Every year, there is an uptick in Palestinian incitement leading up to the High Holidays and Passover. This is what happened before last Rosh Hashanah – and this led to violent confrontations at the Temple Mount, followed by an escalation of violence in the West Bank. The videos and messages released in recent weeks point to a gradual resumption of Palestinian incitement, after a time in which it has subsided in recent months. This incitement is a calculated to arouse tensions with the goal of reaching a peak next month during Passover.
Hamas issued an official statement titled "al-Aqsa will remain the primary source of inspiration for the young avengers of the Jerusalem intifada". The Hamas statement called for all Palestinians and Israeli Arabs to "rally around the al-Aqsa Mosque and protect it from the mass invasion". In addition, they threatened that the youth of the intifada will not yield to Israel's attempts to "create a reality in which Palestinians are denied entry to the Temple Mount to pray."
Moreover, in recent days, a short documentary was posted to social networking sites claiming that Israel is carrying out underground excavations in Silwan towards the Mughrabi Gate, and from under the al-Aqsa Mosque. One of those interviewed in the film is the head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Raed Salah, accusing Israel of carrying out secret excavations. Salah calls on "stopping the Israeli attacks on the al-Aqsa Mosque", and even called on the Jordanian government to launch a media war against Israel to reveal the "Israeli aggression" against the mosque. Another example of incitement is the publication of the picture of right-wing activist Yehuda Glick on his visit to the Temple Mount, with his image circled in red as if he were a target.
It should be noted that last year Israeli police conducted numerous operations, covert and overt, in order to distance inciting groups and individuals from the Temple Mount. In addition to making the Islamic Movement illegal, those active in the Murabitun and Murabitat islamist activist groups were distanced and some were even placed in administrative detention.