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Al-Aqsa Mosque: extremist Jewish temple groups protest at mosque closure for settlers

March 28, 2024 at 2:00 pm

Dozens of fanatical Jewish groups, accompanied by Israeli police, storm the courtyard of Al-Aqsa Mosque within the Purim celebrations in Old City of Eastern Jerusalem on March 24, 2024. [Mohammad Hamad – Anadolu Agency]

Extremist Jewish temple groups are protesting at the home of Israel’s far-right minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, in the Kiryat Arba settlement in Hebron and demanding raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque following a decision to close the mosque compound to settler groups for 16 days starting today.

The decision was apparently made by the security services. Ben-Gvir is the National Security Minister.

The occupation police justified the decision because of “fears for the security situation in light of the current war [in Gaza] and trying to avoid fuelling popular tension and anger in Jerusalem and the West Bank,” especially after Palestinians were forcibly prevented from going into seclusion in Al-Aqsa during the days of the Jewish holiday of Purim.

Israeli media reported that a wave of anger has spread among the far-right parties in the occupation coalition government, which withdrew its encouragement for settlers to storm into the mosque compound during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, especially during the last ten days of the month coming up. The Temple groups see this as submitting to the will of the Palestinian resistance movements. They also hold Ben-Gvir responsible for the decision, accusing him of backing down in the face of the security services which fear a widening of the war front.

The extremist temple groups want to demolish Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock Mosque and replace the Islamic buildings with the third Jewish temple.

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