Jerusalem’s Haram al-Sharif: Crucible of Conflict and Control
This essay argues that Israel’s recent and recurrent violation of the status quo at Haramal-Sharif in Jerusalemis one critical episode in a decades-long series aimed at gaining control of the area. Starting in 1967, the conflict over control of the area has varied in intensity, as Palestinians fought hard to preserve their city’s national treasures, particularly, albeit not exclusively, its religious sites. While it has come at the cost of many Palestinian lives, the struggle has so far thwarted or derailed Israeli attempts to take over the compound. This paper also seeks to show that although tension in Jerusalem has reached the boiling point, the conflict is not merely a matter of who controls the contested area. Rather, it is the crucible of the much broader struggle for survival by Palestinians resisting almost fifty years of occupation. This essay was translated from the Arabic by Anny Gaul.