Jul 25, 2021
JERUSALEM WEATHER

The horrific scenes of violence in Jerusalem this week as Jews were attacked in the capital’s streets are evidence of Arab youths acting as “Allah’s hand,” Fatah has said.

Posting to Facebook earlier this week, Fatah shared a video featuring footage of Arabs kicking a Jew on the ground, Arabs ‎assaulting an ultra-Orthodox Jew, and other scenes of riots and fires in the ‎streets, over which a narrator commented: “There is an uprising ‎and intifada in Jerusalem.”

As the violent scenes played on, the narrator continued: “The uprising over ‎sovereignty over the capital has turned into a fire spreading from alley ‎to alley, and from refugee camp to refugee camp… Calls sounded, ‎and they were stronger than the whistling of the occupation’s bullets.”‎

But Fatah is apparently determined to upgrade the recent violence into a religious war. In two posts on its official Facebook page, Fatah declared the Arabs committing the violence to ‎be “Allah’s hand.”

The first, an image of the Dome of the Rock flanked by Fatah’s yellow flags, included the text: “We are Allah’s hand that will restore Jerusalem’s status.” The image carried the tag: “The Fatah Movement; The Commission of Information and Culture‎.”

(Image courtesy PMW)

The second, posted two days later, also featured the gold-clad Dome of the Rock alongside two Palestinians wearing the keffiyah headscarf associated with Palestinian nationalism, and bearing a Palestininan flag.

Text at the bottom of the image read: “We are Allah’s hand that strikes every usurper ‎and everyone who carries out normalization [with Israel].”

In both cases, the hashtag #There_will_be_no_[PA]elections_without_Jerusalem was used in the Facebook posts, tying the violence – and the religious fervor – to the slated PA elections.

Itamar Marcus, director of Palestinian Media Watch, explained: “PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, who is about to announce the cancellation of elections because his Fatah party is expected to lose to Hamas, needs to justify the cancellation. By inciting riots in Jerusalem and putting the blame on Israel he hopes to both package the cancellation of elections as an act in defense of Jerusalem, in addition to distracting the population from his trampling of democracy.”

Fatah Movement Central Committee member Tawfiq Tirawi has also weighed in on this messaging, calling the violence “a holy battle ‎that [Arab residents of Jerusalem] are fighting alone.”

According to a statement posted to his Facebook page, Tirawi “considered supporting them [the rioters], coming ‎to them, and participating with them in the battle to defend Jerusalem ‎and the holy sites an obligatory personal commandment (fard ayn)”.

The statement continued: “‎whoever shirks this [duty] is a mute devil who, with his silence and passivity, ‎allows the occupation to tyrannically rule the Palestinian residents of ‎Jerusalem, the holy city, and the holy sites.”‎

Tirawi further called the rioters Jerusalem’s “pure-hearted protectors” and its “true ‎defenders,” and repeated one of the PA’s excuses for the violence, claiming Israel ‎is “Judaizing” Jerusalem, “making it Israeli,” and “preventing its original residents ‎from enjoying freedom of worship” during the Ramadan.‎

Tirawi called on the “Palestinian forces and factions” to honor their duties toward ‎Jerusalem and called on all Arabs and Muslims to “act to save the holy city from the ‎clutches of the occupation and its colonialist occupying racist policy”:‎