Itamar Ben-Gvir to Escalate at Al-Aqsa: What Does He Want from the Far-Right Government?

Fer-right Israeli politician Itamar Ben Gvir storms Al-Aqsa Mosque. (Photo: Ben-Gvir Twitter page)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Israel’s far-right Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben-Gvir is calling on the Israeli government to change the system and allow illegal settlers into Al-Aqsa around the clock.

Israeli Jewish settlers and extremists break into Haram Al-Sharif, the compound that hosts Al-Aqsa Mosque and other Palestinian holy sites in shifts: morning and evening. 

The only exceptions are Fridays, the holy days for Muslims, and Saturday, the holy day for Jews. 

This practice has been in place since 2003. 

Though for Israeli settlers and the police that facilitate their raids, the daily events are routine. For Palestinians, however, it can be deadly. 

Israeli Forces Brutally Assault Palestinian Worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque – VIDEO

Indeed, the raids have resulted in numerous violent clashes in the past and several popular uprisings. 

Now, Israel’s far-right Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben-Gvir is calling on the Israeli government to change the system.

The extremist minister on Tuesday called for allowing illegal settlers into Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in Occupied East Jerusalem around the clock, the Anadolu Agency reported.

On that same day, more than 500 settlers entered the flashpoint site, coinciding with the fourth day of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

Israeli Forces Storm Bab al-Rahma inside Al-Aqsa Mosque

The number was provided by the Islamic Waqf Department, which is left alone to protect the Muslim site.

Sukkot is a week-long holiday, which started on September 29 and will continue until October 6.

It is considered the ending of the season of Jewish holidays that started by observing the Rosh Hashanah (New Year) on 15 September.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz newspaper cited excerpts from a letter sent by Ben-Gvir to right-wing lawmakers in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) demanding open access to illegal Israeli settlers to the site.

In the letter, Ben-Gvir called on the Israeli security cabinet to convene at once to consider “opening the Temple Mount (Al-Aqsa Mosque) to Jews 24/7”.

WATCH: Palestinians Injured as Israeli Forces Attack Worshippers outside Al-Aqsa Mosque

The far-right Minister voiced hope that his proposal will be supported by ministers from the right-wing Religious Zionism Party of hard-line Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich.

Israeli police began allowing the settler incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in 2003, despite repeated condemnations from Palestinians.

Settlers are allowed into the Al-Aqsa complex on two shifts, morning and evening, except for Fridays and Saturdays.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the Temple Mount, claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Ben-Gvir at It Again: Extremist Minister Storms Al-Aqsa Mosque

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. 

It annexed the entire city in 1980, a move never recognized by the international community.

If Ben-Gvir’s request is supported by others, it will most likely result in strong Palestinian resistance, and yet more Israeli violence.


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