Well Israel and Hamas in Gaza are at it again with Israeli aircraft pulverizing buildings and Hamas rockets falling on Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Street fighting has broken out in Israel between Israeli Jews and Arabs as Israeli forces prepare for a ground invasion of Gaza.
So what sparked this latest round of fighting.
The city had been on edge for several weeks, with Palestinians first angered over the closure of a popular plaza just as Ramadan was beginning. last week a years-long legal battle to remove seven Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem appeared set to end with eviction.
The families have been living in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, just north of the Old City, since 1956 — in an arrangement brokered by the United Nations to find homes in Jordanian-controlled East Jerusalem for families who lost their property in what became the state of Israel in 1948.
So these families lost their homes when Israel was established.
An Orthodox Israeli ultra nationalist organization called Nahalat Shimon is using a 1970 law — passed after Israel gained control over East Jerusalem — to argue that the owners of the land before 1948 were Jewish families, meaning the current Palestinian occupants should be evicted and their properties given to Israeli Jews.
Palestinians contend that restitution laws in Israel are unfair because they have no legal means to reclaim the property they lost to Jewish families in the late 1940s in what became the state of Israel.
Nahalat Shimon ultimately aims to evict all Palestinians from the neighborhood land and demolish their homes as part of a new settlement project called Simon HaTsadiq that would see 200 settlement units built. The neighborhood is the frontline of a broader battle being waged by far-right organizations to expel Palestinians from the city generally and Judaize all of East Jerusalem.
The city was simmering on Eid, the end of Ramadan as 90,000 Arabs converged on the Al-Aqsa mosque, Israeli authorities stopped the busses and made everyone walk when the chanting began. Israeli law prohibits Jews from entering Al-Aqsa but settlers began entering. Rocks flew and Israeli troops eventually entered the mosque and fighting broke out.
All because right wing Israelis insist on ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem. and the Temple Mount and evict 7 Arab families who have lived there for more than half a century.
Now of course Israel is “defending itself.”
Ethnic cleansing is an internationally recognized war crime.