Palestinians Get Into Wild Brawl At Al-Aqsa Compound

(Photo by ABBAS MOMANI/AFP via Getty Images)

Andrew Jose Contributor
Font Size:

Pro-Hamas and pro-Fatah Palestinians fought each other Sunday evening at the Al Aqsa Mosque Compound on Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital city.

The Sunday evening confrontation is one of several clashes between the rival groups in Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories as support for the militant group Hamas is growing among Palestinians in east Jerusalem — which has traditionally been mostly pro-Fatah — the Jerusalem Post reported.

Journalist Suleiman Maswadeh of Kan, Israel’s state-run media outlet, shared a video on Twitter showing scenes of the brawl on Temple Mount.

The video shows Fatah supporters standing on the steps to the al-Aqsa Mosque, waving flags adorned by the face of late former Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat, who died in 2004. The men chanted, “we are the people of Abu Amar (Arafat).”
The demonstration eventually resulted in clashes with Hamas supporters, who have been instigating violence and disorder on the Temple Mount during the past few weeks, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Another confrontation between supporters of the terrorist group Hamas and the political party Fatah occurred on Friday when pro-Hamas Palestinians reportedly disrupted a sermon at the Al Aqsa Mosque delivered by Palestinian Authority (PA) affiliated Mufti Sheikh Mohammed Hussein.
The disruptors were reportedly unhappy that the mufti did not mention the events in Gaza in his sermon.
Later that evening, Hamas supporters called for overthrowing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, a Fatah member, according to a video published by Middle East Eye.

Hamas is a Sunni Islamic, fundamentalist, Islamist, and Palestinian nationalist militant group. The faction, which rules Gaza and maintains a significant presence in Judea and Samaria — also known as the West Bank — is considered a terrorist group by the United States, Israel, Japan, and several other countries. 

Hamas’ armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, regularly clashes with Israel, with the most recent conflict between the terrorist group and Israel stretching across the last two weeks. Hamas leaders have claimed that the group receives support from Iran and Qatar, according to the Times of Israel.

Fatah, formally known as the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, is a social-democratic, Palestinian nationalist political party. Israel and the United States considered Fatah a terror group until it formally renounced terrorism. It is the largest faction of the PLO and played a major role in establishing the PA, whose current President Mahmoud Abbas is a Fatah member.

Both Fatah and Hamas will be contesting in the now-postponed Palestinian elections. Though it fails to win in armed confrontations with Israel, Hamas has seen a gradual increase in the support it receives from Palestinians due to its efforts in violently engaging with Israel, according to the BBC.