Middle East Monitor / January 17, 2022
The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement condemned on Monday the latest Israeli aggression against the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem. Hamas made its comment in response to the Israeli cabinet’s approval of a $35.4 million plan to upgrade infrastructure at the Western Wall in the occupied Old City.
According to The Times of Israel, the plan aims to encourage more visits to the site by improving public transportation accessibility, developing new educational programs and continuing existing development projects.
“The Western Wall is one of the holiest and most important sites for the Jewish people, and millions of visitors from all over the world visit it regularly,” said Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. “The five-year plan we have just approved in the cabinet will continue to upgrade the infrastructure needed for the site, and will help encourage the arrival of many more visitors.”
The Western (“Wailing”) Wall is part of the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa, which is the third holiest site in Islam, not just for Palestinian Muslims, who call it Al-Buraq Wall. “This plan is a flagrant violation against one of the holiest places for Muslims and the Palestinians,” Hamas pointed out.
The other Palestinian factions, including Islamic Jihad and the Democratic and Popular Fronts for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP and PFLP respectively), issued similar condemnations of the Israeli move. Such continuous Israeli aggression at the Palestinian holy sites provoke Palestinians and “might trigger a new intifada,” said the PFLP.
“The issue of Al-Aqsa Mosque is sensitive to the Palestinians,” the group explained. It reminded the Israeli occupation authorities about Al-Buraq Uprising in 1929, when Jewish immigrants performed the first public prayer at the site in modern times.