Tensions — and provocations — have risen for weeks.
Jordanian intervention recently defused a days-long sit-in by Muslims who heeded an earlier call, during the recent Jewish holidays, to come to defend Al-Aqsa against a reported call by Jewish settlers for their faithful to come to pray inside Al-Aqsa. A group of about 200 Palestinians slept and prayed inside, while Israeli forces threatened to arrest them when they came outside. Then, agreement was reached, and those inside departed quietly.
Today, after yet another call for the Muslim faithful to come to protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque, next to the Dome of the Rock on the mosque plateau known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif, the third most sacred site in Islam, the situation appears to be blowing up.
For days, it has been reported that preparations were being made (on both sides) in advance of a demonstration that was supposedly planned by Israeli “far-right extremists” to take place at Al-Aqsa on Sunday.
The feeling that there is incitement and provocation is inescapable — from elements on both sides.