Far-Right Gov’t Plans to Limit Al-Aqsa Mosque Access on Ramadan

Far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sided on Sunday, February 19, with racist National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, endorsing restrictions on Muslims, among them Arab-Palestinians citizens of Israel, access to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem during Ramadan.

Israeli occupation forces raid at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, April 15, 2022 (Photo: Activestills)

The reports said the Shin Bet security agency opposed Ben Gvir’s position in favor of limitations, saying no curbs should be placed on Arab citizens. A decision has yet to be made regarding Ben Gvir’s demand that no Palestinians from the occupied West Bank be permitted to enter.

The chairman of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, Mohammad Barakeh, a leading member of the Communist Party of Israel, told Haaretz that Ben Gvir is trying to “organize his own war … against the Arab citizens of Israel.” “To ban prayer and religious worship at one of the three holiest mosques in Islam is a dangerous game,” said Barakeh. Barakeh added that the fact that a consultation was held on the matter constitutes “a declaration of war of sorts by the government against the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel.”

According a communique issued by Hadash, “This is a plan to harm the freedom of worship at Al-Aqsa are trying to set the Middle East on fire, change the status quo in occupied Jerusalem, and drag us into a dangerous religious war.” MK Ahmed Tibi (Hadash-Ta’al) said the decision was a “blatant violation of freedom of worship.” and accused Netanyahu of being “held captive” by Ben Gvir.

A member of the lead opposition party, MK Merav Ben-Ari (Yesh Atid) said Netanyahu is “controlled by Ben Gvir, in every decision, in everything. Every decision, from the return of the abductees to the ascent to the Temple Mount.” MK Gilad Kariv (Labor) accused Netanyahu of “endangering the security of the citizens of Israel by courting [late racist rabbi Meir] Kahane’s people, and is once again putting political interests above the recommendations of the security echelon.”

Related: https://maki.org.il/en/?p=28431