Playing with fire at Al-Aqsa

Khaled Diab writes: The growing familiarity of clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian protesters inside Al-Aqsa Mosque this week has not weakened the effect of the conflict on my Palestinian neighbours and friends in Jerusalem.

The picturesque, stone-lined alleyways of an already tense Old City are seething with anger and frustration, punctuated by Israeli surveillance helicopters that hang in the air. Even unreligious Palestinians who have never stepped foot inside churches or mosques are furious. They partly envisage their wider demise encapsulated by the struggle over the Noble Sanctuary, as they call it, or the Temple Mount, as it is known to Jews.

The symbolism of the confrontation around the holy site quickly triggered an international response. The three days of clashes provoked a stern warning from neighbouring Jordan, with which Israel has a peace accord. “Any more provocations in Jerusalem will affect the relationship between Jordan and Israel,” warned Jordan’s King Abdullah II. “Jordan will have no choice but to take action, unfortunately.” [Continue reading…]

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