Palestinian “Day of Rage” passes with low-key local outbreaks
No Palestinian or Israeli Arab masses showed up in Jerusalem for the Day of Rage, Tuesday, March 15, called by Fatah, Hamas and Israeli Muslim leaders in a bid to stir up a third uprising (intifada) against Israel. No more than 500 teenagers were out on the streets of half a dozen Palestinian enclaves in Jerusalem, hurling rocks, rolling burning tires and blocking roads against the thousands of Israeli police armed with tear gas and rubber bullets ranged against them.
Around 14 policemen and three dozen Palestinians were injured in clashes – none seriously, and 60 arrested. One police officer was injured in the single shooting attack of the day at Ras al-Amud.
Police commissioner Dudi Cohen said reinforced Jerusalem units would stay on alert for more outbreaks until after the Muslim Friday prayers on Temple Mount. He hoped normal life would return to Jerusalem by next Sunday, March 21. The slogan of a Third Uprising made a snappy headline, nothing more, he said.
The riots scarcely seeped over into the West Bank. In Hebron, the Palestinian Authority's US-trained security force drove a flying wedge between would-be rioters and Israeli troops.
Monday, Halil al Haya, speaking for the ruling Hamas in the Gaza Strip said "rivers of blood must flow," while the radical Muslim leaders of the Israeli Arab communities threatened to descend on Jerusalem in force.
debkafile's counter-terror sources report that a group of Israeli Muslim leaders were admitted to Temple Mount Tuesday and prayed at al Aqsa and some of their followers joined the Palestinian rioters. But two buses packed with Palestinian sympathizers heading for Jerusalem were turned back by police roadblocks on Galilee and central Israeli highways.
In a bid to bring out the masses, Abu Ala, former Palestinian prime minister and peace negotiator with the Olmert government, and Hatem Abdul Qader, head of the Jerusalem desk in the Palestinian Authority, said Monday the Day of Rage must be the opening shot for a fresh uprising (intifada) against Israel.
In rabid anti-Semitic diatribes, they again accused "the Jews" of "plotting to seize al Aqsa" in order to build their Third Temple. All Jewish claims of an ancestral connection to Jerusalem "was one big lie," they said for rewriting Muslim history.
There never was a Hurva (Ruin) Synagogue in the Old City, said these Fatah spokesmen, referring to the 300-old synagogue, rebuilt and rededicated Monday, March 15, on the ruins of the Jewish house of worship and community center the Jordanians destroyed during their 19-year presence in the Old City up until 1967.
The structure was restored stone by stone according to the photos and plans of the old building.
Palestinian leaders took encouragement from the Obama administration's harsh campaign against Israel as their big chance to embark on another violent war of "resistance" to Israel. They believed the Jewish state was in such bad odor with its best friend, America, that it would be held by the entire world responsible for the violence.
According to debkafile's military sources, Mahmoud Abbas stood up to the pressure of his colleagues to let PA security forces off the leash. Instead, he ordered them to keep would-be rioters in check.