On September 28, 2000 Ariel Sharon, surrounded by hundreds of Israeli riot police, visited the Temple Mount, where the al-Aqsa Mosque is located. The mosque is part of the compound, and is widely considered the third holiest site in Islam. Very soon after, Palestinian demonstrations quickly outside erupted into rioting, which soon turned very violent: the Third Intifada was born.
My question is, “What motivated Ariel Sharon to climb atop the Temple Mount in the first place?
I want to understand why the prime minister chose to visit the Temple Mount, the third holiest site in Islam (and de facto under Israeli military occupation), when surely he knew this would inflame Palestinian anger, and quite possibly lead to another Intifada (as it did).
There are numerous digital sources available, especially in the Library of Congress database.
Sources: David A. Jaeger, et al. The struggle for Palestinian hearts and minds: violence and public opinion in the Second Intifada. National Bureau of Economic Research (Cambridge, 2008). [electronic resource]
Jaeger, David A, and Paserman, Daniele. The cycle of violence?: An empirical analysis of fatalities in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. (Bonn, 2005). [electronic resource]
Lawrence and Aaronsohn: T.E. Lawrence, Aaronsohn and the Seeds of the Arab-Israel Conflict Webcast (Library of Congress) – a video of Ronald Florence, speaking for 40 minutes, at the Library of Congress on 12/03/2007.