Israel may have made historic concessions during Ramadan, issuing vast quantities of permits to Palestinian Arabs entering Jerusalem's Temple Mount and the rest of Israel in an effort to create "goodwill," but apparently the gestures did the exact opposite.
The official Palestinian Authority (PA) daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, ran an op-ed by its columnist Taleb Al-Silwadi accusing Israel of making the unprecedented concessions, granting direct buses to the Temple Mount and extreme ease of access to the rest of Jerusalem and Israel, for no other reason than to take money from Arab consumers.
The article urged Muslims to visit Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount "every day, with all our strength, if we are able to do so," and was published late last month before being translated and revealed by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) on Thursday.
As for reasons why to visit the mosque, the PA columnist said the visits should be an opportunity to counter the Israeli "scheme" of allowing Arabs into Jerusalem so as to sell them goods and make money off them.
"In the month of Ramadan, when our footsteps crave the mosques, let us come to the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque every day, with all our strength, if we are able to do so – for the enemies of Allah from among the Children of Zion wish, through their cunning schemes, to open new channels for their economy, by opening the gates of Jerusalem," wrote Al-Silwadi.
"However, we are those who support the economy of our people and its homeland, and this is an opportunity for us to pray in the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque."
Elsewhere in the article, the PA columnist said the mosque located on the Temple Mount – the holiest site in Judaism – has needed Muslims "to stand by its side" when "the corruptors defiled it, caused devastating corruption (a term used about Jews in the Koran – ed.), desecrated its honor and sanctity, and killed, attacked, and spilled pure blood."
The accusations are particularly ironic given the frequent violent Arab rioting and persecution of Jews at the holy site, which remains under de facto Jordanian Waqf control; the Waqf has forbidden Jews from praying at the site, despite Israeli freedom of worship laws.
Regarding the Ramadan concessions, just several days after the Muslim month began several of the concessions were scaled back as a response to the wave of lethal terrorist attacks that accompanied Ramadan. Muslim Arabs also abused the freedom of movement to harrass Jewish women on Tel Aviv beaches.