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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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    Following an Israeli minister’s visit to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, Palestine has issued a warning of “religious war.”

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    The Palestinian Authority (PA) strongly criticised the visit of Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday.

    Under Israeli police protection, the far-right minister pushed his way into the sensitive location early Sunday.

    “Any harm to the Al-Aqsa Mosque is playing with fire and will drag the region into a religious war with unfavourable consequences that will affect everyone,” warned Palestinian Authority spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh in a statement.

    He was emphatic that such actions “will not impose Israeli sovereignty over the site.”

    The Palestinian official urged the US and the international community to take immediate measures to safeguard the status quo at the Al-Aqsa compound.

    The current situation permits Muslims to worship in the Al-Aqsa complex and people of other faiths to visit.

    With the exception of Fridays and Saturdays, Israel has permitted residents into the enclave practically every day since 2003.

    For Muslims, Al-Aqsa is the third holiest location in Islam. Jews refer to the region as the Temple Mount, claiming that it formerly housed two Jewish temples.

    During the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Israel conquered East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located.

    In 1980, it annexed the whole city, a move that was never recognised by the international world.

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