Socialist Worker

Israeli repression lies behind Jerusalem violence

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2430

The Al Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalems Old City in October this year. Israeli forces recently closed it

The Al Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem's Old City in October this year. Israeli forces recently closed it (Pic: Michael Jones/flickr)

An attack on a Jerusalem synagogue today, Tuesday, provoked outrage among politicians and in the media.

US secretary of state John Kerry called it an “act of pure terror and senseless brutality and violence”.

The response to Israeli attacks on Palestinians has been somewhat more muted.

A gang of settlers torched a mosque last week in the West Bank village near Ramallah.

And a Palestinian bus driver, Yusuf Hasan al-Ramuni, was found hanging in his bus in East Jerusalem last Sunday.

Israeli police claim Yusuf killed himself. But evidence suggests he was lynched by Israeli settlers.

A doctor present at his autopsy says he was strangled. And bruises on his body indicate he was beaten before being killed.

These incidents are often presented as tit-for-tat revenge attacks.

Tory foreign secretary Philip Hammond said, “Both sides in this conflict need to do everything possible to deescalate the situation”. He added that the “Palestinian leadership” should condemn the attack.

This ignores the cause of the violence, which is Israeli oppression of the Palestinians.


Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the West Bank have faced severe repression since the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip in the summer.

There have been protests almost every night in Jerusalem since July, when settlers burned a Palestinian teenager to death.

Israeli police attacked Palestinian neighbourhoods with tear gas and foul-smelling “skunk water”.

And more than 1,300 residents of East Jerusalem have been arrested – 40 percent of them children.

More recently there have been riots in East Jerusalem following Israeli provocations.

Israel occupies East Jerusalem – and Israeli settlers are determined to drive Palestinians out.

Occupying forces recently closed the Al Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem’s Old City.

Israeli police have launched a “crackdown” in East Jerusalem, closing small businesses and confiscating property for minor offences.

And earlier this month, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the reintroduction of the ‘destruction of homes’ policy in East Jerusalem

Some commentators say these events could spark the start of a third “intifada”, or uprising.

It is clear that Israel is facing renewed resistance to its occupation.

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Tue 18 Nov 2014, 17:16 GMT
Issue No. 2430
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