Creating new perspectives since 2009

Israel opposition slams Ben-Gvir's storming of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa complex

May 22, 2023 at 3:22 pm

Leader of the Opposition Yair Lapid (F-R) attends the protest against judicial reform plans during a preliminary vote in front of parliament on February 13, 2023 in Jerusalem on February 13, 2023 [Saeed Qaq – Anadolu Agency]

Israeli opposition leader, Yair Lapid, on Monday slammed far-right National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir’s storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in Occupied East Jerusalem, Anadolu News Agency reports.

The far-right official forced his way into the flashpoint site, early Sunday, under Israeli police protection, in the second such visit since he joined the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu late last year.

Ben-Gvir then claimed Israel’s ownership of the complex in a video message from the Mosque’s courtyard.

“His duty is to ease the tension, but Ben-Gvir creates provocation, instead,” Lapid, the head of Yesh Atid (There is a Future) Party, told Israeli Army Radio.

READ: Israel is becoming Third World economy, warn 200 leading economists

Describing Ben-Gvir as Israel’s most controversial politician, Lapid, a former prime minister, said Ben-Gvir is “an irresponsible and fanatical man” who should not have been allowed to become a National Security Minister.

Ben-Gvir holds far-right views on the Palestinians and has called for their displacement. He has repeatedly joined Israeli settlers in storming the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in East Jerusalem.

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

Israel has allowed settlers into the Al-Aqsa complex almost on a daily basis since 2003, with the exception of Fridays and Saturdays.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents Islam’s third-holiest site. Jews call the area the Temple Mount, saying it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

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

READ: Israel: major newspaper publishes ‘Palestine must be obliterated’ article