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Statements alone will not stop Israeli attacks on Palestinians, it is time for action

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Events in Jerusalem have dominated the headlines over the past few days. Hundreds of Palestinians in Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque have been wounded in violent attacks by Israeli security forces, some of them seriously. In the nearby neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, meanwhile, Palestinian families are awaiting a judgement from the Israeli Supreme Court to see whether or not they are going to be evicted from their family homes, which will then be handed over to illegal settlers.

Protesters have been campaigning to save Sheikh Jarrah from the settlers. The protesters have also been attacked violently by the Israeli police.

All of this is happening during the Muslims' holy month of Ramadan, which has created even more tension than usual due to the attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Palestinians trying to get to the holy site for prayers.

Statements have been issued by Arab, Muslim and Western countries condemning the Israeli attacks on the Palestinians. Many of them are treating everything as if it is happening between opposing parties of equal strength. It is, in fact, an asymmetric conflict and always has been. Palestinian civilians are seeking to exercise their rights to live in their own homes and worship in peace without being harassed by Israeli settlers and police. The statements have changed since Friday's attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque, with references to "ongoing violence" in Jerusalem, but without any context. Mainstream media have done the same, even though some of the incidents may amount to war crimes by the occupying power, Israel.

READ: Israel officials admit eviction of Palestinians is preservation of Jerusalem's Jewish identity

That was certainly the view of Moaz Al-Khateeb, who told South Africa's Radio Islam on Monday that, "Dismantling field clinics inside Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, pushing firefighters and their equipment to leave the sacred yards and closing the gates of the holy site before starting their [Israeli police] attacks on unarmed worshippers, using rubber-coated steel bullets and live ammunition as well as tear gas and stun grenades is a full-fledged war crime."

Apart from Arab and Muslim........

© Middle East Monitor

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