Publish date19 Feb 2024 - 16:20
Story Code : 625733

Israel's plan to restrict Palestinians' entry to Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan 'is a crime': Hamas

Israel's plan to restrict Palestinians' entry to Al-Aqsa Mosque during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan is a reflection of the Zionist crimes and religious war waged by radical elements of the Israeli government against the Palestinian people,” Hamas said Sunday.

The Palestinian resistance group in a statement criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's announcement of his intention to limit Palestinians' access to Islam’s third holiest site during the fasting month.
It criticized Netanyahu's approval of Israeli far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir's call to ban Palestinians from entering Al-Aqsa during Ramadan, saying it is a "violation of the freedom of worship” in the holy mosque.
It also emphasized that this showed Israel's intention to increase its attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan.
The statement called on Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Israel to reject and resist this "criminal decision," urging them to "take action and flock to Al-Aqsa Mosque."
Israel's Channel 13 reported earlier that despite warnings from the country’s internal security agency Shin Bet that there would be clashes between Israeli police and Palestinians in Israel, Netanyahu approved the restriction of Palestinians' entry to Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan.
A limited number of Palestinians will reportedly be allowed to enter the mosque during the month.
Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz said on his social media account that "restrictions will be imposed on Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan, but it is not yet clear what these will be."
Ben-Gvir previously called for a ban on Palestinians from entering Al-Aqsa during Ramadan in a statement on his social media account.
According to recent reports in the Israeli media, the Shin Bet warned that restricting the entry of politicians and Palestinians from Israel (territories occupied in 1948) and Jerusalem to Al-Aqsa Mosque would cause major security problems.
Ramadan is expected to begin this year on or around March 10.
Israeli police have been restricting access to Al-Aqsa, especially on Fridays, since Oct. 7 last year, when Hamas carried out a cross-border attack on Israel, triggering a bloody response from the Israeli military.
Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 attack by Hamas. The ensuing Israeli attacks have killed nearly 29,000 and caused mass destruction and shortages of necessities, while less than 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.

The Israeli war on Gaza has pushed 85% of the territory's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.
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