Creating new perspectives since 2009

Israel army, domestic security service warn Al-Aqsa Mosque curbs in Ramadan to fuel tensions

February 27, 2024 at 4:19 pm

Palestinians arrive to perform Friday prayers near the Dome of the Rock of Masjid Al-Aqsa as the Israeli forces continue to impose restrictions during the 19th week in Jerusalem on February 16, 2024 [Mohammad Hamad – Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli army and domestic security service, Shin Bet, have warned that restrictions on Palestinians’ entry to the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque in Occupied East Jerusalem during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan will fuel tensions, Israeli local media reported on Tuesday, Anadolu Agency reports.

“The army and Shin Bet want to re-discuss the issue with (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu, in an attempt to change his position,” Israeli Army Radio said.

Last week, Netanyahu approved recommendations from his far-right National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, to restrict the entry of Palestinians living in Israel and Jerusalem into the Mosque during Ramadan, due to start next week.

According to Army Radio, security agencies will present Netanyahu with an assessment of the high risk of security deterioration in the West Bank.

“If this continues, it will be doubtful that Israel will be able to stop it amid fighting and deployment of forces in all areas,” it said, in reference to the Gaza Strip and border with Lebanon.

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

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims. 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, a move never recognised by the international community.

Israel has restricted access of Palestinians into the Al-Aqsa Mosque since the start of Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip on 7 October following a Hamas attack.

At least 29,878 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities, while nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed.

However, since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopters and tanks of the Israeli army had, in fact, killed many of the 1,139 soldiers and civilians claimed by Israel to have been killed by the Palestinian Resistance.

The Israeli war has pushed 85 per cent of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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