by Ayman Ahmed (Main Stories, Crescent International Vol. 51, No. 3, Ramadan, 1443)
Being a Palestinian is not easy these days. It has never been. Living under zionist occupation for decades, Palestinians who leave their home do not know whether they would make it back alive to their loved ones. There is no safety inside their homes either. Heavily-armed zionist occupation troops raid their homes anytime of the day or night—usually night—like wild hyenas hunting in the middle of the night.
Zionist brutalities against Palestinians are nothing new. They have gone on for so long that they are considered routine. When the zionists—soldiers and settlers, in reality illegal squatters from Europe and North America—kill Palestinians, this is treated with a hardly repressed yawn in the west.
After all, what is new about the zionists’ killing of Palestinians? They have called Palestinians ‘cockroaches’ and the current Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett has openly admitted “that I have killed a lot of Arabs in my life and there is no problem with that”. Such racism would be hard to find elsewhere; only the zionists can say—and do—such things and get away with it.
The just-concluded month of Ramadan (April 2 – May 1) once again provided ample proof of the zionist mindset of criminality and their enablers and apologists in the west. On April 15, zionist occupation forces stormed Masjid al Aqsa in Al-Quds (aka Jerusalem).
They attacked worshippers inside the mosque. It was Friday, a special day of prayers in the week, and in the month of Ramadan, when a very large number of people attend prayers. More than 150 worshippers were injured. Zionist attacks against Palestinians continued in other parts of the West Bank, especially in Jenin that has emerged as a focal point of resistance. Attacks on Palestinian worshippers continued throughout the month of Ramadan.
Why are the zionists targeting Masjid al Aqsa, the first Qibla and the third holiest site in Islam? They know that the Palestinians would defend the holy sanctuary with their lives. They have repeatedly done so despite the overwhelming odds they face against the heavily-armed zionists.
Last month was not the first time that the zionists barged into the holy sanctuary with their filthy boots and guns. In Ramadan 2021, too, they repeatedly attacked the Aqsa compound. This was followed by illegal zionist squatters marching through the streets of al-Quds-Jerusalem shouting racist chants of “Death to Arabs” and “may your village burn”.
Last year’s illegal zionist intrusion into the Aqsa compound led to the Islamic resistance movement Hamas warning the zionists to desist from such provocations. In their customary arrogance, the zionists ignored these warnings. Instead, they launched airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad retaliated against the occupiers. Even though the zionist war on Gaza lasted 11 days (May 10-21, 2021), the Israeli occupation army did not dare invade the besieged strip with ground troops fearing it will suffer heavy casualties.
The zionists’ indiscriminate bombing of apartment buildings, schools and hospitals last year killed more than 280 civilians among them 66 children and 43 women. This is what the zionists are good at. They had the full backing of the western regimes that always parrot the line that ‘Israel has the right to defend itself’. Don’t the Palestinians have the same right to defend themselves? Western racism is legendary.
While last month’s incursions into Masjid al Aqsa by the zionist occupiers may have been motivated by the illegal settlers’ desire to carry out their ritual slaughter during Jewish Passover holiday on the grounds of the holy sanctuary, there is a long-term plan for such vandalism. It is part of their attempt to take control, through creeping acts of annexation, of the holy sanctuary.
We must recall that the provocative barging onto the holy sanctuary by Arial Sharon in September 2000 provided the spark for the second Intifadah that lasted until 2005. Sharon was rightly called the ‘Butcher of Beirut’ for his role in facilitating the massacre of more than 2,000 Palestinian civilians in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in September 1982.
Israeli attacks on worshippers in Al-Aqsa may spark a third Intifadah. This time, it will be much more deadly and will certainly include Palestinians inside what is referred to as the ‘Green line’. True, the hapless Palestinians are no match for the heavily-armed zionist thugs but their anger is likely to boil over because of incessant zionist crimes.
The question that must be asked is, why are the zionists so hell-bent on taking full control of Al-Quds (Jerusalem)? It is clear that they feel their colonial-settler project is incomplete without fully occupying Al-Quds. This also explains their brutal campaign to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah and other parts of Al-Quds to complete their occupation of the holy sanctuary and city.
While Arabian regimes are rushing to embrace the zionists, Muslims worldwide must rise up against the criminal regime that has illegally occupied Palestine. Only a concerted campaign of solidarity with the Palestinian people coupled with boycott of Israeli goods and activities will pile up pressure on the zionists.
The pariah state must be exposed for what it is: an apartheid regime. And it must not be allowed to succeed in its nefarious agenda of occupying al-Quds (Jerusalem) or any other part of Palestine.