Israel Bans Non-Muslims from Visiting Al-Aqsa Compound

Wed Apr 12 2023
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RAMALLAH: Israel has banned non-Muslims from visiting the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem until the end of the holy month of Ramazan.

The move comes after outrage over Israel’s allowing about 800 Jewish settlers to pray inside the mosque compound on Tuesday, the sixth day of the Passover holiday, violating a longstanding treaty prohibiting such activity during the last 10 days of the Muslim holy month.

It remains unclear if Israel’s increasingly emboldened radical settlers will comply with the Al-Aqsa ban policy. Itamar Ben-Gvir, a notorious religious die-hard with a criminal record for backing up terrorism and provocation to racism, and the far-right police minister denounced the ban stating that when terrorism strikes them, they must strike back with great force and not surrender to its whims.

Sheikh Ekrima Said Sabri, the former grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine and the current preacher at Al-Aqsa, told Arab News that Israel wanted to prove that they were the ones who decide what could and could not happen at Al-Aqsa. They see that as an extreme violation and provocation.”

Meanwhile, there was no letup in Israeli violence in the occupied West Bank. During a targetted ambush near the Elon Moreh settlement, the Israeli army killed two Palestinians and injured a third in the Deir Al-Hatab village east of Nablus.

Palestinian sources said that the victims, Saud Al-Titi and Mohammed Abu Dira, were said to be former prisoners and also members of Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the military wing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party.

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