Intifada of the Citizen Journalist? Videos of Al-Aqsa Clashes Circulate Online

Published July 23rd, 2017 - 05:50 GMT
Palestinian demonstrators attempt the block the road ahead of Israeli police cars outside Lions' Gate, a main entrance to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, on July 22, 2017 (AFP)
Palestinian demonstrators attempt the block the road ahead of Israeli police cars outside Lions' Gate, a main entrance to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, on July 22, 2017 (AFP)

Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa has been the focus of clashes over the last week, as Palestinians protest security measures introduced by Israel and considered a threat to the status quo at the contested holy site.

Videos and photographs taken by ordinary individuals have dominated the social media coverage of events. 
 
Many contest that their footage represents the true picture of proceedings, one that is not being seen in mainstream media coverage.
 
One such example is a video purporting to show an Israeli soldier kicking a Palestinian praying on the street outside of Al-Aqsa complex. The video has been tweeted and retweeted multiple times including by British lawmaker Lord Nazir Ahmed.
Other videos of alleged Israeli brutality towards Palestinian protesters have circulated widely:
 
 
 
Three Palestinian protesters have died in clashes with police in Jerusalem and the West Bank since Friday, while 400 have been wounded. A Palestinian man stabbed three Israelis to death in the West Bank settlement of Neve Tsuf, north-west of Ramallah on Friday evening.
 
The violence erupted after Israel closed Al-Aqsa complex, also known as the Temple Mount, following the murder of two Israeli policemen in a shooting by three Palestinian attackers who were also killed.
 
The Israeli authorities reopened the flashpoint holy site after two days, however Palestinians refused to enter because of additional security measures that were introduced. This is because these were run by the Israeli Border Police, rather than the the Islamic Waqf, the body that controls the compound according to an agreement between Israel and Jordan, thus threatening the status quo since 1967.
 
Meanwhile, pro-Palestinian activists online have shared images of solidarity protests worldwide.
 
One incident in particular appeared across social media: a Christian Palestinian reportedly praying alongside Muslims unwilling to enter Al-Aqsa complex.
London
Turkey
Yemen
 
Jordan
Gaza
Denmark
 
Given the existence of pro-Palestinian activists in all corners of the world, social media journalism forms a key campaigning tool for them on an international level.
 
While the smartphone has served as a powerful means for making journalism more immediate and detailed, it can also create a distorted picture as unattributed footage whose content cannot be verified spreads across social media.
 
Some are already suggesting that this could turn ino a new "intifada" or uprising, similar to those beginning in 1987 and 2000. Could this be the intifada of the citizen journalist?

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