Israel says 'don't try us' as Ramadan begins

AFP , Monday 11 Mar 2024

Israel's defense minister said Monday that authorities would respect freedom of worship during Ramadan but were "ready" for anyone who might "try us".

GAZA
A Palestinian searches for his belongings amid the rubble of houses destroyed by Israeli bombardment in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on March 11, 2024, amid continuing battles between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. AFP

 

"The State of Israel respects the freedom of worship at Al-Aqsa and all holy places," Yoav Gallant said in a video message, referring to the third-holiest site in Islam, located in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.

"The month of Ramadan may be a month of jihad, and we say to everyone not to try us -- we are ready, don't make mistakes," he said in the clip posted on his Telegram channel.

Israel's military campaign on Gaza has killed at least 31,112 people, according to the health ministry in Gaza.

His comments came amid concerns about tensions during Ramadan at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, a flashpoint for violence during the Muslim fasting month in past years.

The compound is also Judaism's most sacred site, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.

During Ramadan, Muslims in their tens and even hundreds of thousands pray at the compound.

On Friday a spokesman for the armed wing of the Hamas militant group called on "our people" to mobilize and head towards Al-Aqsa.

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