Ayman Odeh, the leader of Israel’s Joint Arab List Party, called on Monday for a Palestinian uprising and praised Arab youth for their role in the recent violent clashes in Jerusalem.

Taking to Facebook to comment on the police decision on Sunday to remove crowd control barriers placed near the Damascus Gate in the Old City, Odeh published two posts, one in Hebrew and one in Arabic.

In Hebrew, Odeh’s post was harsh but in line with his familiar rhetoric. “This is not the first time the police and the government have acted violently, then tried to whitewash it before finally being caught in a lie,” he wrote.

“It is good that they removed the checkpoints at the Damascus Gate – they did nothing but sow violence and hatred. The price was paid by the residents of east Jerusalem, who will continue to fight against the occupation’s oppression and discrimination.”

In Arabic, however, Odeh opted for a much more fiery tone: “The occupation backed down in the face of the youth of Jerusalem and removed the barricades at Bab al-‘Amud [Damascus Gate]. This was the same occupation that backed down in the face of the youth of Jerusalem and removed the metal detectors from the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Odeh was referring to an incident in 2017, when Israel erected metal detectors at the entrance to the Temple Mount after two Israeli police officers were killed by Palestinian gunmen in the Temple Mount complex. The Israeli move sparked Palestinian protests, and the metal detectors were taken down in July of that year.

With regard to the taking down of the barricades on Sunday, Odeh said, “This wonderful and honorable victory belongs to the youth of Jerusalem. These clashes are sometimes calm and sometimes erupt, and it will be so until the intifada comes and brings an end to the occupation and hoists the Palestinian flag over the Al-Aqsa Mosque, over the churches, and over the liberated gates of Jerusalem. We extend our greetings to the free people of Jerusalem.”

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.


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