Towards the end of Ramadan, there have been repeated riots in East Jerusalem in recent days. In addition to local failures on the part of the authorities, longer-term and more extensive developments have also contributed to the current escalation.
First of all, the fundamental political constellations naturally stand in the way of peaceful coexistence between the city’s different religions. In East Jerusalem in particular, Palestinians have to contend with considerable restrictions, most significantly in the area of home ownership, where Muslims are systematically disadvantaged, if not indirectly expropriated.
But there are also considerable conflicts within the Palestinians. For example, Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, has overturned the elections he announced would remain in office. This was received angrily, especially by Hamas, which is in power in the Gaza Strip. In response, they have increasingly sent rockets into Israel and called on residents of the West Bank to also carry out attacks on Israeli citizens. Since Abbas has always distanced himself from the use of terrorist methods, current events also attack his position.
Internationally, it is now Turkey that is increasingly supporting the Palestinians in their cause and whose rhetoric towards Israel is becoming more and more aggressive. In addition to this growing support from Ankara, however, Israel’s current weakness is also likely to be a contributing factor. Although the country’s effective vaccination policy has made it one of the global leaders in the fight against corona, the fourth election in two years has not been able to produce a stable government. Also, since Trump’s ouster and Biden’s new strategic orientation, support from the US has been noticeable, and the new rapprochement attempts between Saudi Arabia and Iran are a result of this.
So today, many are once again looking to Jerusalem and hoping that the conflict will not escalate further.