The Fatah movement, headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, published several cartoons on its Facebook page encouraging Palestinians to carry out car attacks against Israelis for the sake of the Temple Mount. The call for such attacks comes amid an upsurge in incidents of Palestinian terrorists driving vehicles deliberately into groups of Israelis in Jerusalem, with four Israelis killed in the past two weeks.
One of the cartoons, labeled the “Run Over Organization,” or “Da’es” in Arabic (a play on words on the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State terrorist group, “Da’esh”), calls on adherents to “hit the gas at 199 [km/h] for al-Aqsa,” the mosque on Temple Mount.
Another post encourages Palestinians to “Run over, friend, run over the foreign settler!”, the Palestinian Media Watch group said.
Another animated image shows three Jews, in black and with a Star of David on their hats, running for cover as a car bearing the colors of the Palestinian flag tries to slam into them.
The cartoons were posted amid increased tensions in Jerusalem after two vehicular terror attacks against Israelis in the past two weeks.
On Wednesday, Shuafat resident Ibrahim al-Akary, 48, plowed into pedestrians at a light rail station along the seam-line between East and West Jerusalem, killing a border policeman and a 17-year-old yeshiva student and injuring a dozen others.
A similar hit-and-run attack took place two weeks earlier at an adjacent train station along the seam-line when another East Jerusalem man, Abdelrahman al-Shaludi from Silwan, drove his car onto a platform, killing two people, including a three-month old baby girl, and injuring several more. Both attackers were killed by police.
The Facebook posts, published Thursday, follow a particularly contentious cartoon published on the official page of the Palestinian Authority National Security Forces depicting an Israeli soldier about to “rape” a woman representing the Dome of the Rock.
In the cartoon, a woman wearing a Dome of the Rock hat languishes in a prison cell, while a large-nosed IDF soldier stands outside with his pants unzipped, saying “Come on, sweetheart.”
The caption reads “Daily cartoon: Al-Aqsa is being raped,” the Palestinian Media Watch group said.
Tensions have been rising at and around the Temple Mount in recent months, with Palestinians frequently clashing with police in protest against Jewish visitors to the compound and some right-wing Israeli politicians calling for Jews to be allowed to pray there. Israel has barred Jews from praying at the Temple Mount compound, revered by Jews as the site of the biblical temples, since it captured the Old City of Jerusalem in 1967.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for calm and restraint and pledged not to change the status quo at the site, holy to both Jews and Muslims.
The compound was closed to all visitors on Thursday last week following the attempted murder Wednesday of right-wing activist Yehuda Glick, who campaigns for Jewish prayer at the site, by a Palestinian from the Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Tor. Abbas called the closure “a declaration of war.”
Just days before the attempted assassination, Abbas submitted a request for an emergency meeting in the UN Security Council about the situation on the Temple Mount. He had earlier joined Hamas in calling for Palestinians to defend the site.
AFP contributed to this report.