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Palestine: Israeli minister’s storming of Al-Aqsa complex in Jerusalem condemned

22nd May 2023
Palestine: Israeli minister’s storming of Al-Aqsa complex in Jerusalem condemned

By Anadolu staff

ANKARA (AA) : Jordan, Qatar, Turkiye, Iran and Egypt on Sunday condemned Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in occupied East Jerusalem.

The far-right minister had forced his way into the flashpoint site early Sunday under Israeli police protection, in the second such tour since he joined the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu late last year.

While inside the site, Ben-Gvir claimed Israel’s ownership of the complex in a video message from the mosque’s courtyard.

The Jordanian Foreign Ministry termed Ben-Gvir’s intrusion into Al-Aqsa complex as a “dangerous escalation”.

This is “a provocative step that is condemned, and a dangerous and unacceptable escalation,” ministry spokesman Sinan Majali said in a statement.

He said the intrusion “represents a flagrant violation of international law, and of the historical and legal status quo in Jerusalem and its holy sites.”

The status quo allows Muslims to worship at the Al-Aqsa complex and followers of other religions to visit the site.

“The continued breaches and attacks on Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, coupled with the unilateral measures of settlement expansion and the ongoing Israeli raids, may lead to further escalation,” Majali warned.

He called on the international community to take swift and decisive action to put an end to these practices.

The spokesman called on Israel, the occupying power, to immediately stop all practices and violations in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and all measures aimed at changing the existing historical and legal status quo at the holy site.

Qatar also condemned the Israeli minister’s storming the holy site.

“The attempts to harm the religious and historical status of Al-Aqsa Mosque are not only an attack on the Palestinians, but also on millions of Muslims around the world,” the Qatar Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

It held Israel “solely responsible” for any eruption of violence as a result “from the reoccurring violations and storming of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and the systematic escalatory policy against the Palestinian people, their land, and their Islamic and Christian sanctities.”

Egypt also blasted Ben-Gvir’s intrusion into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound as a “provocative behavior.”

“Such provocative behavior is inconsistent with the wisdom and responsibility of officials,” the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

It called on Israel to immediately stop the escalating practices that fuel tensions in the Palestinian territories.

Türkiye on Sunday strongly condemned Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in occupied East Jerusalem.

“We strongly condemn the storming of Al-Haram Al-Sharif on 21 May by the Israeli Minister of National Security under the protection of Israeli security forces in clear breach of the international law,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a written statement.

“It is in no way acceptable that Israeli Government members challenge the historical status of Al-Haram Al-Sharif in this manner and commit inflammatory and fascistic actions,” the Turkish ministry added.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay also condemned the move. In a tweet, he urged Israeli authorities to respect the legal status of Al-Aqsa and “to end these actions as soon as possible.”

Ibrahim Kalin, the Turkish presidential spokesman, slammed Ben-Gvir’s “provocative and unlawful act,” terming it “unacceptable.”

“We will continue to oppose all attempts to change the religious and legal status of the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex,” he said on Twitter.

Iranian Foreign Ministry also “strongly condemned the assault carried out once again by an extremist member of the apartheid regime of Israel against the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Nasser Kanaani said “such provocative measures is another dimension of the continuous crimes committed by the Zionist regime against the Palestinian nation and the Islamic sanctities in the occupied lands.”

Since 2003, Israel has allowed settlers into the flashpoint compound almost on a daily basis with the exception of Fridays and Saturdays.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents Islam’s third-holiest site. Jews call the area the Temple Mount, saying it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, here Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.

Meanwhile,

The Israeli government held its weekly meeting on Sunday inside the Western Wall [Al-Buraq Wall] tunnels of Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in occupied East Jerusalem.

The meeting, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was held inside the tunnels to mark the anniversary of Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967.

“For the sake of the unity of Jerusalem, we must continue to maintain this government,” Netanyahu said at the start of the meeting.

Sunday’s meeting was the first to have been held inside the tunnels adjacent to Al-Aqsa complex since 2017.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

[Photo: Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) speaks at the weekly cabinet meeting, inside the Western Wall [Al-Buraq Wall] tunnels of Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in Jerusalem, on May 21, 2023. Photojournalist: Kobi Gideon (GPO) / Handout)/AA]

 

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