Why an Israeli raid on al-Aqsa Mosque is stoking tensions Lalrp


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An unprecedented early-morning assault by Hamas caught the Israeli protection and intelligence institution off guard Saturday, and triggered reprisal strikes by land and air on the Gaza Strip.

Hamas leaders said the shock assault, which led to Israel’s deadliest day in not less than 75 years, was retribution for latest violence on the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and elevated settler assaults.

Israel says it struck Gaza Strip; lots of reported killed on either side

Recognized to Jews because the Temple Mount and to Muslims because the Noble Sanctuary — which encompasses al-Aqsa — the positioning on the heart of the tensions is revered in each faiths. Even the slightest perceived change to the established order has the capability to impress violence.

Police raided the positioning in early April in the course of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, simply earlier than the beginning of the Jewish Passover vacation — an overlap Israeli safety officers have lengthy warned may result in additional escalation.

However the brand new nationwide safety minister, Itamar Ben Gvir, chief of Israel’s far-right non secular nationalist motion, has pushed for a better Jewish presence at Temple Mount. Ben Gvir is understood for making provocative strikes to say Jewish claims to Palestinian land or non secular areas.

In January, he made a tone-setting tour of the traditional non secular compound, within the first such go to in years by a high Israeli official.

Israeli police raid al-Aqsa Mosque; 37 folks injured, Palestinians say

Right here’s what to know in regards to the website.

What’s the non secular significance of the positioning?

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Inexperienced Line

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Sources: Ir Amim, B’Tselem, satellite tv for pc imagery through Planet

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Inexperienced Line

(beneath 1949



Sources: Ir Amim, B’Tselem, satellite tv for pc imagery through Planet

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Inexperienced Line

(beneath 1949



Sources: Ir Amim, B’Tselem, satellite tv for pc imagery through Planet

The compound holds non secular significance for Muslims, Jews and Christians.

It’s the holiest website in Judaism. The historic origins of the positioning are disputed among archaeologists, however within the Jewish custom, a non secular construction often known as the First Temple was constructed on the hill in the course of the reign of King Solomon within the tenth century B.C. The temple, round which the traditional Jewish religion was centered, and the one which adopted it had been destroyed when invading empires sacked Jerusalem.

“For Jews, it’s the most sacred place in Jewish historical past and really symbolizes the clearest contact between trendy Israel and historic Israel,” mentioned Amichai Cohen, senior fellow on the Israel Democracy Institute.

In each Jewish and Muslim traditions, it’s often known as the place the place Abraham supplied to sacrifice his son. Jews, by customized, pray dealing with Jerusalem, and particularly the Temple Mount. The Western Wall, a retaining wall exterior the al-Aqsa compound, has lengthy been commemorated as a focus for Jewish prayer.

For Muslims, the Noble Sanctuary is the third-holiest website, after mosques in Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. Al-Aqsa is seen because the place from which the prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven after making a miraculous one-night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem. The mosque was constructed on the southern a part of the plaza within the early eighth century A.D. Throughout the courtyard is the Dome of the Rock, an ornate Islamic shrine, with a golden dome seen throughout a lot of town.

Who’s accountable for the compound?

Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in the course of the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1967 and later declared all of Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital — a transfer not acknowledged by many of the worldwide group. Since 1967, a non secular belief funded and supervised by Jordan has managed the al-Aqsa compound, an association formalized in a 1994 peace treaty between Israel and Jordan.

Israel has safety authority on the website and maintains a police presence. Non-Muslims are allowed to go to however are barred from praying there.

Why is it thought of a flash level for battle?

The location lies on the coronary heart of the wrestle between Israelis and Palestinians for management of Jerusalem. The standing of town has proved a sticking level in efforts to achieve a two-state resolution to the battle, and al-Aqsa has develop into an emblem of the Palestinian quest for self-determination.

The mosque is “an important non secular website for Muslims in Palestine and it’s completely central to Palestinian id,” mentioned Khaled Elgindy, a Palestinian affairs professional on the Center East Institute.

Violations of the established order have been interpreted by many Palestinians as acts of aggression. A go to by Ariel Sharon, then Israel’s opposition chief, to the positioning in 2000 helped spark the second intifada, also referred to as the al-Aqsa Intifada — a 4½-year Palestinian rebellion throughout which greater than 3,000 Palestinians and 1,000 Israelis had been killed.

In recent times, Israel’s set up of steel detectors on the compound provoked a violent backlash in 2017. And members of an emboldened Israeli non secular nationalist motion have more and more ventured onto the plaza, typically joined and inspired by Ben Gvir.

Jordan issued a formal complaint to Israel in April 2021 about giant teams of Jewish guests violating the established order. The next month, Ben Gvir’s assist for settlers in an East Jerusalem neighborhood helped catalyze an 11-day conflict between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist militant group that guidelines Gaza.

“Each time a minister or a Knesset member or a member of an extremist settler group goes as much as the al-Aqsa compound, they’re eroding the established order,” Elgindy mentioned.

Rights teams additionally say Israeli safety forces are fast to storm the positioning and to fireplace tear fuel and rubber bullets at protesters.

Are Jews divided over whether or not to hope there?

A “very giant majority” of spiritual and extra secular Jewish Israelis chorus from going to the Temple Mount, Cohen mentioned. Given how simply infected tensions there can develop into, many really feel that Jews ought to keep away from the world in order to not provoke Palestinians and stoke one other spherical of violence.

However there are additionally non secular causes some Jews consider it’s necessary to remain off the Temple Mount. Many orthodox leaders say Jews shouldn’t stroll on the “Holy of Holies,” a part of the positioning of the historic Jewish temples there. Jews from everywhere in the world go to and pray on the adjoining Western Wall.

Why is far-right minister Ben Gvir targeted on the positioning?

A provocateur with a penchant for igniting media firestorms, Ben Gvir is a key participant in probably the most right-wing authorities in Israel’s historical past. Palestinian teams and Arab nations known as his go to to the positioning in January an intentional provocation, elevating the potential for additional unrest.

Itamar Ben Gvir: How an extremist settler turned a robust Israeli minister

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s workplace has reiterated that he’s dedicated to upholding the established order. However Ben Gvir, his ally in authorities, has lengthy advocated for altering the association. Recognized for his Jewish supremacist views, he has been convicted of inciting racism in opposition to Arabs and supporting a terrorist group.

“Ben Gvir is the politician that has gained most from difficult the prevailing coverage on Temple Mount,” Cohen mentioned.

Ben Gvir has beforehand supported activists who threatened to slaughter a lamb within the al-Aqsa Mosque compound throughout Passover — a transfer that may upend the established order on the website and which police have warned may spark a regional conflict.

The messianic “Returning to the Mount” motion has offered tens of thousands of Israeli shekels to anybody who makes an attempt to sacrifice a lamb on the website for Passover.

Police have stopped activists from doing so previously — however Ben Gvir now controls the pressure. Police detained folks suspected of meaning to slaughter lamb or goats on the website in April.

Israel’s new far-right nationwide safety minister Itamar Ben Gvir briefly visited the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Jan. 3. (Video: Reuters)

Shira Rubin in Tel Aviv, Louisa Loveluck in Jerusalem, Niha Masih in Seoul and Miriam Berger in Washington contributed to this report.