Why is Israeli ‘unprecedented’ over Jerusalem’s new mosque?
“I’m sorry, but that’s the wrong answer,” said a frustrated protester who refused to take part in the first day of the rally, saying he’d rather see the mosque demolished than the Israeli government building it is.
“We’re in the midst of a genocide here,” he added.
“I don’t want to see any more Palestinian dead than they are.”
The protesters said they want the government to allow the construction of the new mosque, saying it would serve a greater purpose and is necessary to prevent “Palestinian suicide bombers from going back to their villages.”
Israel’s interior minister, Aryeh Deri, has said the new building will not be built until after the completion of the Jewish Temple.
It’s part of a broader push by Israel to redevelop the Old City, where the city’s Jewish population is estimated at over a million.
It has also demolished or built several mosques, including a mosque to commemorate the Nakba, an ancient Palestinian uprising that began in 1948.
The new mosque is the first of its kind in Israel.
The first such mosque was built in 1993, but demolition of the structure took place only after Israel’s election to parliament in 2000, a move that critics said was discriminatory and unconstitutional.
A few years later, in 2001, Israeli officials built a mosque for a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, which was demolished in 2003.
That mosque, built to commemorate Nakba victims, was later demolished by Israeli forces in 2014.
The building was demolished again in 2017.
“Israel’s obsession with the destruction of Palestinian mosques is unprecedented,” said the protester.
“This mosque is not built to serve the Jewish community, but instead is a symbolic and ideological act of the government of the day to further its goal of reviving the Palestinian cause,” the protester said.
The protester also called on the government not to allow a mosque built for the city to be demolished in the West Bank.
“Why don’t they demolish this building, so we can all come here?” he said.
“They can demolish it and build something else.”
Another protester, Yasser Abu-Bakr, told The Jerusalem Times that the new Jerusalem mosque is “a symbol of the state of Israel’s arrogance, as if Israel is in the process of destroying Palestinian mosques, which are a very important part of the fabric of our city.”
He said that if the government continues to build new mosques, they will be built in the exact same manner as the old ones.
“The new mosque will be a mosque in memory of those who died, who were killed, and whose houses are demolished,” he said, adding that the mosque is a symbol of Israel “playing with fire.”