Is Another Conflict About To Erupt Between Israel And Gaza?

by
editors
Tensions flared again in Jerusalem this week, fueling fears of yet another armed conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

al aqsa mosque

The news comes only three months after an Israeli military operation “Protective Edge”, killing nearly thousands of Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 66 Israeli Defense Forces soldiers.

Although the onslaught officially ended on August 26 – it almost never did on the streets of Jerusalem, which is the bone of contention in the embattled region.

Here’s a brief account of events that, according to several news analysts and experts, could lead to – according to The New York Times, a new Palestinian uprising.

al aqsa mosque

In the first week of September, scores of Palestinians rioted in East Jerusalem after hearing that a youth from their neighborhood had died of wounds suffered in a clash with Israeli police last week. According to Reuters:

“Street clashes with police in riot gear, military-style raids on homes late at night and stone-throwing at Israeli vehicles have marked the most serious outbreak of violence in Jerusalem since a Palestinian uprising a decade ago.”

Intermittent protests and attacks from both sides continued throughout September.

While Israel's security service Shin Bet reported there were seven times more violent Palestinian attacks on Israeli security forces in Jerusalem in July and August compared to previous months, the Israeli rights group “Ir Amim” observed a spike in Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians, with about two dozen such cases.

The state of affairs got so severe that Palestinian and Israeli residents began feeling unsafe around each other.

"It's going to explode in our faces, like the tunnels in Gaza," Yael Antebi, a Jerusalem councilwoman, was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

al aqsa mosque

However, the situation became most critical on October 30, when Israel blocked access to a contested sacred site in the Old City for the first time in many years, a move that a Palestinian representative denounced as “a declaration of war.”

Following the chain of unpleasant events, the Israeli government tightened security measures, adding a force of 3,000 soldiers around Jerusalem.

"If police continue [like this], you will see more and more operations like this in Jerusalem," Hussam – a human rights worker in the Shuafat refugee camp told Christian Science Monitor.

Most recently, on November 5, Israeli police and Palestinian youths clashed at what Israelis call the Temple Mount and Muslims refer to as “Haram al-Sharif,” or the Noble Sanctuary.

“Paramedics from the Red Crescent said 15 people were injured, one of them with a serious injury to the eye,” CNN reported.

Recommended: Here Are The Two Things Gaza Needs Right Now

Although violence is a part of life for both Israelis and Palestinians – especially in the city of Jerusalem – its impact cannot be understated because it was a reaction over the deaths of three teenagers in June that resulted in the deaths of over 2,200 Palestinians in a consequent fifty-day conflict.

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