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Netanyahu to restrict entry of Arab-Israelis to Al-Aqsa in Ramadan

February 19, 2024 at 2:15 pm

A view of Dome of the Rock as the surroundings of the mosque stays empty due to Israeli forces continue to impose restrictions on Palestinians from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on February 16, 2024. [Mohammad Hamad – Anadolu Agency]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to restrict Palestinian citizens of Israel accessing Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan, Channel 13 reported yesterday.

The decision was reportedly made following pressure from far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and against the advice of security agencies who said this could cause the situation on the ground “to explode”.

Israel has already limited Muslim access to the holy site for prayers, in particular on Fridays, since 7 October. It now looks set to limit numbers during Ramadan.

Israel increases its attacks on Al-Aqsa during Ramadan, raiding the Muslim holy site as Muslims take part in night prayers.

While far right settler groups have previously called for incursions into Al-Aqsa ahead of Jewish holidays, including Passover which is due to be held at the end of April.

Read: Will there be another confrontation in Al-Aqsa Mosque this Ramadan?