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May 26, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 9985

In Advance Of Israel's Jerusalem Day And Planned Flag March, Palestinians On Social Media Urge Masses To Mobilize In Jerusalem To Prevent The March With Their Bodies And Blood, Call For Attacks, Threaten Renewed Rocket Fire From Gaza

May 26, 2022
Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 9985

As in 2021, in advance of Israel's Jerusalem Day (set for May 29, 2022), which marks the unification of the city under Israeli sovereignty, and the Flag March held on this day, the Palestinian factions, headed by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), threatened an escalation of violence and a "religious war." Hamas officials declared that Jews "flooding" the city, an "invasion of Al-Aqsa" and "the holding of Talmudic rituals" there would cross a red line and lead to renewed rocket attacks from Gaza, and even to a new round of fighting in a "Sword of Jerusalem 2" campaign that would be a continuation of the May 2021 round of Hamas-Israel conflict, which Hamas calls "Sword of Jerusalem."

In speeches for the anniversary of the Sword of Jerusalem campaign, Hamas and PIJ officials called on the murabitoun[1]  to be on full alert, and stressed that they would prevent the holding of the Flag March by any means necessary. They declared that the Palestinian resistance is prepared on every front, and is ready for jihad and martyrdom to defend Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa and liberate all of Palestine.[2] In a May 23 address, Hamas spokesman in Jerusalem, Muhammad Hamada, exhorted the Palestinians in Jerusalem and the West Bank, as well as Israeli Arabs, to mobilize and come to Al-Aqsa on May 29 to hold afternoon prayers there and thwart "the plans of the settlers and the occupations."[3]

The PA Presidency, for its part, issued a statement warning against holding the "provocative" Flag March and about the implications of "the ruling of the Israeli occupation's Magistrate Court that permits the settlers to perform Talmudic rituals at Al-Aqsa."[4] It too called on the Palestinian people "to oppose the [Israeli] attacks" and stressed that Jerusalem would remain the eternal capital of the Palestinian  state.[5]

Palestinian Mufti Muhammad Hussein likewise issued a statement in response to the Israeli Magistrate Court's ruling, saying that "Al-Aqsa Mosque belongs to the Muslims alone" and that the Palestinians were willing to sacrifice everything they hold dear, no matter what sacrifices are required.[6]

Calls to confront the Flag March also appeared on social media, under many hashtags, including "The storming of Al-Aqsa will not be allowed," "Jerusalem is a red line," "Al-Aqsa is a red line," "the Flag March will not pass," "Al-Aqsa is in danger,"  "the Sword of Jerusalem will not be  return to its sheath," "Palestine is waiting" and "time is running out," among others. Many Palestinian social media users posted messages and graphics urging the masses to come to Jerusalem on May 29 to prevent the Flag March by all means, even at the cost of bloodshed. Some Twitter and Facebook accounts called on the Palestinians to carry out shooting, ramming and stabbing attacks on the day of the march. Some also posted operative proposals for fighting the Israeli security forces and the Flag March participants, suggesting to attack them with rocks, paint cans, wooden pallets, water drums and shoes, or shoot fireworks at them. Others warned that the Flag March would lead to the renewal of the rocket fire from Gaza, and posted pictures and videos of rocket attacks.

This report presents the Palestinian messages and incitement on social media ahead of Jerusalem Day and the Flag March set for May 29, 2022.  

Calls to Come To Jerusalem For "A Day Of Rage And Revolution" On May 29 And Prevent The Flag March

Many messages and graphics posted to social media called on Palestinians from the West Bank and from Jerusalem itself to gather in the city and prevent the holding of the Flag March.

A message tweeted May 24 by an account called "Alquds Global Week," which was widely circulated, urged the masses to come to Damascus Gate on May 29, saying: "The young protest movement invites you to gather and take part in the great youth protest in occupied Jerusalem, to prevent the so-called 'Flag March' on Sunday, May 29, 2022. We meet near Damascus Gate."[7]   

A graphic posted May 23 by the Twitter account "Martyrdom Seeker" said: "Al-Aqsa is calling you, heed the call."

Another tweet on this account said: "May 29: A day of revolution and rage against the occupation and its settlers." [8]

Some of the tweets encouraged the Palestinians to prevent the Flag March with their bodies and even their blood. An account called "I Love the Al-Qassam [Brigades]," whose profile picture features Muhammad Deif, commander of Hamas' military wing, the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, posted a graphic saying, "Block Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa with your bodies."[9] 

The "Hamas Fida'i" Twitter account posted a graphic saying, "We shall confront the Flag March with our blood."[10]

The "Abu 'Obeida" account tweeted on May 23: "Consolidate your presence and continue your ribat [deployment on the front lines]. Participate in the morning [protest titled] 'Your Flags Will Not Fly' on Sunday, May 29, 2022. #AtYourCommandAl-Aqsa."[11]

Another account, @Rama_al_20, posted a graphic saying, "Calls to participate in the 'Your Flags Will Not Fly' morning [protest] at Al-Aqsa next Sunday, May 29."[12]

@Abumajd1993 tweeted in both Arabic and Hebrew warning against flying the Israeli flag in Jerusalem.[13]

A graphic posted on the "Juman Daughter of Gaza" account shows an armed PIJ fighter against the backdrop of Al-Aqsa, and is captioned "Our Al-Aqsa, Not Your Temple!"[14]

Incitement To Carry Out Terror Attacks, Operative Advice For Violent Action

In addition, many social media posts urged the Palestinians to carry out terror attacks, and some provided operative advice for confronting the Israeli forces and the march participants, recommending specific methods and means.

In inciting messages on his social media accounts, Gazan artist 'Alaa Qadouha, a Hamas supporter, called to  carry out attacks in order to stop the Flag March. On May 23 he uploaded a video in which he and another man propose several ways to do this: with stabbing, shooting and ramming attacks, and by hitting settlers on the head with an axe. Later in the video footage from past stabbing and ramming attacks is shown.[15] In another video, uploaded on May 25, Qadouha and a companion explain to two masked Palestinians that it is paramount to stop the Flag March on May 29. They give one of them a machine gun and instruct him to use it and "not leave anyone [alive]." The other masked fighter is given a knife and told to use it after carrying out a ramming attack. The two also explain that it is also necessary to throw firebombs.[16]  

The "Youth Newspaper" Twitter account shared a video showing footage of recent terror attacks in Israel, with a voiceover of an April 30, 2022 speech by Hamas' leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, in which he called for attacks using firearms, knives and axes.[17] The video was posted with the hashtags "Al-Aqsa is a red line" and "At your command, Al-Aqsa," and with a quote from the same speech by Sinwar: "Oh people of the [West] Bank and Jerusalem, do not wait for orders from anyone [before carrying out attacks]."[18]  

Another video circulated by the same account, showing further footage of the terror attacks and their perpetrators, was posted with the message, "Strike at your enemy, do not be afraid."[19]

A Facebook post by "Momen M. Abu Mery" discusses the moves that must currently be taken "to prepare for the liberation and the coming campaign." These include cleaning one's firearm and purchasing plenty of ammunition. A hundred and fifty bullets are not enough, he stresses. Whoever does not have a firearm should get hold of a butcher's knife or some bricks, he advises.[20]

Gazan user "A. Baher Jawdat Al-Agha" posted a graphic saying: "Oh heroes of the West Bank and the occupied interior [i.e., Israeli Arabs], pull out your various weapons and defend Al-Aqsa."[21]

Fatah's official Facebook account also posted several messages in the recent days justifying the use of arms against Israel. One, from May 25, justified the use of arms "to regain all of the Palestinian land, from the river to the sea."[22]

A video uploaded to this account the same day shows uniformed members of the Palestinian security forces who carried out attacks against Israel. It was posted with the message: "In the morning they are security apparatuses, and in the evening they are fida'i [apparatuses]."[23]

A post uploaded to Fatah's official page on May 26 quoted an old comment by Fatah Central Committee member 'Abbas Zaki in which he urged "the gunmen to unite on the ground for the sake of Palestine."[24]

The "Al-Qastal" Twitter account, which follows events in Jerusalem, posted a series of tweets in the recent weeks calling on Palestinians to prepare various weapons and means for attacking Israelis. On May 17 it suggested gathering large wooden pallets to throw at the Israeli soldiers, and posted a video showing such an attack.[25]

In several tweets on May 19 it again listed items that can be used to "confront the occupation," including rocks, water containers, wooden pallets and chairs. It wrote: "Here are [some] means for confronting the occupation [that are available] in Jerusalem: Rocks – the oldest [means of] confrontation, easy to use and require no training or guidance, easily available. Paint [cans] – obscures the view [of the drivers] of the occupation vehicles… Empty water bottles – even thrown at random they are sure to have an effect. Shoes – a well-aimed kick that squarely hits the target. Water drums – a light-weight weapon that rolls and knocks down [whoever it hits]. Wooden pallet – a very effective [weapon] if dropped from above. Chairs… . Fireworks – a surefire way to confuse [the enemy]."[26]   

Facebook user HaSan Said Qamhia, from Nablus, posted a video showing Palestinians dropping a wooden pallet and a large water drum on Israeli forces from a rooftop, and wrote gleefully: "They delivered a painful blow. You can watch [this] video a hundred times without getting bored."[27] User "Mohammad Abu Elsebah (Abo Omar)" posted a similar message calling to target the Israeli forces with water containers, wooden pallets and other items, and added cartoons showing this.[28] 

A graphic circulated by the "'Izzat Jamal" Twitter account, posted with the hashtags "Al-Aqsa is a red line" and "the Flag March will not be pass," presented "means for defending Al-Aqsa against the defilement of the settlers: shooting fireworks, dropping rocks from the rooftops onto the marching settlers, writing resistance slogans on the walls, holding marches in support of Jerusalem, wearing scarves over the face to frighten them, standing fast against the attempts to Israelize Jerusalem, [and] using cold arms against the settlers in side streets." The graphic was posted with the message "Do not sit [idly]!!"[29]

User "Abu 'Obeida" tweeted on May 25 that the Flag march is expected to be attended by some 40,000 people, and called "on the young men of the [West] Bank, Jerusalem and the Interior [i.e., Israeli Arabs]" to attack the marchers with fireworks, firebombs, explosive charges, barrels, rocks and chairs, and carry out ramming and shooting attacks against them. He added, "Sow terror in their hearts and teach them a lesson if the march is held!"[30] 

"Al-Fida'i" posted a graphic saying: "Oh son of the [West] Bank, be the terror of the settlers. Vehicle ramming, stabbings and the knife are your weapons."[31]

Threats Of Rocket Attacks And A Second "Sword Of Jerusalem" Military Campaign

Many of the social media posts threatened that holding the Flag March would lead to rocket fire from Gaza and to the launching of another round of fighting there, which some of them called "Sword of Jerusalem 2," one year after the previous round of fighting in Gaza in May 2021, which Hamas calls the Sword of Jerusalem campaign.

Fayez Abu Shamala, a Hamas-affiliated Gazan journalist, tweeted on May 23 in Arabic and Hebrew: "To our Israeli enemies: Prepare for Sunday, May 29! The Flag March in Jerusalem means rockets on Tel Aviv! Prepare yourselves, we are preparing!"[32]  

"Abu Malik Al-Filastini" tweeted pictures of rockets, with the text, "Time is running out. May 29. #The InvasionWillNotBeAllowed, #Palestine is waiting for men. Al-Aqsa is in danger."[33] 

Twitter user 'Essam Ramiz shared a video showing members of Hamas' military wing, the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, firing rockets. The video begins and ends with a caption saying "Al-Quds called us and we heeded the call." The accompanying message says, "Amid the rounds of gunfire and the blazes of rocket fire, the general headquarters commander issued a decision to defend Jerusalem with a sword that will not return to its sheath. [Our] love for Al-Asa will bring fire blazing down from the skies and will completely pulverize the enemy's strongholds."[34]

The "Multinational Revolutionary" Twitter account posted a picture of rockets waiting in tunnels, captioned "The rocket metro of the Al-Quds Brigades [the PIJ military wing], #SwordOfJerusalem."[35]

@HidayaMoh1 tweeted on May 24 under the hashtag "The Sword of Jerusalem will not return to its sheath": "The Flag March threatens to create an explosion and start the 'Sword of Jerusalem 2' campaign."[36]   

User Muhammad Khalil Ibrahim tweeted a picture of rocket launchers and text threatening Israel with "hell."[37]

@VerifgEgN tweeted, "Will Sunday see 1111 [rocket] launches [as Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar threatened in his April 30, 2022 speech], hitting all of occupied Palestine?," and added a short video of rockets being fired.[38]

Maryam Al-Issy from Gaza suggested that rockets should be fired before the march, which will lead to its cancelation. She tweeted: "A single rocket [launched] from Gaza before the invasion [of Al-Aqsa] will cancel [the invasion], Allah willing."[39]

 

[1] Literally "fighters on the front lines," a reference to groups of Palestinian activists at Al-Aqsa compound who maintain a constant presence there to protest and prevent the entry of Jews. 

[2] Palinfo.com, jehad.ps, May 22, 2022.

[3] Felesteen.com, May 23, 2022.

[4] This refers to the Jerusalem Magistrate Court's May 22, 2022 ruling that Israelis who had prostrated themselves and intoned a prayer during a tour of Temple Mount had not committed an offence of threatening public order that justified their arrest. The judge cited comments by Israel's police commissioner that the police would ensure freedom of religion for the members of all faiths in Jerusalem. He stressed, however, that the ruling was not meant as a sweeping decision about freedom of worship but pertained only to the specific incident. On May 25, Israel's District Court overturned the ruling after the police appealed it.   

[5] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), May 22, 2022.

[6] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida "> (PA), May 23, 2022.

[7] Twitter.com/WeekPAL, May 24, 2022.

[8] Twitter.com/TAlshhad, May 23, 2022.

[9]Twitter.com/AlqsamAshq, May 24, 2022.

[10] Twitter.com/AhmadAh97666591, May 24, 2022.

[11] Twitter.com/Abu_Obeida0, May 23, 2022.

[12] Twitter.com/Rama_al_20, May 23, 2022.

[13] Twitter.com/Abumajd1993, May 24, 2022.

[14] Twitter.com/palestine1990i, May 24, 2022.

[15] Facebook.com/alaa.gaduoha2022, May 23, 2022.

[16] Facebook.com/alaa.gaduoha2022, May 25, 2022.

[18] Twitter.com/majala_Shabab, May 24, 2022.

[19] Twitter.com/majala_Shabab, May 24, 2022.

[20] Facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006141940558, May 24, 2022.

[21] Twitter.com/baheralagah1, May 25, 2022.

[22] Facebook.com/officialfateh1965, May 25, 2022.

[23] Facebook.com/officialfateh1965, May 25, 2022.

[24]  Facebook.com/officialfateh1965, May 26, 2022.  

[25] Twitter.com/AlQastalps, May 17, 2022.

[26] Twitter.com/AlQastalps, May 19, 2022.

[27] Facebook.com/hsqamhia, May 17, 2022.

[28] Facebook.com/muhmed.la.ser, May 17, 2022.

[29] Twitter.com/3zJamal, May 24, 2022.

[30] Twitter.com/AhmadAh97666591, May 25, 2022.

[31] Twitter.com/aboahmad927, May 23, 2022.

[32] Twitter.com/fayez2013851, May 23, 2022.

[33] Twitter.com/IbadiPalestine, May 22, 2022.

[34] Twitter.com/Essam_Ra_Fa, May 22, 2022.

[35] Twitter.com/CRM2dKeQTqrjWbA, May 23, 2022.

[36] Twitter.com/HidayaMoh1, May 24, 2022.

[37] Twitter.com/Muhammadaklou, May 23, 2022.

[38] Twitter.com/VerifgEgN, May 25, 2022.

[39] Twitter,com/Maryam8787, May 25, 2022.

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