Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan have joined Palestinians in condemning a far-right Israeli minister’s temporary go to to Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, with the Palestinian management calling the intrusion “an unprecedented provocation”.
Tuesday’s go to by Israel’s Nationwide Safety Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir dangers stoking tensions with Palestinians, with the Hamas group that governs the besieged Gaza Strip warning that such a transfer would cross a “pink line”.
Ben-Gvir, who was seen at Islam’s third holiest website underneath heavy safety, stated: “Our authorities won’t give up to the threats of Hamas.”
The Israeli far-right chief has lengthy known as for higher Jewish entry to the holy website, which is seen by Palestinians as provocative and as a possible precursor to Israel taking full management over the compound. Main rabbis forbid Jews from praying on the website.
Ben-Gvir wrote on Twitter after his go to that the positioning “is open to all and if Hamas thinks that if it threatens me it is going to deter me, they need to perceive that occasions have modified”.
ממשלת ישראל שאני חבר בה לא תיכנע לארגון מרצחים שפל. הר הבית פתוח לכולם ואם החמאס חושב שאם הוא יאיים עליי זה ירתיע אותי, שיבינו שהשתנו הזמנים. יש ממשלה בירושלים! pic.twitter.com/vgDYBYacJG
— איתמר בן גביר (@itamarbengvir) January 3, 2023
Ofir Gendelman, who has lengthy served as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Arabic-language spokesman, launched a video saying that the “state of affairs is totally calm” on the holy website following Ben-Gvir’s departure.
The go to seems to have been calculated to keep away from a direct confrontation with Palestinians, having come early within the morning, and a day after Ben-Gvir had appeared to backtrack from his plans, thereby avoiding a gathering of Palestinians on the website.
‘A harmful escalation of the battle’
Nevertheless, the Palestinian overseas ministry stated it “strongly condemns the storming of Al-Aqsa mosque by the extremist minister Ben-Gvir and views it as unprecedented provocation and a harmful escalation of the battle”.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh known as on Palestinians to “confront the raids into Al Aqsa mosque”. He accused Ben-Gvir of staging the go to as a part of a bid to show the shrine “right into a Jewish temple”.
Jordan, Egypt and the UAE, which have peace treaties with Israel, have condemned what they known as Ben-Gvir’s “storming” of Al-Aqsa. Amman summoned the Israeli ambassador and stated the go to had violated worldwide regulation and “the historic and authorized established order in Jerusalem”.
Saudi Arabia, with which Netanyahu desires to forge a peace deal, additionally criticised Ben-Gvir’s motion. Turkey, which has lately ended a long-running diplomatic rift with Israel, condemned the go to as “provocative” as properly.
And Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah stated that any infringement of the decades-long established order on the Al-Aqsa Mosque may result in an explosion within the area, not simply inside Palestinian territories.
When requested in regards to the go to, a White Home Nationwide Safety Council spokesperson stated any unilateral motion that jeopardises the established order of Jerusalem holy websites is unacceptable.
“The USA stands firmly for preservation of the established order with respect to the holy websites in Jerusalem,” the spokesperson stated, including that the US calls on Netanyahu to protect his dedication to the established order of holy websites.
The UN Secretary-Normal additionally pressured on the significance of upholding the established order within the holy websites, in accordance with Deputy UN Spokesperson Farhan Haq.
Netanyahu issued a press release late on Tuesday claiming he “is dedicated to strictly sustaining the established order, with out modifications, on the Temple Mount [Al-Aqsa Compound].”
Israel’s opposition chief and former prime minister Yair Lapid had warned on Monday that Ben-Gvir’s deliberate entrance to the compound would result in violence, and known as it a “deliberate provocation that can put lives in peril”.
Ben-Gvir was sworn in final week as a part of a brand new far-right authorities led by Netanyahu.
Israel’s far-right nationwide safety minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has entered the Al-Aqsa compound in what Palestinians say is an ‘unprecedented provocation’ – as solely Muslim worshippers are allowed on the website ⤵️
🔗: https://t.co/BUIBlEFxqF pic.twitter.com/bZB6iZgBDi
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) January 3, 2023
Islam’s third holiest website
On the compound, Islam’s third holiest website after Mecca and Medina, solely Muslim worship is allowed underneath the established order. The Israeli far proper has been making an attempt to alter this and permit Jewish prayer on the website, regardless of opposition from many ultra-Orthodox Jews and prohibition from main rabbis.
Many far-right Israelis have been calling for a Jewish temple to be constructed there rather than the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s entrance to the positioning in 2000 sparked the second Palestinian Intifada or rebellion.
Al Jazeera’s Sara Khairat, reporting from occupied East Jerusalem, stated Ben-Gvir spent a brief period of time within the compound “within the early hours of this morning”.
“That’s no shock due to the provocation that it could trigger particularly amongst the Palestinians and the Muslim world,” Khairat stated.
“[Ben-Gvir] additionally has sweeping powers over the police, [so it] got here as no shock that this choice [to enter the Al-Aqsa compound] would occur in a short time.
“We’re going to count on a variety of rigidity from the Palestinians. Already, safety has been stepped up amongst the Israelis.”
Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem advised Al Jazeera that Ben-Gvir’s transfer “is a continuation of the Zionist occupation’s aggression in opposition to our sanctities and its struggle on its Arab identification.
“Al-Aqsa Mosque was and can stay Palestinian, Arab and Islamic property, and no fascist drive or particular person can change this truth,” he stated.
Analyst Nasser al-Hidmi advised Al Jazeera from Jerusalem that he believes “this raid was a publicity stunt” to exhibit “the occupation’s sovereignty over the Al-Aqsa Mosque and that the brand new authorities doesn’t bend to threats by the Palestinian armed resistance actions.
“There was an settlement between [Ben-Gvir] and Netanyahu – a dialogue – that the raid would happen on this method with a purpose to each exhibit sovereignty whereas additionally avoiding frightening the Palestinian individuals in Jerusalem,” al-Hidmi stated.
“[The raid] occurred at a time when there have been few Palestinians contained in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the go to lasted 13 minutes. All of that is an expression of Ben-Gvir’s fears.”
Ben-Gvir holds far-right views in direction of the Palestinians and has known as for his or her displacement. He has repeatedly joined Israeli settlers in getting into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which has led to confrontations with Palestinians up to now.
Israeli forces stormed the compound in Might 2021, resulting in battle with Palestinians which led to Israel attacking Gaza later the identical month.
Ben-Gvir was additionally a precursor to a wave of escalation in occupied East Jerusalem after organising an workplace in February within the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, the place Palestinians face mass expulsion.
A settler in Kiryat Araba – one of the crucial right-wing settlements within the illegally occupied West Financial institution, which isn’t recognised underneath worldwide regulation – Ben-Gvir has been convicted of incitement to racism, destroying property, possessing a “terror” organisation’s propaganda materials and supporting a “terror” organisation – Meir Kahane’s outlawed Kach group – which he joined when he was 16.
Ben-Gvir was additionally infamous for displaying on his wall an image of Baruch Goldstein, the American Israeli who massacred 29 Palestinian worshippers on the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron in 1994.
Final November, Israeli President Isaac Herzog warned in a leaked audio that “the entire world is fearful” about Ben-Gvir’s views.
Al-Hidmi stated that within the coming 12 months, “extra extremism and extra violations in opposition to the Palestinian individuals and their holy websites” might be anticipated.
“Hamas and the armed teams in Gaza are usually not all in favour of going into one other confrontation with the occupation, however they’re all in favour of mobilising the West Financial institution. It’s clear that the West Financial institution is conscious of this course, which is worrying the occupation.”
Palestinian Islamic Jihad spokesperson Tariq Selmi advised Al Jazeera that “the resistance is absolutely ready and vigilant”.
“It’s conducting a steady evaluation of every part that is occurring, with its hand on the set off of motion. The bullets of our fighters in Jenin and Nablus will inevitably attain Jerusalem,” Selmi stated.