"Yesterday, serious clashes were caused by Israeli police entering the compound, which international law requires to be banned to the occupying forces," said Gulf News in an editorial on Monday.
For decades, Israelis followed the centuries-old Jewish tradition that no Jew would set foot on Al Haram Al Sharif for fear of committing the grave blasphemy of walking over the site of their long-demolished temple. But this was destroyed when Ariel Sharon walked onto the site and deliberately provoked the second intifada. Since then, extremist Jews have claimed rights over Al Haram Al Sharif and recently they have been ratcheting up the tension with almost daily incursions, abetted by the Israeli police who are following orders from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government.
The Palestinians had formed nonviolent groups that resisted these assaults on Muslim rights, but even that was too much for Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon, who last week banned the Murabitun and Murabatat, describing them as a central component in the creation of tension and violence and as engaging in "dangerous incitement".
"This one-sided nonsense is all part of the ongoing pressure on multiple fronts to try to reduce the Palestinian presence in occupied Jerusalem and incapacitate what is left," added the daily.
Israel’s illegal annexation of occupied Jerusalem means that Jerusalemites are not allowed to form any political or social groups, far less political parties. The vast majority of the 330,000 Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem have refused to become Israeli citizens and are forced to live in a political vacuum as the Israelis seek to extend their control over the city.
"The dangerous Jewish presence in Al Haram Al Sharif is part of this wider campaign as extremist groups buy properties in the Muslim and Christian quarters of the Old City and occupied Jerusalem is surrounded by fortress colonies and Israel manipulates the laws to give advantage to Israelis and impotence and humiliation to the Palestinians," concluded the Dubai-based daily.