The site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, also known as the Temple Mount complex The site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, also known as the Temple Mount complex  (AFP or licensors)

Palestinians protest Israeli minister’s visit to Al-Aqsa

Palestinian officials have condemned as a provocation the visit by Israel’s new security minister to the Al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem, which is currently only open to Muslim worship.

By Nathan Morley

The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, known to the Jewish people as the Temple Mount, is sacred to both Muslims and Jews.

For Muslims, it is considered the third holiest site located inside the Old City of Jerusalem.

That’s why Ben-Gvir’s 15-minute walk around is so upsetting for many Muslims.

‘Unprecedented provocation’

Known as an ultra-nationalist, Gvir was sworn in as Israel's new national security minister last week, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's extreme-right coalition government took office.

After the visit, Palestinian officials said they hold the Israeli Prime Minister responsible for this trip.

On top of that, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry denounced the visit as an “unprecedented provocation”.

Israel's state-television showed pictures of the minister touring the site escorted by heavy security.

On Monday, Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid warned that the visit might spark violence.

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03 January 2023, 14:53