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Israel War Cabinet to withdraw powers related to Al-Aqsa Mosque from Ben Gvir

February 29, 2024 at 1:59 pm

Israeli Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben-Gvir (C) in Kiryat Malachi, Israel on February 16, 2024 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli War Cabinet has decided to withdraw the security powers over Al-Aqsa Mosque from the Minister of National Security in the occupation government, Itamar Ben Gvir, according to Israeli TV Channel 12, on Wednesday evening. They also decided not to impose special restrictions on the entry of Palestinian citizens of the 48 territories to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque during the blessed month of Ramadan.

This comes following warnings issued by senior officials of the Israeli police against pursuing the policy adopted by the Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben Gvir, at Al-Aqsa Mosque. They warned against imposing restrictions on the entry of worshipers to the holy sanctuary in Jerusalem during Ramadan, stating that this could lead to security tensions in Occupied Jerusalem and the historical cities in the areas of the 48 territories known in Israel as “mixed cities”.

The Channel had cited senior officers in the police leadership as saying that, if the government decided to comply with Ben Gvir’s demands, it could lead to “escalation of tensions in Jerusalem and the mixed cities”. The officers emphasised that the calm prevailing in the Arab community since the start of the war in Gaza should prompt decision-makers to refrain from imposing restrictions on Muslim citizens in Israel who wish to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan.

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