Violence on Temple Mount comes during convergence of Holy Seasons

Toronto, ON - JSpaceCanada is deeply concerned following last night’s violent raid of the Al Aqsa Mosque by Israeli forces. The recent raid on several hundred Palestinian worshippers during Ramadan follows calls for worshippers to barricade themselves in the Holy Site, reportedly in preparation for provocative Jewish visits to the mount on Wednesday, Passover eve.

Israel police report over 350 Palestinians being arrested at the Al Aqsa site, and the IDF reports that Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is responsible for the barrage of rockets fired at Israel from Gaza in response. JSpaceCanada unequivocally condemns indiscriminate rocket attacks by PIJ and other militant groups and supports Israel’s right to defend its citizens.

“As Jews around the world prepare to celebrate Passover, a celebration of our freedom, we are horrified to see the images of Israeli forces violently confronting Palestinians worshippers during Ramadan,” said JSpaceCanada Board Chair Joe Roberts, “We call upon all parties to restore calm. We must use the lessons of Passover to work towards the liberation and sovereignty of all peoples.”

Calls to worshippers come in response to threats from Jewish fundamentalists of performing an animal sacrifice on the Temple Mount in an attempt to assert authority over the Holy Site. It comes during a time of increased tensions following the recent deal between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir, who has been convicted of incitement to racism.

That deal saw Netanyahu pause his pursuit of the anti-democratic Judicial Reform legislation in exchange for creating an Israeli National Guard under Ben-Gvir. Many have characterized the proposed National Guard as an anti-Arab Militia if led by Ben-Gvir, who has been known to display a portrait of convicted terrorist Baruch Goldstein, perpetrator of the 1994 Cave of the Patriarchs massacre, in his home.

“Once every 30 years or so, Passover, Easter and Ramadan coincide,” said Roberts. “We must take this once-in-a-generation moment of holiness to recommit ourselves to a peaceful, just and negotiated two-state solution.”