Israel leaves unchanged rules for access to al-Aqsa mosque during Ramadann

The Israeli government has decided to leave unchanged the rules for access to the al-Aqsa mosque for Muslims during Ramadan, sidestepping pressure from the far-right extremists in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition.

The Prime Minister’s office said in a statement that the number of people allowed into the compound, which houses both the mosque and the Dome of the Rock, would remain the same as last year. It did not clarify if Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, who need permits to enter Jerusalem, would face any new restrictions.

The decision defuses a politically explosive issue with ripples through the Arab world — Muslims consider the mosque the third-holiest site in Islam, and Jews, who call the site The Temple Mount, consider it their holiest. Ramadan begins on March 10.

Restrictions on access to the Mosque in 2021 — also during Ramadan — ignited an 11-day war with Hamas.


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