Tuesday, September 14, 2021

There is a phrase that is seen often in Palestinian Arabic media, especially around this time of year: "Under the pretext of Jewish holidays."

Ma'an wrote on Monday, "The Israeli occupation forces, on Monday evening, restricted Jerusalemites, especially those residing in and around the Old City, under the pretext of the Jewish holidays and to facilitate the settlers' storming of the Old City and the Al-Buraq Wall [Kotel]."

Al Wafd, Wafa and many others headlined, "On the pretext of Jewish holidays, Israel closes the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron to [Muslim] worshipers."

Al Quds, last week: "Gaza: Israel's closure of commercial crossings under the pretext of Jewish holidays worsens economic conditions."

El Balad: "On the pretext of days of repentance, settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque, instigated by 'temple groups.'"

They don't mention that Egypt and Jordan close crossings on holidays. They don't mention that for every day the Cave of the Patriarchs is closed to Muslims, there is one day it is closed to Jews for Muslim holidays.

The wording makes it appear that they think that Israel uses the holidays as an excuse to make Palestinians suffer.

Indeed, that is exactly what they think. 

An Al Jazeera reporter interviewed Palestinians and "experts" about the fact that there are so many Jewish holidays during the week this month. 

The specialist in Israeli affairs, Ismat Mansour, describes the closures, which are carried out under the pretext of Jewish holidays, as a ritual of restricting the Palestinians and disturbing their lives on security grounds, although the situation today is closer to calm. There are no commando operations and no security tension, according to what the occupation describes. Despite this, the closure has become a reality, according to Mansour.

The problem with the Jewish holidays - according to Mansour - is that they are many, and the closures may extend for long days, as happens on the Passover holiday, in which the closure extends for a week, as well as the way the celebrations become against the Palestinians and their sanctities.

In addition to this, the national holidays, especially the Independence Day, are considered a history of the catastrophe for the Palestinian people.

Mansour believes that the Jewish holidays for the Palestinians are occasions of restrictions, closures, sieges and incursions by settlers, which are often reinforced by the occupation police and army, and these incursions may be a spark for confrontations and arrest.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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