Egypt condemns new storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israel's security minister Ben-Gvir

Ahram Online , Thursday 27 Jul 2023

Egypt has condemned the most recent storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israel's National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir accompanied by hundreds of extremists, decrying the prevention of Muslims from exercising their legitimate right to access the holy site and worship in it.

File photo: Israel s National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, center, attends a march marking Jerusalem Day, an Israeli holiday celebrating the capture of east Jerusalem in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, in front of the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem s Old City. AP


Egypt has called on the Israeli side to cease these "provocative escalations," which only increase tensions in the occupied Palestinian territories, according to a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday.

Moreover, Egypt warned of the "dangerous consequences of such irresponsible practices" for security and stability in the region.

Earlier on Thursday, Ben-Gvir, a member of the Knesset and leader of the far right-wing party Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Might), stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound earlier on Thursday under the guise of celebrating the Jewish holiday Tisha B’Av.

It was the third time for Ben-Gvir to storm Al-Aqsa since assuming the ministerial position in January.

Ben-Gvir had stormed the mosque twice before in January and in May.  

Egypt had condemned both actions at the time.

In the statement, the Egyptian foreign ministry emphasized that the repeated intrusions into Al-Aqsa Mosque and the attempts to divide it temporally and spatially "will not diminish its established legal and historical status."

In conclusion, the statement affirmed that Al-Aqsa is strictly an Islamic endowment and a place of worship for Muslims.

In May, Egypt’s Al-Azhar rejected what it described as the "Zionist ambition" to change the temporal, spatial, and historical status quo of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and its compound.

Similarly, the United Nations and several Arab countries worldwide have repeatedly affirmed the need to maintain the status quo at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. 

A decades-old status quo in Jerusalem allows non-Muslims to visit the mosque compound, whereas none but Muslim worshippers are allowed to pray there.

However, Israeli settlers have constantly defied the status accord, with some activists demanding that Jews should be allowed to visit the sacred site and pray in it.

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