Attacks between Israel and the Palestinian militias of Gaza differ on this occasion from previous clashes: the trigger for this escalation of violence has been Jerusalem, where a series of factors and mobilizations have come together that have reopened the causes of the conflict.

The extension of the protests to Arab communities in Israel, of Palestinian origin; clashes between civilians; and the focus placed on the mobilization of a Jerusalem neighborhood, in the occupied east, for the possible eviction of Palestinian families in favor of Jewish settlers reflect different dynamics that are yet to be defined.

These are the keys:


The anti-aircraft alarms that sounded this Monday for the first time since 2014 in Jerusalem by the firing of rockets from Gaza, and the Palestinians gathered at the Damascus Gate celebrated with applause, they followed an ultimatum from the strip: that the Israeli Police release the detainees in the consecutive riots of these days and withdraw from two areas Keys to Occupied East Jerusalem.

The Seij Yarrah neighborhood, the focus of growing protests, and the Esplanade of the Mosques, where the Israeli Police intervened twice in less than two days and led to heavy clashes with the faithful that left more than 500 injured.

The armed wing of the Islamist movement Hamas, which de facto controls the enclave, claimed the launch of the first projectiles towards Jerusalem, which were followed by more than 200 more shots by different Palestinian militias.

A “red line” for Israel, a “breach of the rules of the game”, for analysts, which Hamas maintained with the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which had achieved relative calm on the border.


Shortly after the first rockets were fired, riots resumed in occupied East Jerusalem, with new clashes on the Esplanade of the Mosques, and protests spread through the Arab cities of northern Israel, where during the early morning demonstrators burned cars and containers and threw stones. More than 100 were arrested and a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship was shot dead by a Jewish Israeli.

Netanyahu acknowledged being in a “struggle that has spread to several fronts: Jerusalem, Gaza and other parts of the country.”


In the strategic Jerusalem neighborhood, close to the Old City, seven Palestinian families with 58 members have court orders for the eviction between May and August of homes whose pre-1948 property is claimed by Jewish settler organizations. It is a long judicial process based on a law whereby Jews can claim their homes in East Jerusalem, but Palestinians cannot claim the properties they had before the creation of the State of Israel in West Jerusalem.

Opposition from the neighborhood, where Palestinian refugees from 1948 live and where evacuation orders were already enforced in 2009, encouraged a movement of protests. They denounce the displacement of Palestinians in the eastern area, annexed by Israel and where more and more Jews live every day, considered settlers by the international community.

Dozens of young Palestinians have been joining the residents’ mobilizations every night for weeks, which have ended with heavy police charges and arrests.


It was also young people who led the protest movement at the Damascus Gate, the entrance to the walled city, when Israel fenced off the steps at the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan and prevented residents from sitting down to have tea and coffee in the traditional meetings after the fast.

The constant protests and riots that only increased the tension led Israel to back down and open space. However, the youths continue to gather there since then every night in intense clashes with the Israeli Police.

The growing Palestinian presence at the Damascus Gate also led to Israel to retreat and change the route of the so-called Jerusalem Day, in which mostly young Israeli ultranationalists celebrate every year in the Old City what they consider the reunification of Jerusalem: the Israeli capital, including the occupied part.

The succession of these events has expressed discontent among the Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, most of whom do not have Israeli citizenship and denounce the eviction and demolition policies that this sector of the population lives in the city.

Which some already call “The battle of Jerusalem”, The Arab populations of Israel, original Palestinians and descendants with Israeli citizenship.

Today the focus is on Gaza, where at least 22 Palestinians have died, nine of them minors, but the new dynamics of the city seem to determine a new episode in the endless face-to-face between Israelis and Palestinians, which these days not only it reflects in the political leadership but among the population.

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