Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided, on Monday evening, to reconsider the policy of banning Knesset members from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque, based on developments in the security situation, after the coming month of Ramadan.
Israeli channel 2 reported that Netanyahu was under pressure from the right, and intends to allow the resumption of Knesset members’ incursions after three months of banning them.
This decision, according to Al Ray, came after banning members of Knesset to storm Al-Aqsa since the outbreak of the uprising in Jerusalem in October of 2015.
Extremist Israeli settlers and politicians have been violating the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque on an almost daily basis, and always under the protection of armed occupation forces who often violently attack Palestinian worshipers who try to protect their holy site.
Days of Palestine further reports that Israeli forces have kidnapped seven Al-Aqsa guards in the past 24 hours .
“Four other guards were kidnapped from their homes at dawn on Tuesday,” Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf told Anadolu Agency.
“Three others were kidnapped on Monday, after they prevented a Jewish archaeologist from stealing an ancient stone from inside the Mosque,” he said.
Al-Dibs said that the archaeologist had attempted to steal the stone two times under the protection of Israeli police, triggering clashes between the guards and Israeli forces.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third holiest site. Jews, for their part, claim it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
In September of 2000, a visit to the mosque by Ariel Sharon sparked what later became known as the “Second Intifada” or “Al-Aqsa Intifada,” a five-year-long popular uprising in which thousands of Palestinians were killed.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, in which Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 War. It formally annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as its capital, in a move never recognized by the international community.