Israel’s far-right nationwide safety minister Itamar Ben Gvir on Tuesday visited the Jerusalem compound often called the Temple Mount by Jews and the Haram al-Sharif or Noble Sanctuary by Muslims, in a transfer that drew worldwide condemnation.
Videos revealed on Israeli media confirmed Ben Gvir strolling by the compound surrounded by Israeli police.
Tensions are excessive over the flashpoint advanced, which is the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam. It incorporates the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the site of the destroyed first and second Jewish Temples. Only Muslims are allowed to wish on the advanced beneath a decades-old settlement; Ben Gvir believes that Jews ought to have the precise to wish there, too.
Palestinians instantly objected to the go to.
“We strongly condemn extremist Ben Gvir’s storming of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, and we consider it an unprecedented provocation and a serious threat,” the Palestinian Foreign Ministry mentioned in an announcement. “We hold (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu responsible for its consequences on the conflict and the region.”
Ben Gvir entered the compound on Tuesday however not the Al-Aqsa Mosque constructing itself. The lawmaker’s go to was his first since he was sworn in final week as nationwide safety minister, in what is about to be essentially the most right-wing authorities in Israel’s historical past. It is led by Netanyahu, who has returned for his sixth time period as prime minister on the head of a coalition that features a number of extremist events.
Ben Gvir, the chief of the far-right Jewish Power (Otzma Yehudit) get together, has beforehand been convicted for supporting terrorism and inciting anti-Arab racism. As nationwide safety minister, he oversees police in Israel in addition to some police exercise within the occupied West Bank.
Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that runs Gaza, warned that Ben Gvir’s go to can be a “precursor for the ignition of the region” and it will likely be “pouring fuel over fire.”
“The Israeli government of which I am a member will not surrender to a vile murdering organization,” Ben Gvir responded in a tweet. “The Temple Mount is open to everyone and if Hamas thinks that if it threatens me it will deter me, let them understand that times have changed. There is a government in Jerusalem!”
Under the so-called established order settlement relationship again to Ottoman rule of Jerusalem, solely Muslims are allowed to wish contained in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, and non-Muslims are allowed to go to the advanced solely at sure instances. Israel and different states agreed to keep up established order entry to those holy websites after Israel captured them within the 1967 battle.
Some spiritual nationalist Jewish teams have been demanding entry to the Temple Mount space for Jewish prayer. There have been a number of cases of Jewish guests conducting prayers on the compound, sparking outrage from Muslim authorities and compelled removals by Israeli police.
Visits by Israeli political figures have traditionally preceded intervals of violence between Israel and Palestinians. The conservative Israeli opposition chief Ariel Sharon’s go to to the advanced in September 2000 contributed to the beginning of the Second Intifada, a yearslong Palestinian rebellion towards Israel.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid criticized Netanyahu over the go to, calling him “weak” for entrusting the “most irresponsible man in the Middle East to the most explosive place in the Middle East.”
In a tweet, Lapid referred to as the go to a “provocation that will lead to violence that will endanger human life and cost human lives,” and mentioned that it’s time for Netanyahu to inform Ben Gvir, “you don’t go up to the Temple Mount because people will die.”
The go to additionally drew a refrain of worldwide criticism.
The UAE “strongly condemned the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard by an Israeli minister under the protection of Israeli forces,” in an announcement with out mentioning Ben Gvir by identify.
The Gulf nation has been making an attempt to keep up its help for the Palestinians whereas balancing its newly shaped partnership with Israel. The nation has issued previous condemnations, significantly over occasions that increase rigidity over the holy websites in Jerusalem.
Egypt’s overseas ministry “warned of the negative repercussions of such measures on security and stability” and referred to as “on all parties to exercise restraint and responsibility and refrain from any measures that would inflame the situation.”
Jordan condemned Ben Gvir’s go to within the “strongest” phrases, calling it “a flagrant and unacceptable violation of international law, and of the historical and legal status quo in Jerusalem and its sanctities.”
Jordan’s monarchy has been the custodian of Jerusalem’s holy websites since 1924 and sees itself because the guarantor of the spiritual rights of Muslims and Christians within the metropolis.
The 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation additionally issued an announcement holding Israel accountable for the repercussions of “aggression” towards Palestinian folks.
A US embassy spokesperson mentioned: “Ambassador (Tom) Nides has been very clear in conversations with the Israeli government on the issue of preserving the status quo in Jerusalem’s holy sites. Actions that prevent that are unacceptable.”
The British consulate in Jerusalem mentioned in an announcement on Facebook that it was “concerned” by Ben Gvir’s go to and mentioned it “remains committed to the status quo.”
In a tweet in regards to the site Tuesday night, Germany’s ambassador to Israel, Steffen Seibert, warned towards “actions that could increase tensions.”
The chief of the Iran-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah mentioned the go to won’t solely trigger unrest in Palestinian territories “but may ignite the entire region.” In a televised speech Tuesday, Hassan Nasrallah additionally acknowledged Hezbollah doesn’t worry Israel’s new right-wing authorities. “It’s composed of freaks and crazy people,” he mentioned.
Netanyahu insisted Tuesday that his authorities was not in search of to alter the principles on the site. “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is committed to strictly maintaining the status quo, without changes, on the Temple Mount,” an announcement from his workplace mentioned.
“We will not be dictated to by Hamas. Under the status quo, ministers have gone up to the Temple Mount in recent years, including Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan; therefore, the claim that a change has been made in the status quo is without foundation.”