In a chilling Facebook post on Friday, a day before the attack, Muhannad Halabi, 19, a resident of Ramallah and law student at Jerusalem’s al-Quds University, wrote: “According to what I see, the Third Intifada has erupted. What is happening to al-Aqsa [mosque] is what is happening to our holy sites, and what is happening to the women of al-Aqsa is what is happening to our mothers and women. I don’t believe that our people will succumb to humiliation. The people will indeed rise up.”
Halabi’s Facebook wall exposes a youth highly aware of the political tensions surrounding the Temple Mount, and deeply enraged by what he perceived to be ill treatment of Palestinian women activists on the site by Israeli police, also known as Murabitat, the self-appointed female “guardians” of the Temple Mount, who routinely heckle and intimidate Jewish visitors to the site.
Commenting on a video of Israeli policemen arresting a Palestinian woman on Temple Mount on Wednesday, Halabi wrote: “Oh God, look at the situation we’ve reached. This is completely unreasonable. Anger, anger and more anger. Wake up from your slumber and save al-Aqsa. Let the revolution erupt.”