With the escalating tensions between Israel and Palestine, it’s not surprising that many of you are interested to learn more about it.
Thus, we’ve put together a handy piece with everything summarized for you.
6 May 2021 – Protest over the Israeli Supreme Court’s decision to evict four Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem.
This court decision is highly controversial due to the fact that the neighbourhood in question is part of the West Bank that Israel currently controls under unrecognized annexation and military occupation…
…much like how Russia is currently occupying part of Ukraine, though to much more furore and condemnation, plus some additional sanctions, from the international community.
There’s also the fact that Israeli settlers have been pushing rather aggressively to settle in these occupied Palestinian territories, resulting in violent assaults and property damage, despite multiple calls from the UN to stop the evictions immediately.
Some settlers were reported to have been spotted openly carrying assault rifles and revolvers.
Of course, it didn’t help at all that the far-right Israeli lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir, who visited Sheikh Jarrah just prior to the clash, declared that “the houses belonged to Jews and told police to “open fire” on protesters.”
The protest quickly escalated and violent fights broke out between Jewish and Palestinian protesters.
7 May 2021 – Israeli police raided the compound of the al-Aqsa Mosque
Dubbed as “the Farthest Mosque”, the Al-Aqsa Mosque is a major Islamic holy site and is one of the third biggest holy sites in the religion.
The mosque is close to the Second Temple, which is the holiest site in Judaism, as well.
Unfortunately, the location has always been a flashpoint for conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.
7 May also happens to coincide with Laylat al-Qadr, a significant day in Islam, and Jerusalem Day in Israel.
Apparently, the reason why the Israeli police stormed the compound is to cut the cables to the loudspeakers at the mosque.
They are concerned that the broadcasted call to prayer would drown out President Reuven Rivlin who was speaking at the Western Wall.
This begets the question, why couldn’t they just hold their speech during a time when there aren’t any prayers?
A march by far-right Jewish nationalists was planned for this day as well, but was thankfully cancelled.
The resulting conflict between Israeli police and the Palestinian worshippers at the mosque caused more than 300 people injured, the majority of which are Palestinians.
However, the Palestinians did get a minor, temporary win from this – the Supreme Court ruling was eventually delayed for a month due to an attempt to reduce tensions.
10 May 2021 – Palestinian militant groups, namely Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, started firing rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip.
In the name of “retaliation”, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad launched 130 rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip.
Although most of the rockets were destroyed by Israel’s Iron Dome rocket defence system, some of the rockets managed to hit a few homes and a school.
Israel responded by firing rockets of its own, hitting several apartment buildings and a news office building.
The rockets-and-airstrikes-driven to-and-fros killed at least over 100 Palestinians, including 31 children, and 7 Israelis, including 1 child.
The clash also resulted in over 300 Palestinians and 200 Israelis injured.
Arab rioters in Lod also escalated the issue by throwing stones and firebombs at Jewish homes, a school, a synagogue and a hospital.
12 May 2021 – Civil unrest increase in various areas, mostly in cities with large, mixed Arab and Jewish populations.
Near the Egged Square in the city of Acre, a Jewish citizen in his 30s was in critical condition after he was attacked by an Arab Israeli mob, armed with stones and sticks.
In Lod, a Jewish man was reportedly stabbed by an Arab Muslim near a mosque as stated by a Magen David Adom staff.
In Bat Yam, Tel Aviv, Jewish extremists smashed Arab-owned businesses and attacking passers-by who looked like Arabs.
An Arab-looking motorist was even grabbed and beaten up on live TV.
15 May 2021 – The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) targeted the Al Jalaa building where Al Jazeera and Associated Press journalists are housed.
This led to an uproar in the media community with Gary Pruitt, the CEO of the Associated press, stating that the news agency was “shocked and horrified that the Israeli military would target and destroy the building housing AP’s bureau and other news organizations in Gaza.”
The IDF claimed that the media building contained “Hamas military intelligence”.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “It was not an innocent building.”
Featured Image: Roman Yanushevsky / Shutterstock.com