IT is unlikely that clashes at the Al Aqsa mosque between Palestinians and Israeli police will end soon. At the core of the violence lies the Jewish state’s greed for land. The clashes began on Friday, and continued on Saturday. The epicentre of the tension is located in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, where six Palestinian families are facing forceful eviction from their ancestral homes, with the supreme court expected to rule on the decades-old case today.

Unless solved peacefully, the problem could unleash greater Palestinian anger. At Al Aqsa, the presence of Israeli police was itself a provocation, because tens of thousands of Palestinians had gathered to offer prayers. As they fired on the worshippers, Israeli policemen entered the sacred precincts leading to a worsening of the situation. On Friday, many of the over 200 injured Palestinians had to be hospitalised because of their injuries they sustained at the hands of Israeli police who used rubber-coated metal bullets and stun grenades.

In pictures: Hundreds wounded as Israeli forces target Palestinians in weekend of violence

While calls for restraint came from many capitals, one can see an unfortunate difference between what the European Union said and what the reaction from the US was. While the EU declared that “potential evictions” were cause of concern since they were “illegal under international humanitarian law” and called upon the Israeli authorities to “cease these activities and provide adequate permits for legal construction and development of Palestinian communities”, the US State Department merely called for avoiding “steps that exacerbate tensions …” though it evinced concern at the looming eviction.

By avoiding a reference to the illegality of the action by Israel, the US was creating a false equivalence between the Palestinians and Israeli police. Regretfully, hopes for a more realistic US attitude on the Arab-Israeli conflict seem unrealistic. US policy remains wedded to blind support for the Jewish state. The reality is that unless the Democrat administration reverses some of the follies committed by the Trump administration — such moving the US embassy to Jerusalem — tensions will only grow.

Published in Dawn, May 10th, 2021

Opinion

A fragmenting ummah
Updated 23 Jul 2021

A fragmenting ummah

Muslims are suffering in many parts of the world, all of which is known by other Muslims, but that nevertheless continues.
Virtual vultures
Updated 22 Jul 2021

Virtual vultures

Pegasus software has stirred a storm of indignation across the globe.
Shifting goalposts
Updated 20 Jul 2021

Shifting goalposts

Afghanistan is one place where proxy war by regional and bigger powers has always been a constant.

Editorial

India’s admission
Updated 21 Jul 2021

India’s admission

It was no secret that India had been manoeuvring behind the scenes to ensure that Pakistan remained on the grey list.
EU headscarf ban
Updated 23 Jul 2021

EU headscarf ban

Moves by the EU to curtail the religious freedoms of Muslims and others in the bloc need to be reviewed.
Disposal of offal
Updated 22 Jul 2021

Disposal of offal

The least people can do is to make an effort and dump entrails in designated areas.
New blow for Pak-Afghan ties
Updated 20 Jul 2021

New blow for Pak-Afghan ties

Islamabad police need to build a watertight case around their final conclusions because the stakes could not have been higher.
20 Jul 2021

FDI decline

THE worrisome, sharp decline in the more permanent, non-debt-creating foreign direct investment, or FDI, should be a...
20 Jul 2021

Another tragic accident

ALMOST every other week, if not every other day, newspapers report deadly road and rail accidents. It has been ...