Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:3AM
Palestinian Muslim worshippers run for cover as Israeli security forces fire to disperse crowds of demonstrators outside Lions' Gate, a main entrance to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem al-Quds’ Old City, on July 23, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Palestinian Muslim worshippers run for cover as Israeli security forces fire to disperse crowds of demonstrators outside Lions' Gate, a main entrance to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem al-Quds’ Old City, on July 23, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
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The situation remains highly volatile at the al-Aqsa Mosque complex in the Old City of the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds in the wake of the Israeli regime imposing new restrictions on Palestinian worshippers’ entry to the mosque. Press TV has asked Kevin Barrett, editor of the Veterans Today from Madison, Wisconsin, and Fredrick Peterson, a senior US congressional advisor from Richmond, Virginia, to express their thoughts on the fresh escalation between Palestinians and Israelis.

Kevin Barrett opined that as long as the occupying regime of Israel does not respect Palestinians’ basic rights for freedom of living and worshiping, there will be no prospect for peace and cessation of hostility.

According to the analyst, the so-called peace process “does not exist” and it is a “scam” by Israel to try to steal Palestine and expand illegal settlements in occupied territories.

“There will never be a two-state solution,” because Zionism is a “fanatical” and extremist movement, which allows “the Jews to shed blood” and steal the holy land from Christians and Muslims.

The commentator also criticized the Tel Aviv regime for defying international regulations when it comes to Palestinian rights.

“Israel is an occupying power and as an occupying power it has certain duties under international law and one of them is, of course, to end the occupation as soon as possible,” he noted.

A picture taken on July 7, 2017 shows a general view of construction work in Ramat Shlomo, a Jewish settlement in the mainly Palestinian eastern sector of Jerusalem. (Photo by AFP)

He also warned about the Israeli regime’s agenda to usurp Palestine and the whole region, noting that Prime Minister Benjamin “Netanyahu is obviously trying to provoke a wider war in the Middle East. The world needs to be on guard against that.”

According to Barrett, Israelis have “engineered” the propaganda that they are under constant threat in order to pave the way for their expansionist agenda.

The Israeli regime has attempted to change the demographic buildup of Jerusalem al-Quds over the past decades by constructing settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population.

Israel’s harsh policies against Palestinians have triggered daily clashes, which have left more than 300 Palestinians dead since October 2015.

The new tensions erupted on July 14 following a shooting outside the Haram al-Sharif which left three Palestinians and two Israelis dead.

Following the incident, Israel put up metal detectors and surveillance cameras at the entrances to the site. The move has angered Palestinians, who have been refusing to enter the al-Aqsa compound and holding mass prayers outside the site instead.

Meanwhile, Fredrick Peterson, the other contributor to the show, expressed support for the Israeli regime by justifying the tactics it uses as “self-defense.”

“Netanyahu is a head of state, who is surrounded by ... many who would like him and his state erased from the face of the earth,” Peterson said.

However, he admitted that Israel has “gone too far” in “self-defense” and caused “provocation” by employing heavy-handed tactics against Palestinians.

He further underlined that Muslims, Jews and Christians have the right to live in the sacred land (Jerusalem al-Quds).

Peterson proposed, “What we need is a genuine reaching for peace in that area,” not a Jewish peace and not a Palestinian peace but a world peace.