The clashes erupted after Israeli authorities installed metal detectors at entry points to the site in response to a deadly terrorist attack there July 14. Many Muslims locally and around the world viewed the Israeli security measure as a bid to usurp control. Israel insisted the measure was meant only to prevent further attacks, and removed the devices less than two weeks later.
According to the Palestinian sources, tens of thousands of Muslim protesters received prepackaged meals along with notes in each one citing a quote attributed to 1979 Iranian Revolution leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini: “With the help of Allah, Palestine will be liberated! Jerusalem is ours.” The note also depicted the Dome of the Rock and the Palestinian flag.
According to reports in the Palestinian media, a non-governmental organization run by Iranian youth movements was in charge of distributing the meals. Arabic news sites affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps also pointed to Iranian NGOs as being behind the “supply of food to the heroes fighting for the liberation of the besieged Al-Aqsa mosque until victory is achieved over the Zionist occupier.”
Despite those reports, a senior official in the Palestinian security forces told Israel Hayom that such a large logistical effort could not have been single-handedly managed and funded by a youth movement.
“It is plainly obvious that the government in Tehran, by way of its long tentacles, was behind these efforts,” the official said. “This involves millions of shekels, and it appears that the Iranians have found a way to cash in on this and to make it clear to the Palestinians that Iran is taking care of them….The leaflet was included in every prepackaged meal and made it abundantly clear where it originated.”
(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org)