To put a stop to the conflicts between Arabs and Jews, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid stated that his nation is ‘dedicated’ to maintaining the status quo that prohibits Jews from worshipping at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem. The Jewish restriction on praying at Al-Aqsa Mosque has been the source of recent conflicts, he claims.
‘Israel is committed to the status quo on the Temple Mount,’ Lapid stated during a press conference, using the Israeli term for the site, which is sacred to both Muslims and Jews, according to the Xinhua news agency. He stated that Muslims worship on the Temple Mount, but non-Muslims (Jews) visit. They are not able to pray. He underlined that Israel has no plans to split the Temple Mount among faiths.
He said that Hamas, a Palestinian militant organization, urges young Muslims to throw stones and set fire to Israeli police. According to Lapid, Hamas is in control of Gaza. Because of their stone-throwing, Israeli police were forced to enter the Mosque and evict them. At least 200 Palestinians have been injured in skirmishes with Israeli police since April 15, when the Jewish week-long Passover holiday began and Muslims began their holy month of Ramadan.
The Palestinians accused Israel of inciting the riots by allowing hundreds of Jews to celebrate the festival by visiting the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which Jews consider as the site of their biblical-era temple that was destroyed in AD 70. Jordan administers the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which is guarded by Israeli police. Jews are permitted to visit the site but not to pray there, according to a long-standing tradition.
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