This morning I woke to news that three Palestinians had been killed at Aqsa Mosque after allegedly shooting two Israeli police officers dead.
The Israeli occupation immediately locked down the Mosque, preventing worshippers from praying the Jumah prayer there, blocked all entrances, and set up checkpoints at the entrance to the Old City.
Closing the mosque, which is supposedly under the protection of Jordanian King Abdullah, is a blatant provocation, unheard of since 1967.
The closure, that is – provocations are a daily occurrence.
It brings to mind June 2014, when the discovery of the bodies of three Israeli settlers led to a widespread and violent crackdown in the West Bank, escalating in severity until Palestinians eventually responded. The 50 days of military horror that followed in Gaza killed hundreds of women and children, in an extended series of war crimes and crimes against humanity that remain unpunished to this day.
It is hard to see what worse the Israeli occupation could subject Palestinians to – administrative detention that sees hundreds of women and kids jailed with no charge, along with members of parliament, youth – in fact, anyone who happens to be Palestinian… Beating of Palestinians daily, under any pretext, or none…. Shooting of peaceful demonstrators…. Demolition of the homes of family-members of ‘convicted killers’ (while the families of convicted Israeli killer settlers suffer no such retribution) or anyone whose house an Israeli wants…. Burning of babies, like Ali Dawabsheh…Burning of teenagers like Mohammed Abu Khdeir… Torturing to death innocent detainees, like Arafat Jaradat – and scores more just like him….
But I am sure they will find something even more horrific to visit upon the true owners of Palestine – they always do.
The only questions we in Gaza are asking today are “What next?” and “When?”