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The Three Weeks of Mourning in the Occupied Territories

The three weeks of mourning take place prior to the date in which the First and Second Temples were destroyed. These days symbolize the distress of the Jewish People and are mourning days until the 9th of Av which is a day of fasting. On the three Saturdays taking place during this time, the prayer at the synagogue include parts that deal with the punishments which the People of Israel are to expect for their sins.

In the 9 days preceding the 9th of Av day of fasting, religious and traditional Jews avoid actions that are joyous or superfluous, for example taking to the road when it’s not absolutely necessary – they mourn and remember the sins that brought about the destruction of the temple.

The violent colonists in the Occupied Territories, on the other hand, have exacerbated their criminal actions at this time, supported by the army that carries out government policy. Youngsters wearing prominent Jewish apparel such as very large skullcaps, long sideburns and extra long tassels were busy harassing, frightening and injuring helpless Palestinian communities.

These are some of the violent events taking place at the time:

‣ On July 18, 2023 the occupation forces invaded the village of Birin in Masafer Yatta, on the South Hebron Hills. They destroyed farmland, olive trees, and damaged water tanks.

‣ On July 19, 2023 in the Palestinian Jordan Valley, colonists prevented passage of a water tanker carrying water to a Palestinian community in 45-degrees-centigrade heat.

‣ On July 20, 2023, at night, colonists accompanied by the army invaded Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus in order to pray there. Bader Samer Ribhi Masri, 19-years-old, was killed by the soldiers’ fire.

Bader Samer Ribhi Masri

‣ On July 20, 2023, the day on which results of the Palestinian matriculation examinations are publicized, a day that is usually festive for the graduates, while they were celebrating with friends and family at At-Tuwani village in the South Hebron Hills (Masafer Yatta), the occupation forces arrived and arrested 4 Israeli activists present.

‣ On July 21, 2023 at Umm Safa, in a demonstration succeeding the Friday prayers, Mohammad Fouad Atta Al-Bayed was killed. Testimony of the events at Umm Safa details this in a separate item.

Mohammad Fouad Atta Al-Bayed

‣ On July 23, 2023, at a demonstration supporting the judicial reform and the government, protestors burnt a Palestine flag.

‣ On July 25, 2023, the occupation forces invaded the Nur Shams Refugee Camp, located inside Area A and under exclusive control of the Palestinian Authority, and caused extensive damage to houses and infrastructure.

‣ On July 26, 2023, colonist thugs helped by the army invaded houses in village in the South Hebron Hills, threatening their inhabitants and causing extensive damage indoors.

‣ On July 26, 2023, colonist thugs on ATVs invaded homes in the Qabbun community, made much noise and frightened their inhabitants.

Summing up, we might say that the policy of the current government in Israel, expressed by the conduct of colonist thugs with full support of the army, is ethnic cleansing, eviction of Palestinian communities from their homes in order to the messianic colonist movement to take over. This movement is very distant from original Jewish spirit. This includes permanent and intentional desecration of the Sabbath, as this is the time when the soldiers are less present on the ground. The spirit of the mourning days preceding the 9th of Av have turned into days of sowing destruction of Palestinian and Israeli societies.

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