Middle East Monitor / July 18, 2021
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett ordered on Sunday Israeli occupation police to secure “orderly and safe” storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque by Jewish settlers, Israeli media reported.
After a meeting with the Israeli Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev and Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai to assess the settler raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque in the early morning of today, Bennet decided that settlers should continue storming the holy site, regardless of the tension it causes.
“The prime minister has instructed to allow the orderly and safe ascendance of Jews to the Temple Mount [Al-Haram al-Sharif] while keeping order at the site,” the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest place for Muslims everywhere.
In order to deter the Israeli settler raids on the holy site, Muslim leaders and politicians among the Palestinian community in Israel, West Bank and Gaza Strip have called on Palestinians to visit and stay at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Jerusalem Post reported Ayala Ben-Gvir, wife of far-right Otzma Yehudit MK Itamar Ben-Gvir, as saying that “it is important not only to sit and cry but to show up and go on the Temple Mount [Al-Haram al-Sharif].” She was among the settlers who raided the Mosque on Sunday morning.
“We are not in exile; we must think how to improve and act for sovereignty and Jewish visits to this holy place,” she said. “Whoever controls the Temple Mount controls the Land of Israel in its entirety, and this is how we will work toward control of this holy and important site.”
On Friday, the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement – Hamas – warned that Israel was “playing with fire” by allowing Jews to storm Al-Aqsa Mosque and march in the Old City, stressing that it would not stay silent for long while the settlers’ aggression on the Mosque continues.