Remember, the Fatah guys are the “moderates.” Partners for peace and all that. And in this case, the “provocation” du jour is the renovation of a synagogue situated in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem — still enough fuel for some quality conspiracy paranoia. It never takes much. “PA calls Arabs to ‘defend al Aksa’,” by Khaled Abu Toameh for the Jerusalem Post, March 14:
A senior Palestinian Authority official on Sunday called on Israeli Arabs and Palestinian residents of Jerusalem to come to al Aksa Mosque in the Old City “to protect it from Israeli schemes.”
Top Fatah official and holder of the Jerusalem portfolio Khatem Abd el-Kader called Palestinians on Sunday to “converge on al Aksa to save it” from what he called “Israeli attempts to destroy the mosque and replace it with the [Jewish] temple.”
Khader was speaking ahead of a dedication of a renovated synagogue in the Jewish Quarter in the Old City, planned to take place Tuesday.
Remember, in the long-standing traditions of Islamic law, repair or construction of new non-Islamic houses of worship is forbidden. There’s that pesky Pact of Umar again, the tenets of which some apologists will insist no one really observes… except, of course, when they do.
He called Israel’s renovation of the Hurva Synagogue a “provocation” and warned Israel that it was “playing with fire.”
Police has been imposing a ban on Israeli Arabs from coming to the Temple Mount, fearing clashes might erupt. Only holders of Israeli ID cards over 50 years old were allowed into the mosque.
The closure remains in place until after the dedication of the synagogue on Tuesday.