Tension, conflict and tragic bloodshed are not rare occurrences in the Holy City of Jerusalem. Last week saw an escalation of all three as extensive rioting took place, instigated and incentivised by the Palestinian leadership. It is wholly regrettable that most people fail to see this incitement as an unyielding barrier to peace.  


Last week’s violence was a backlash to the Israeli government installing metal detectors at the Temple Mount — a site holy to both Jews and Muslims — with Fatah calling for a ‘day of rage‘.  This point, in itself, shows the absurd and incendiary nature of the Palestinian leadership as devices aimed at protecting human life are deemed as a contentious act of aggression. What’s even more absurd is that these installations occurred following the murderous terrorist attack at the Temple Mount in which two Israeli police officers were shot dead. Had the metal detectors been in place, this attack would not have been possible, and two innocent individuals would still be alive.

The idea that the metal detectors are an example of Israel extending their control over the site is wholly misguided and greatly misstates the purpose of such security procedures — which were the direct consequence of terrorism.  We should also not overlook the pertinent fact that Muslims in Israel have always had the right to freedom of religion, enshrined in Israel’s constitution and ingrained in society; one of the traits that makes Israel shine as a beacon of democracy in the Middle East.

We all know too well the need for metal detectors, whether it be at an airport or a large sporting event, a music gig or a religious site (the Western wall, parts of the Vatican, Mecca …). Why should the Temple Mount be any different? The answer is: it shouldn’t. In reality, it is absolutely ludicrous that the Palestinian leadership, which should be a partner for peace, spend their time condemning rational security procedures instead of condemning the barbarous terrorist attack that made it necessary.

Not only do they condemn such security procedures, they use it as propaganda to incite and incentivise violence — using it as a weapon of delegitimization against the Jewish state. This was sickeningly apparent on July 21 when a 19-year-old Palestinian brutally murdered three Israelis as the family gathered for their Shabbat meal — leading to widespread celebration in Gaza. He was going to, as disclosed by a Facebook post, ‘die for Al-Aqsa’. This savagery displays the nature of the Palestinian leaderships and many other leaders across the Arab world, such as the Turkish President Erdoğan; specifically, the gross distortion of facts, as metal detectors are turned into something that symbolises Israel’s aggression. Such unsubstantiated bombast leads to this horrific kind of attack.

The incentivisation of terrorist attacks is clear not only through distorted facts but also through the giving of large salaries to terrorists and their families; spending $300 million a year to reward them. Indeed, the attack on a family described above has resulted in the assailant’s family getting a salary of $3120 a month. Such poisonous, hate-fuelled policy is exceedingly pernicious and not the trait of a peace partner.

How can this incitement be stopped?

It is crucial that the international community recognises this and pressures the Palestinian authority into halting the incentivisation and glorification of terror. When the Palestinian authority use metal detectors as justification for spurring on riots, violence and killings, the international community should be outraged. Instead of calling for platitudinal calm, call out the Palestinian leadership’s horrific incitement and then, perhaps, we may move one step closer to peace.