This week’s visit by Israeli minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem provoked a wave of fury among Arab countries, who harshly denounced the visit. Images from the incident showed Ben-Gvir, Israel’s far-right minister of national security, strolling around the perimeter of the mosque complex. The trip was condemned by Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and even the US because they feared it might upset the status quo.
Jordan, which is in charge of al-Aqsa and other sacred sites for Muslims and Christians in Jerusalem, denounced the visit and claimed that it was against international law and “the legal and historical status quo in Jerusalem.” The Israeli ambassador was also called to account for the situation.
Mohammad Shtayyeh, the Palestinian prime minister, urged Palestinians to “confront the raids into Al-Aqsa mosque” and described the visit as an effort to turn a significant mosque “into a Jewish temple.”
“The attack is not only against our holy sites on Al-Aqsa mosque and Haram al-Sharif. You’ve seen by now that there are crosses over graveyards being trampled upon and attacked by extreme settlers. This is a toxic environment,” he told reporters at the United Nations on Wednesday. On Thursday, the United Nations Security Council will meet to evaluate the most recent activities at the Al-Aqsa mosque complex.
The Palestinian Islamist organization Hamas, which governs Gaza, said that “a continuation of this behavior will bring all parties closer to a big clash.” The visit was also criticized by Saudi Arabia, which described it as a “provocative action.”
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