlessness, the cross millions of Palestinians bear daily, especially besieged Gazans, trapped in the world’s largest open-air prison, enduring humanitarian crisis conditions.
Fact: Al-Aqsa is Islam’s third holiest site. Israeli forces stormed it last weekend, committing vandalism inside, finding nothing used for anything but legitimate prayer – their actions an outrage to Muslims everywhere.
The Times quoted an Israeli statement, saying it’s “committed to preserving the status quo at the Temple Mount and the freedom of access to the holy places.”
False! Longstanding Israeli plans call for dividing Al-Aqsa’s compound, pushing the limits of what was agreed on by permitting larger and more frequent visits by extremist settlers, along with periodic clashes with Palestinian worshipers.
The Times and other media scoundrels one-sidedly support Israel’s high crimes, largely ignoring fundamental Palestinian rights to live free from occupation harshness.
On Friday, Arab MK Khaled Tafesh issued a statement saying the following:
“Our message to the Arab and Muslim nations, their leaders, the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation and all Muslims is that this is the time for you to put Jerusalem in your eyes and the Aqsa Mosque in your hearts and answer their pleas and distress calls.”
He urged Palestinians throughout the Territories and in Israel to protect Al-Aqsa from Israeli attempts to Judaize it, adding:
“What is happening on our land, in our Jerusalem and around our blessed Mosque sends a message to our steadfast Palestinian people on this holy land that they should pool their efforts and close ranks to confront the imminent danger that will come from the occupation’s violations at the Aqsa Mosque and its gates.”
He blasted Israeli actions, desecrating the sanctity and security of the site.
A Final Comment
Overnight Saturday, Israeli police installed new high-tech surveillance cameras at the main Lions’ Gate entrance to the Al-Aksa compound.
New entranceway measures include fence-offed sleeves for Palestinians to pass through, cameras able to detect metal in their possession.
Anything suspicious will be checked by hand-held metal detectors and physical searches. Walk-through metal detectors remain in place.
On Sunday, Al-Aksa Waqf custodians rejected the new measures, a statement saying:
“We confirm our total rejection of the electronic gates and all new occupation measures that will lead to a change in the historical and religious status quo in Jerusalem and its holy sites, especially the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
Standoff remains unresolved, likely more Israeli-instigated violence to follow.
VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.