Will this International Quds Day mark the beginning of the third Palestinian uprising?

Will this International Quds Day mark the beginning of the third Palestinian uprising?

Al-Quds day was declared by Iran’s revolutionary Islamic leader Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 as a day when the entire world is to turn their attentions to the plight of the Palestinian people. The event falls on the last Friday of Ramadan, which will this year work to energize the already inspired Palestinian people to take a greater stand over the attacks on al-Quds.

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)


This Friday’s annual al-Quds Day may be one of the most important in history, in terms of what it means for events on the ground in occupied Jerusalem (al-Quds). After racist settler and occupation force attacks on Palestinians, as well as restrictions on worshipers throughout the month of Ramadan in occupied al-Quds, the Palestinians have had enough.

Since the beginning of Ramadan the Israeli occupation forces have harassed, attacked and imposed restrictions on Palestinian Muslims in the Old City of al-Quds. On the first day of Ramadan Israeli forces breached the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and shut off loudspeakers, blocking the Muslim call to prayer, also setting up barricades at the Bab al-Amud entrance to the Old City and blocking worshipers from breaking their fasts and praying Taraweh (Night time prayer) at al-Aqsa. The al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site to Muslims and violations of the rights of worshipers during the holy month of Ramadan, immediately triggered clashes with Israeli occupation forces.

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The restrictions and attacks by occupation forces, coupled with settler attacks on Palestinians and Palestinian attacks on illegal Israeli settlers, escalated on 22 April when extremist Israeli settlers took to the streets chanting “death to Arabs” and threatened to breach the Old City of al-Quds. Instead of being granted instant access to the Old City, to attack Palestinian homes and businesses - as a few later did - they were met by thousands of Palestinians who repelled their racist march. Instead of working to protect Palestinians, Israeli occupation police forces yet again attacked the Palestinians, injuring 450 people within the next two days according to local sources. The Israeli authorities also condemned Palestinian violence and not the clearly racist modern day lynch mob of Israeli settlers.

By the next day, the Joint Room of Palestinian armed factions in Gaza had vowed a response, as Palestinians in al-Quds, West Bank and inside what is now considered ‘Israel proper’, took to the streets in a unified fashion to confront the Israeli attacks on Jerusalem. Gaza’s armed resistance followed through with their promise to respond, the armed wing of the PFLP, the Abu Ali Mustafa brigades, launched rockets and the people of the occupied territories clashed with armed Israeli forces. Since this time, armed resistance attacks and protests have been constant.

On the 28th day of Ramadan another racist settler mob plans to break into the al-Aqsa Mosque. It is projected that up to as many as 30,000 settlers will be present in this mob. Palestinians vow to confront them, to prevent them from entering the site, as Israeli forces have allegedly been instructed to prevent Palestinians from entering the Old City. If Israel does not stop this settler mob, the scenes of the settlers breaking into and perhaps destroying sites at the al-Aqsa compound will lead to an explosion of Palestinian resistance to the occupation and its settler racists.

Now also a very pertinent issue is the Israeli push to ethnically cleanse the East al-Quds neighbourhood, Sheikh Jarrah, of its Palestinian population, forcing families from their homes in order for settlers to steal them. Protests against the illegal ethnic cleansing of up to 26 families, meaning 550 people, pending court trials, are now ongoing. The demonstrators have been met with brute force by Israeli occupation police who have beaten and arrested elderly people, children, men and women, in order to protect extremist settlers and facilitate them stealing Palestinian property. Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas have both vowed responses to the violence and dispossession of homes in Sheikh Jarrah.

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For the first time in years, the Palestinian people are beginning to rise up to Israeli oppression in fully unified fashion and at a time when Israel’s political scene is extremely divided and fragile. This is why global support for the Palestinian cause, is extremely relevant this Quds Day, as this will likely further inspire Palestinian resistance against occupation. 

If the Palestinian uprising we are now seeing build, grows into an Intifada, then Israel may face real trouble and have to seek the aid of the United States in order to stop the pressure. This then coupled with a pending International Criminal Court investigation into war crimes in the occupied territories, as well as Israel’s top human rights group B’Tselem and top international group Human Rights Watch, both charging Israeli with the crime of Apartheid, will apply pressure from multiple angles. From that point, when the Palestinians put physical pressure on Israel, legal pressure is applied, put together with a PR catastrophe, it then only takes international solidarity to cover all fronts and pressure Israel into ending its ongoing crimes.

By Robert Inlakesh

Robert Inlakesh is a journalist, writer and political analyst, who has lived in and reported from the occupied Palestinian West Bank. He has written for publications such as Mint Press, Mondoweiss, MEMO, and various other outlets. He specializes in analysis of the Middle East, in particular Palestine-Israel. He also works for Press TV as a European correspondent.

* The article was originally published on Press TV website 

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