Hundreds of Palestinians have received a threatening text message from "Israeli intelligence," warning them against participating in anti-Israel demonstrations, the Middle East Eye reported.
Over the last four days, Israeli forces used special equipment against Palestinian worshippers at al-Aqsa Mosque three times, which included tear gas, sound grenades, and rubber bullets, injuring dozens of people.
In the midst of the growing tensions, many people in the Old City have reportedly confirmed receiving threatening texts in the last several days.
“Hello! You have been identified to have taken part in violent acts at al-Aqsa Mosque. We will hold you accountable. - Israeli intelligence,” the message reads, according to shared tweets.
Many Palestinians are receiving this message to their phones.— mhmd krd (@m7mdkurd) May 10, 2021
You have been identified to have taken part in violent acts at Al-Aqsa Mosque. We will hold you accountable.
- Israeli intelligence.”
Israel likely using a GPS system, like the one for corona outbreaks. pic.twitter.com/aUKkPePMqU
A text message the shooter working with us received. It says “Hello, we’ve learned that you participated in the violent clashes at Alaqsa mosque. You will be held accountable. Signed: Israeli Intellgience.” Not sure if someone is trolling or it’s real. We tried calling, no answer pic.twitter.com/cxbtuExPRX— Lama Al-Arian (@lalarian) May 10, 2021
According to the report, some activists believe it is an effort to prevent Palestinians from visiting the mosque, which is one of Islam's most respected holy sites and has become a symbol of resistance.
All of the messages reportedly came from the same phone number, which did not answer those who tried to call it.
While Israel and Hamas are exchanging rocket fire, riots and ethnic clashes have erupted not only in East Jerusalem, but also in several other cities across the country. The riots have seen the burning of buildings, cars and attacks on civilians, with the mayor of the city of Lod urging Israeli authorities to send troops to the city, as the situation there was akin to "civil war."
Earlier in the day, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the events and violent clashes between Jews and Arabs in Israel's towns, saying that "nothing justifies it," and vowed to restore security and order in the country's settlements.