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Pro-Palestinian demonstration near the Prime Minister's office in London, England. Wikimedia Commons

By Ken Bredemeier

Jews and Arabs have clashed for a century over the fate of Jerusalem. Tensions seem always to be near the surface in a city that is home to major religious sites sacred to Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

It is the Israeli capital. It would be the capital of Palestine should a separate Palestinian state be created, after decades of verbal broadsides between Israeli and Palestinian leaders and literal war in the streets.

For the Mideast, it is a story that has been told many times.

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Failed negotiations and endless recriminations are recorded on the Mideast ledger decade after decade. And now the world is watching as more painful history unfolds in an all-too-familiar scenario, as Hamas militants launch waves of missiles from Gaza toward Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and other Israeli cities while the Jewish state responds with deadly airstrikes that have leveled Gaza buildings.

Over 10,000 protestors marched in DC for Palestinians in Gaza. Wikimedia Commons

With Israel’s superior arsenal, the carnage inflicted by the country is perhaps not surprising. The precision strikes on specific Gaza buildings have killed 212 people, including at least 59 children, and wounded about 1,400, according to Gaza health authorities. Meanwhile, Hamas’ often haphazard rocket fire aimed at Israel, but sometimes not even landing outside Gaza, has killed at least 10 Israelis, according to Israeli authorities.

The Israeli attacks have drawn growing condemnation from across the world, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he has no plans for an immediate stop to the assault. He has vowed that Hamas will pay a steep price for its attacks.

Hamas has been in contact with the United Nations, Russia, Egypt, and Qatar as part of cease-fire efforts, but its top leader, Ismail Haniyeh, said it “will not accept a solution that is not up to the sacrifices of the Palestinian people,” according to the Associated Press.

The roots of the current fighting may date back to the 1948 founding of Israel, in the aftermath of Germany’s genocide of European Jews during World War II, or beyond, with Palestinians aggrieved about the loss of their Mideast homelands.

Protests against Prime Minister Netanyahu. Wikimedia Commons

Fight over Jerusalem

But the immediate conflict now seems specifically focused on Jerusalem. Palestinian protesters and the Israeli police have clashed in the streets for days in and around Jerusalem’s Old City, with several incidents triggering the Hamas missile strikes and Israeli bombing runs that followed.

Israel considers Jerusalem as its “unified, eternal” capital. It captured East Jerusalem, which includes the Old City, in the 1967 Mideast war, but Palestinians want those territories for any eventual Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem serving as their would-be capital.

A month ago, Israel moved to halt some Palestinian gatherings at the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The New York Times reported that on April 13, 27 days before Hamas fired the first rocket from Gaza, Israeli police brusquely moved into the al-Aqsa Mosque, considered the third-holiest site in Islam, and cut the cables to the loudspeakers that broadcast prayers to the Muslim faithful.

But the same day was Memorial Day in Israel, honoring the country’s war dead. The Israeli president was giving a speech at the Western Wall, a sacred Jewish site located below the mosque, and Israeli officials were said to be concerned that the Muslim prayers would drown out his address. The Temple Mount, where the mosque is located, is considered the holiest site in Judaism.

A Palestinian man runs away from tear gas during clashes with Israeli security forces in front of the Dome of the Rock Mosque at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, May 10, 2021. VOA

There were other immediate conflicts as well. Palestinian protests erupted over the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinian families from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah by Jewish settlers. As the conflict brewed, the Israeli Supreme Court delayed a decision on the dispute.

ALSO READ: What Are India’s Stakes In The Conflict Between Israel-Gaza?

With the clashes at al-Aqsa and the settlement disputes in Sheikh Jarrah, Hamas, which the U.S. and its Western allies consider to be a terrorist group, called for a new intifada, or uprising.

Rocket fire aimed at Israel soon followed on May 10. Some Arab countries that have close relations with Israel have condemned its attacks on Hamas-controlled Gaza, while Iran, Israel’s archenemy, has encouraged the Hamas attacks.

The U.S. and the European Union both deplore the violence. They have called on Hamas to stop its rocket attacks. They say Israel has a right to defend itself but also caution the country about the continuing carnage and the housing evictions. (VOA/KB)

(Israel news, Jerusalem country, Palestine, Palestinian state, Gaza, Hamas)


Photo by Pixabay

Upcoming medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh will be named after saints and sages

The new medical colleges being opened in Uttar Pradesh will be named after saints and sages.

The state government has issued an order naming four district hospitals that are being converted into medical colleges.

These district hospitals are in Bijnor, Fatehpur, Chandauli, and Siddharth Nagar.

The Bijnor medical college has been named after Mahatma Vidur, a philosopher during the Mahabharata era and uncle of the Pandavas and Kauravas.

The Chandauli medical college has been named after Baba Keenaram, said to be the founder of the Aghori sect.

The Siddharth Nagar district hospital will be called Madhav Prasad Tripathi Medical College after the BJP politician from the region. Tripathi, popularly known as Madhav Babu, was also the first Uttar Pradesh BJP chief. He was elected MP from Domariyaganj in 1977, besides being two times Jan Sangh MLA and also a member of the UP legislative council.

The Fatehpur hospital has been named Amar Shaheed Jodha Singh Ataiya Thakur Dariyawn Singh Medical College, after the freedom fighter of 1857.

It is said that he was among the first to use Guerrilla warfare against the British, as taught by freedom fighter Tatya Tope.

Meanwhile, according to official sources, the medical college in Deoria will be named after Maharishi Devraha Baba and the medical college of Ghazipur in the name of Maharishi Vishwamitra.

The medical college of Mirzapur will be in the name of Maa Vindhyavasini, the medical college of Pratapgarh in the name of Dr. Sonelal Patel and the medical college of Etah will be named after Veerangana Avantibai Lodhi. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Medical Colleges, Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, India, Politics

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Indian cricket team on the ground

Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has picked India as the favourite to win the ongoing ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Oman and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Inzamam feels that the Virat Kohli-led India have a greater chance of winning the trophy as the conditions in the Gulf nations are similar to the subcontinent, which makes India the most dangerous side in the event, according to Inzamam.

"In any tournament, it cannot be said for certain that a particular team will win' It's all about how much chance do they have of winning it. In my opinion, India have a greater chance than any other team of winning this tournament, especially in conditions like these. They have experienced T20 players as well," said Inzamam on his YouTube channel.

He said more than the Indian batters, the bowlers have a lot of experience of playing in the conditions. The Indian Premier League (IPL) was played recently in UAE and most of the Indian bowlers did well in that leg.

Inzy heaped praises on the Men in Blue for the confident manner in which they chased the target against Australia on a challenging track without needing Kohli's batting prowess.

"India played their warm-up fixture against Australia rather comfortably. On subcontinent pitches like these, India are the most dangerous T20 side in the world. Even today, if we see the 155 runs they chased down, they did not even need Virat Kohli to do so," he added.

Though he did not pick any favourite, Inzamam termed the India-Pakistan clash in the Super 12 on October 24 as the 'final before the final' and said the team winning it will go into the remaining matches high on morale,

"The match between India and Pakistan in the Super 12s is the final before the final. No match will be hyped as much as this one. Even in the 2017 Champions Trophy, India and Pakistan started and finished the tournament by facing each other, and both the matches felt like finals. The team winning that match will have their morale boosted and will also have 50 percent of pressure released from them," Inzamam added. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: India, Pakistan, Sports, ICC T20 World Cup, UAE.

Photo by Diana Akhmetianova on Unsplash

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man in white crew neck t-shirt Moisturising the body in the morning sets your skin up to face countless irritants and environmental factors during the day. | Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

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