1990 Temple Mount riots

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The 1990 Temple Mount riots, also known as Black Monday[1] or the Al Aqsa Massacre,[2][3] was an event that took place in Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem at 10:30 am on Monday, 8 October 1990 before Zuhr prayer during the third year of the First Intifada. They began after a decision by the Temple Mount Faithful to lay a cornerstone at the site.[4] The riots resulted in the death of 17-23 and the injury of more than 150 Palestinians.[5] It was condemned by two UN Security Council resolutions.

Background[edit]

Tensions around the Temple Mount began much earlier than the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It has great religious significance for both Judaism and Islam. In Judaism, the temple mount is the site of the first and second temples, the first built by King Solomon and the second by Jews returning from Babylonian exile, both extensively written of in the Old Testament. The Koran does not mention either the Temple Mount, nor Jerusalem, but Mohammed is believed to have stopped over on one of his flights to Makkah, the Muslim holy site towards which all devout Muslims pray.[6]

For almost two thousand years Jews have yearned to return to the Temple Mount, though their ancient temples were destroyed and they were exiled from the area. Today the Temple Mount remains the holiest site in Judaism, and all over the world Jews always pray towards the Temple Mount.[7] After the Islamic conquest of Jerusalem, a mosque was built on the site of the ruins of the Temple. In Islam, the "Noble Sanctuary" as it is called, too has religious importance and is considered a symbol for Muslims all around the world where it was the first "kiblah" for Muslims before Makkah and the presence of the "Dome of the Rock" there which Prophet Muhammad's "Isra'a and Mi'araj" took place.

Jews were not able to return to the Western Wall or the Temple Mount until they regained sovereignty of this area in the 1967 Six-Day War. Since then, Israel has allowed control of the Temple Mount to remain with the Islamic waqf in order to preserve the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Under the law, there is to be freedom of access and religion, but all religious prayer except Muslim is banned.[8]

In this instance, there was tension between Palestinian worshipers and a religious extremist group known as the Temple Mount Faithful, who proposed to rebuild Solomon's Temple where the Al-Aqsa mosque now stands. According to New York Times, the Haaretz, as well as Palestinian Human Rights Groups, the Israeli supreme court had earlier barred the Temple Mount Faithful group, as well as all non-Muslims, from marching to the temple due to five attempts by the group to enter the al-Aqsa mosque in September.[9]

A year earlier, the Temple Mount Faithful had planned a demonstration in front of the mosque and Mayor Teddy Kollek of Jerusalem warned of a catastrophe[10] if the event occurred.

Events[edit]

According to the New York Times, a group of worshipers at the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem were killed by Israeli security forces. The Times account is as follows:

"Palestinians on the Temple Mount began throwing stones at Jews worshiping, on a religious holiday, at the Western Wall below. The only security forces present, 40 men from the paramilitary Israeli Border Police, used live ammunition on the Palestinians. They killed at least 21. There were no Israeli deaths.The Israeli Government claimed that the Palestinians brought the stones with them and staged the incident as a political provocation. The Temple Mount is a paved plain that usually has few if any stones. But at this time construction work did provide material for missiles. Zeev Schiff, the respected defense correspondent of the newspaper Haaretz, said the Palestinians began throwing stones only after mosques in the nearby village of Silwan announced through loudspeakers that Jewish extremists had come there. The extremists were from the Temple Mount Faithful, who proposed to rebuild Solomon's Temple where the Al-Aqsa mosque now stands. "[11]

The UN Security Council noted on the death of 20 Palestinian people and the injury of 150, including Palestinian civilians. Sources note between seventeen and twenty-three Palestinians were killed.[12][13]

International response[edit]

On October 10, The United States proposed a resolution, supported by the United Nations Secretary General, Javier Perez de Cuellar, to investigate the al-Aqsa incident and to report back to the Security Council promptly. which was by far the most critical of Israel introduced by the United States.[14] The UN issued the following resolution on October 12, 1990 referencing the event:

Res. 672 (Oct. 12, 1990) – “Expresses alarm at the violence which took place” on October 8, 1990, “at the Al Haram al Shareef and other Holy Places of Jerusalem resulting in over twenty Palestinian deaths and to the injury of more than one hundred and fifty people, including Palestinian civilians and innocent worshippers”, “Condemns especially the acts of violence committed by the Israeli forces resulting in injuries and loss of human life”, and “Requests, in connection with the decision of the Secretary-General to send a mission to the region, which the Council welcomes, that he submit a report to it before the end of October 1990 containing his findings and conclusions and that he use as appropriate all the resources of the United Nations in the region in carrying out the mission.”[15][16][17]

Israel ended up rejecting the resolution, saying it did not pay attention to attacks by rocks on Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall.[18] In turn, the UN Security Council unanimously backed UN Security Council Resolution 673 on Oct. 24, 1990 condemning Israeli rejection of the UN fact finding mission.

“Deplores the refusal of the Israeli Government to receive the mission of the Secretary-General to the region”, and “Urges the Israeli Government to reconsider its decision and insists that it comply fully with resolution 672 (1990) and to permit the mission of the Secretary-General to proceed in keeping with its purpose”.[17][19]

The Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar later decided to publish his report without dispatching the mission.[20]

Human Rights Watch condemned Israel's response to the riots in their Annual 1990 World Report.[21]

Israeli response[edit]

The Israeli Government claimed that the Palestinians brought the stones with them and staged the incident as a political provocation.[11] The Temple Mount is a paved plain that usually has few if any stones. But at this time construction work did provide some stones.[22]

Israel rejected the UN resolution condemning the incident and calling for investigation, saying it did not pay attention to attacks on Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall,[23] and that it was an interference in its internal affairs.[24] Israel refused entry to the mission, with Resolution 673 urging Israel to reconsider its decision.

On October 26, 1990, Israel issued a report concerning the violence and concluded that Israel police acted with prudence once it came under attack citing fear for the safety of policemen on Temple Mount. The report also had some criticism of the police for not assessing properly the situation and not being prepared with a larger force to deal with any eventuality.[18][25]

Human Rights Watch condemned the Israeli report on the incident as "only mentioning in passing the 'uncontrolled use of live ammunition' by police, giving scant attention to what should have been a central issue: the use of excessive force, including shooting into a crowd with bursts of automatic-weapon fire."[21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fabrico, Roberto (2 December 1990). "A City Divided: Jerusalemites once again have fallen victim to religious hatred and strife". Sun Sentinel (Sun-Sentinel.com). 
  2. ^ United Nations Commission of Human Rights (4 April 2001). "Summary Record of the 19th Meeting". Fifty-seventh session. United Nations. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  3. ^ Reiter, Yitzhak (2008). Jerusalem and its role in Islamic solidarity. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 127. 
  4. ^ Inbari, Motti (2009). Jewish fundamentalism and the Temple Mount: who will build the Third Temple?. SUNY Press. pp. 79–80. ISBN 978-1-4384-2623-5. 
  5. ^ "Resolution 672/673". United Nations. Retrieved 2008-11-08. 
  6. ^ Al-Aqsa Mosque
  7. ^ Leeper, J. L. (22 November 1903). "Remains of the Temple at Jerusalem". The Biblical World 22 (5): 329–341. doi:10.1086/473292. JSTOR 3140665. 
  8. ^ Kollek, Teddy (July 1977). "Jerusalem". Foreign Affairs 55 (4): 701–716. JSTOR 20039732. 
  9. ^ http://www.scribd.com/doc/30972259/Al-Aqsa-Report
  10. ^ Substantiated Claim.[ ABROAD AT HOME; The Israeli Tragedy by Anthony Lewis Published: October 12, 1990 Accessed: 7/15/2010 at http://www.nytimes.com/1990/10/10/world/mideast-tensions-us-presses-the-un-to-condemn-israel.html?scp=3&sq=palestine&st=nyt]
  11. ^ a b Substantiated Claim. [ ABROAD AT HOME; The Israeli Tragedy by Anthony Lewis Published: October 12, 1990 Accessed: 7/15/2010 at http://www.nytimes.com/1990/10/10/world/mideast-tensions-us-presses-the-un-to-condemn-israel.html?scp=3&sq=palestine&st=nyt]
  12. ^ http://sabbah.biz/mt/archives/2006/10/08/the-massacre-of-al-aqsa-mosque-october-8-1990/
  13. ^ http://www.jerusalemites.org/crimes/massacres/14.htm
  14. ^ Substantiated Claim [MIDEAST TENSIONS; U.S. Presses the U.N. to Condemn Israel By PAUL LEWIS, Special to The New York Times, The New York Times Published: October 10, 1990 Accessed: http://www.nytimes.com/1990/10/10/world/mideast-tensions-us-presses-the-un-to-condemn-israel.html?scp=3&sq=palestine&st=nyt]
  15. ^ *Text of Resolution at UN.org (PDF)
  16. ^ http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/UN/unres672.html
  17. ^ a b http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/01/rogue-state-israeli-violations-of-u-n-security-council-resolutions/
  18. ^ a b Cuéllar, Javier Pérez de (1997). Pilgrimage for peace: a Secretary-General's memoir. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 96. ISBN 978-0-312-16486-7.
  19. ^ Text of Resolution at UN.org (PDF)
  20. ^ Human Rights Watch (1991). World Report 1990 - An Annual Review of Developments and the Bush Administration's Policy on Human Rights Worldwide January 1991. Human Rights Watch. p. 480. 
  21. ^ a b HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH WORLD REPORT 1990 http://www.hrw.org/reports/1990/WR90/MIDEAST.BOU-04.htm#P361_86053
  22. ^ ABROAD AT HOME; The Israeli Tragedy by Anthony Lewis Published: October 12, 1990 Accessed: 7/15/2010 at http://www.nytimes.com/1990/10/10/world/mideast-tensions-us-presses-the-un-to-condemn-israel.html?scp=3&sq=palestine&st=nyt
  23. ^ Cuéllar, Javier Pérez de (1997). Pilgrimage for peace: a Secretary-General's memoir. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 96. ISBN 978-0-312-16486-7. 
  24. ^ Eur (2002). The Middle East and North Africa 2003 (49 ed.). Routledge. p. 40. ISBN 978-1-85743-132-2. 
  25. ^ 165 Summary of a Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Events on Temple Mount on 8 October 1990- 26 October 1990 26 Oct 1990 http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Foreign%20Relations/Israels%20Foreign%20Relations%20since%201947/1988-1992/165%20Summary%20of%20a%20Report%20of%20the%20Commission%20of%20Inqui

Coordinates: 31°46′34.45″N 35°14′8.08″E / 31.7762361°N 35.2355778°E / 31.7762361; 35.2355778