Metal Detectors Aren't A Security Measure
Israel has been using the pretext of security to
quietly continue the ethnic cleansing of
Palestinians from their land.
By Diana Buttu
thousands of Palestinians came to
perform the most simple, most peaceful act:
prayer. Palestinians - Muslims and Christians,
women and men, young and old - prayed in the
streets after refusing to enter through the new
metal detectors and barricades erected by Israel
in front of the
compound. Israeli forces, armed with live
ammunition, stun grenades, sound bombs, water
cannon and tear gas, came prepared to kill.
And they did: by the day's end Israeli forces
and armed settlers
had killed three
young Palestinian men and
injured more than 450 others,
some of them very seriously. Israeli forces even
raided a Palestinian hospital in an attempt to
arrest those injured by their weaponry.
claims that the metal detectors are necessary
for Israel's "security" following an incident
last week in which two armed Israeli officers
were killed. These metal detectors are not about
security, but rather about deliberately
attempting to bar Palestinians from their places
of worship. Contrast, for example, Israel's
recent stance towards the Temple Mount Faithful
- a group of Jewish extremists who have openly
announced that they seek the destruction of the
al-Aqsa compound in order to build a Jewish
temple in its place.
while openly advocating for the ethnic cleansing
of Palestinians and the destruction of Muslim
holy sites, the Israeli government continues to
allow this group to enter the al-Aqsa compound
(including with arms) under the guise of
"freedom of religion".
In 1990, this group attempted to lay a
cornerstone for a Jewish temple at the compound
triggering protests in which some
20 Palestinians died.
demand for freedom of religion for Palestinians
- the ability to worship without the
interference of Israel's armed forces - is
conveniently ignored. The metal detectors must
be viewed in their proper context: as another of
Israel's settler-colonial acts of erasing us,
the indigenous population, erasing our homes,
our culture and our religious sites and
replacing us with settlers.
For his part, Israeli PM
Benjamin Netanyahu is
happy to see Jerusalem erupt in violence. Facing
investigation for a submarine scandal, Netanyahu
is refusing to remove the metal detectors so as
to ensure that attention is deflected from this
deal and instead focused on violence. You see,
in Israel, "security" sells - it ensures votes
and ensures that corruption charges are
clear, no Palestinian wants to see their holy
sites turned into places of armed conflict. But
using the guise of "security", Israel has
ensured that we, Palestinians, live as prisoners
in our homeland.
In the name of "security," Israel expropriates
Palestinian land. In the name of "security",
Israel builds Israeli-only settlements on stolen
Palestinian land. In the name of "security"
Israel demolishes Palestinian homes and schools
and in the name of "security" Palestinians are
Gaza, forced to
live without electricity, adequate medical
supplies or water and even barred from accessing
when Palestinians are gunned down by mass
murderers, as they were in the 1990s in Hebron
by Baruch Goldstein, in the name of "security",
Palestinians - and not Israelis - are subject to
increased security restrictions. In short,
Israel seeks to turn Jerusalem into Hebron:
blocked off from Palestinians, with convenience
for Israeli Jews taking precedence over
Palestinian rights. So as Israel continues to
gun down Palestinians, who will provide security
This security will not come from the current
unelected Palestinian leader,
who spent four days in
Palestinians were barred from accessing al-Aqsa
compound and as Gazans suffered under a siege
that he has openly supported. Nor, of course,
will it come from a silent international
community that only knows how to wring its hands
and meekly condemn Israel.
Palestinians will continue to bravely stand and
defend themselves, bowing down only to the God
they worship and never to Israeli diktats.
Buttu is a Palestinian lawyer and analyst who
served as a legal adviser to the Palestinian
negotiating team from 2000 to 2005.
This article was first published by
views expressed in this article are solely those
of the author and do not necessarily reflect the
opinions of Information Clearing House.