Fourteen days after Palestinians reacted to the occupying Israeli forces draconian measures around Al-Aqsa, the Islamic Waqf have given their approval for Palestinians to enter the Al-Aqsa sanctuary. There is no doubt the Palestinians were not only in the forefront, but alone in confronting the Israeli measures. Israel used the shooting in the sanctuary as an excuse to further humiliate Palestinians by first demanding they go through turnstiles and thereafter security checks.
To Palestinians these measures by Israel were a step too far, a step that was now attempting to control every aspect of their lives including attempts to pray in the Al-Aqsa Sanctuary, their holiest site in Jerusalem.
The Palestinians have paid a very heavy price in defending the Islamic site with over one hundred wounded, hundreds imprisoned and 6 killed by Israel. However, their resolve through by and large non-violent resistance shows how to overcome the indiscriminate shooting and collective punishment by Israel’s military occupation.
Further, to Palestinians the ‘security measures’ so-called by Israel were an oxymoron, since it is the presence of Israel military forces that is a danger to them and to Al-Aqsa. Hence, any call by Israel for ‘security’ is nothing more than consolidating occupation and making the lives of the Palestinians insecure.
It is in this light that the lifting of the so called ‘security measures’ has to be placed. No doubt Palestinians have championed to the defence of Al-Aqsa, but Israel should not be there in the first place. It needs to be recalled that the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem including Al-Aqsa is illegal, and the Palestinians will need all the help they can get to bring about their freedom.
The immediate aftermath of lifting the ‘security measures’ have witnessed increased Israeli attacks on innocent Palestinians within the al-Aqsa sanctuary. Hence, it is important for the international community to be vigilant of Israeli actions and continue with their campaigns, lobbying and solidarity actions.