Israeli minister storms Al-Aqsa Mosque under protection of occupation forces

Mohammed El-Said
4 Min Read

Minister of National Security in the new Israeli government coalition, Itamar Ben Gvir, and leader in Israel’s far-right Jewish Power party, stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque on Tuesday, hours after he assumed office, in conjunction with the death of a Palestinian boy in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.

 Israeli radio reported that Ben Gvir accompanied by dozens of his followers, under the strict protection of the occupation forces, stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem, despite warnings from the Israeli security services.

This is the first raid by Ben Gvir after he assumed the national security portfolio. Ben Gvir had stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque repeatedly in the past, but in his personal capacity, then in his capacity as a deputy in the Knesset, and he promised during his election campaign to storm Al-Aqsa if he became a minister. 

Ben Gvir said during the raid that the Israeli government will not surrender to the threats of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas).

On the other hand, the Palestinian factions issued a statement in which they considered that Ben Gvir’s storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque was a dangerous escalation and provocation for the Palestinian people and that it also foreshadowed a religious war in the region. 

“We call on our people in the occupied West Bank to escalate the clash and confrontation with the Zionist occupation in defence of Al-Aqsa … and we call on the Palestinian Authority to stop security coordination with the occupation,” read the statement. 


Earlier yesterday, the official Israeli Broadcasting Authority stated that Hamas had sent a message through the Egyptian mediator and the United Nations, stating that it would not stand “idly by” if Ben Gvir carried out his threat to storm Al-Aqsa Mosque.


The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the raid, describing it as an “unprecedented provocation.”


Moreover, the Palestinian Authority warned that any prejudice to the historical status of Al-Aqsa Mosque has serious consequences, and constitutes a declaration of war, stressing that the repeated Israeli threats to change the historical status quo in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, by demanding permission to perform all prayers and biblical rituals in it and to locate a synagogue inside it, will have serious consequences for everyone.

Meanwhile, Hamas said that the crime of Ben Gvir’s storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque is a continuation of the occupation’s aggression against Islamic sanctities and its war on occupied Jerusalem. 

In the meantime, Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its regret that an official of the new Israeli government stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque accompanied by extremist elements under the protection of Israeli forces. 

Egypt stressed its rejection of any unilateral measures that violate the legal and historical status quo in Jerusalem.

Egypt warned of the negative repercussions of such measures on security and stability in the occupied territories and the region, and on the future of the peace process, calling on “all parties” to refrain from any measures that would inflame the situation.


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Mohammed El-Said is the Science Editor for the Daily News Egypt with over 8 years of experience as a journalist. His work appeared in the Science Magazine, Nature Middle East, Scientific American Arabic Edition, SciDev and other regional and international media outlets. El-Said graduated with a bachelor's degree and MSc in Human Geography, and he is a PhD candidate in Human Geography at Cairo University. He also had a diploma in media translation from the American University in Cairo.