Israeli Arabs denounce police station, prefer stoning people unobstructed

Posted: March 16, 2009 by Jonathan Boyko in Israel, Israeli Palestinians, Palestinians
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Police officer protects civilian at the Western Wall compound from stone-throwing Palestinian crowds at the top of the Wall

Police officer protects civilian at the Western Wall compound from stone-throwing Palestinian crowds at the top of the Wall

Israel plans to build a new police station at the Western Wall compound. Well, it is not exactly new – it has been standing there for decades, but was destroyed few years back due to the fact that that the building was in an un-repairable condition. Now, however, Israel has found the funds to rebuild the structure – plan, which already has opposition:

Activists affiliated with the Islamic Movement in Israel are denouncing plans to build a police station in the Western Wall plaza, describing it as an attack on the nearby Aksa Mosque.

Now, look at this picture. Can you see many people there? That is where Israel plans to build the police station; it will be located at the backside of the compound, i.e. the by the left border of the picture. Can you see the golden dome at the background? That is the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Can you see there is a significant distance between the two? Besides, there is no way to reach the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound straight from the Western Wall compound (which you see on the picture) – you will have to walk the walkway you can see at the very right side of the picture.

I believe there is a particular reason for radical Muslim movements in Israel to oppose the rebuilding of the police station. Some of you may remember that in 2000, during the beginning of Al-Aqsa intifada, Palestinians used to throw stones from the higher-located mosque compound, to the lower-located Western Wall compound, hitting civilians and police officers trying to protect them. Constant presence of additional police forces (in addition to those already located at the entrances to the Al-Aqsa Mosque area) could hinder their efforts to kill several Jews from high up.

It should be noted that crime rate at the Western Wall is relatively high now, although we are talking about petty criminals. Pickpockets are common, and additional police personnel are required in order to stop attempts of robbery.

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