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Israel seeks to further restrict access to Al-Aqsa Mosque

Image of Israeli forces after having stormed into the Al-Aqsa Mosque on 28 June 2017 [Assabeel.net]
Israeli forces storm into the Al-Aqsa Mosque on 28 June 2017 [Assabeel.net]

Israelis are calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to review arrangements that allow Palestinians to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Following the shooting of three Palestinians after an alleged attack against Israeli occupation forces earlier today, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan called the incident “an extremely serious event which crossed all red lines.”

“The investigation is ongoing. We will need to re-evaluate all of the security arrangements on the Mount [Al-Aqsa Mosque] and its environs.”

Palestinians already face severe restrictions when visiting the mosque; men under the age of 45 are usually made to apply for permits in advance and visitors can be prevented from entering by Israeli soldiers stationed at the gates at any time.

Read: 3 Palestinians, 2 Israeli soldiers killed in clashes in Al Aqsa

Following the shooting, Israeli occupying forces have closed the mosque and cancelled Friday prayers for the first time since 1969, according to the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein.

#HandsOffAlAqsa

Deputy Defence Minister Eli Ben Dahan linked the attack to last week’s UNESCO ruling designating the Ibrahimi Mosque a Palestinian heritage site endangered by Israel, claiming the victory emboldened the alleged attackers.

He also called for the closure of the mosque to continue, justifying it as necessary for Israel to “bolster its rule and control” of the holy sites.

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