May 8, 2022
Muslims pray outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount during Ramadan, May 10, 2019. (Jamal Awad/Flash90)
“I warn that there are tens of thousands more like [one of the Elad terrorists]. If we do not become the Arab leadership, that will be an address for all those boys,” said a senior Ra’am official.
By Baruch Yedid, TPS
“The freezing of Ra’am’s membership in the coalition is expected to continue even at the cost of the fall of the government,” a very senior source in Ra’am told TPS on Sunday.
“Ra’am has been very badly disappointed by the Bennett government and does not want the government to fall, but due to Ra’am’s limited breathing space over the crisis around the Al-Aqsa Mosque, even though it is aware of the limitations of the Bennett government, it has laid down its demands and its outline for the status quo on the Temple Mount,” he said.
Following media reports regarding Ra’am’s demands and its position that the status quo issue will be decided by the Jordanians, the source clarified that “Ra’am has its own outline for resolving the crisis in al-Aqsa.”
MK Mansour Abbas, the Ra’am party head, recently visited the Jordanian King’s Palace demanding that Israel restore the old status quo to the Temple Mount.
As well, senior Palestinian Authority officials are demanding a return to the situation that prevailed on the eve of the Temple Mount in 2000, but the source clarified that “this is not a Jordanian outline or an outline of another factor. Ra’am has laid out a plan and a long-term vision based on its position for 20 years or more, and if this vision also fits King Abdullah’s position, then it should be seen as an advantage.”
‘Vision based on Islamic concept’
The source added that senior Ra’am officials have recently heard the Jordanian position on al-Aqsa and that there is a connection on this matter. But regarding the nature of the outline it laid on the government table, he said that “we are not talking about a compromise or something similar, but a vision based on the accepted Islamic concept in recent years.”
“Mansour Abbas and the Southern Branch are not allowed to formulate a separate outline or their own proposals for the status quo on the Temple Mount and must rely on the accepted concept underlying the 2000 status quo that gives the Waqf exclusive authority over the management of holy places and the entry of visitors and worshipers,” he declared.
However, he said that “Abbas is the only Arab element who has laid out a plan and vision to solve the problem in mosques in eastern Jerusalem while the other leaders cling either to incitement or futile speeches.”
While the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement continues to promote Sheikh Raed Salah’s “Al-Aqsa in Danger” campaign, a senior Ra’am warns of “the danger of Al-Aqsa.”
“This is an outline for the benefit of the Jewish and Arab public in Israel and a vital condition for calm in the region,” he said, as “the al-Aqsa issue is the only one that can unite Sunnis and Shiites, religious and non-religious, extremist or moderate groups and connect the 1.5 billion Muslims around the region.”
Security officials in Israel warn that in the past month, Israel has been subjected to an acute incitement attack on the al-Aqsa issue. The source joins the concern in Israel and warns that “the incitement heard around al-Aqsa is received by the Arab and Muslim public as true and the plots circulated around the holy places become a truth that ignites the imagination in the Arab world and ignites fire in the street, and therefore, the demands of Ra’am that were placed before the decision-makers in Israel are intended to prevent the continuation of violence,” he said.
“Ra’am is trying to become an accepted address and leader regarding the mosques in Jerusalem. One of the boys who carried out the attack in Elad [last Thursday that left three Israelis dead] left a will stating that he acted for al-Aqsa,” said the senior Ra’am official.
“I warn that there are tens of thousands more like him. If we do not become the Arab leadership that will be an address for all those boys, the line of boys like him will be very long,” he said. “The success of the outline of the Ra’am in the matter of al-Aqsa is vital for the benefit of both peoples.”
The source added that “neither the Palestinian problem nor the right of return nor the borders, all of which are not equal in strength to the al-Aqsa issue, the State of Israel must wake up and prevent a violent outbreak by accepting another outline for the Temple Mount issue.”
“Israel is facing a national disaster following the crisis surrounding the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Jewish state has been abducted in recent years by extremist fanatical groups who do not express the mood of the Jewish and Israeli public,” he said.
The Ra’am faction is facing internal pressures around the demand to leave the coalition, but those who support it remain pointing to the fear of Netanyahu’s rise, the official continued.
“The accumulation of events in recent years has proven that Netanyahu has not been able to withstand the pressure of the ‘extremist groups,’ and his government has walked with open eyes into the honey trap of right-wing groups dragging Israel and Muslims into a religious war.”
Ra’am leader’s future
The senior official raised a series of difficult scenarios in ase the Israeli government falls due to the tension around the mosques.
“If the arson in al-Aqsa cannot be prevented and if Mansour Abbas’ efforts fail, hundreds of people will be killed around the mosques in the coming years. This is the last chance for dialogue between Jews and Muslims around the holy places in Jerusalem, and Abbas put his life on the line and became the leader of the camp.”
Commenting on the remarks made by Hamas leader Yahya Sanwar to Abbas, the source said that “Sinwar attacks Abbas with the understanding that Abbas seeks to bring about change and can become a leader in a class that will overshadow Sinwar, and Raed Salah or Abu Mazen [PA leader Mahmoud Abbas] and even [PLO founder Yasser] Arafat, and bring about change that Hamas is afraid of.”
A source in the movement’s institutions said last week that the departure of Ra’am from the coalition would oblige its leader to rethink his continued political activities.
“Mansour Abbas is working on the one hand to prevent talk of the destruction of the State of Israel and to dry up the sea where extremists want to drown the Jews, but on the other hand he is determined to prevent the Israeli government from violating the rights of Muslims in Israel and throwing even one Arab into the desert,” he concluded.