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US slams far-right Israel Minister's storming of Al-Aqsa complex

January 3, 2023 at 4:29 pm

The US, on Tuesday, criticised Israeli National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, for storming Al-Aqsa Mosque in Occupied East Jerusalem, Anadolu News Agency reports.

The far-right Minister stormed the mosque complex early Tuesday with settlers under police protection, a day after he announced he was postponing the visit due to warnings of unrest.

The US Embassy in Israel said that Ambassador, Thomas Nides “has made it very clear in discussions with the Israeli government that the status quo must be maintained at Jerusalem’s holy sites. Actions that prevent this are unacceptable.”

Ben-Gvir’s visit was massively condemned by Palestinians as an “unprecedented provocation”.

READ: Jordan condemns Israel Minister’s visit to Al-Aqsa complex in Jerusalem

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa is the third holiest site in the world. Jews, on the other hand, refer to the area as the Temple Mount because two Jewish temples were located there in ancient times.

Ben-Gvir holds far-right views of the Palestinians and has called for their expulsion.

He has repeatedly joined Israeli settlers in storming the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem.

The far-right politician also caused a wave of escalation in the Occupied city after he set up an office in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.

Last November, Israeli President Isaac Herzog warned in a leaked audio clip that “the whole world is concerned” about Ben-Gvir’s extremist views.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, and annexed the entire city in 1980, a move never recognised by the international community.

READ: Jerusalem’s Islamic council warns Israel ‘militarising’ Al-Aqsa Mosque