Saturday, August 23, 2003

SHARON RE-DO
Israel has decided to re-open Jerusalem's Temple Mount, better known as the Dome of Rock or Haram al-Sharif.

Israeli Minister of Public Security Tzachi Hanegbi said the reopening proved Israel was not intimidated by the bus bombing. "Jews and Christians, or anyone who is not Muslim" should be allowed in, he said. Sources said the decision was made by Israeli authorities in conjunction with Muslim religious leaders, all of whom hope the reopening will spur tourism, which has been in decline. But some Muslims fiercely reject the right of Jews to visit the site.
What happened last time a "non-Muslim" visited the site? On September 28 2000, Ariel Sharon made a visit to the site with 1,000 policeman, which led to the start of the second Intifada, or the al-Aqsa Intifada, with violent clashes between policeman (who used clubs and live bullets) and rock-throwing Palestinians.

Revisiting history? Looks like it. Three Israeli right-wingers are planning to visit Haram al-Sharif. Expect pictures like this:

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