Skip to main content

Israeli Restictions at Al-Aqsa Could Spark Violence

Israel is imposing tighter restrictions on Palestinian Muslims wishing to access Al-Aqsa Mosque while allowing more Jewish visits that disrespect Islamic customs.
Israeli policemen react during clashes with Palestinians on the compound known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City September 6, 2013. REUTERS/Ammar Awad (JERUSALEM - Tags: RELIGION CIVIL UNREST) - RTX139N8

The world’s preoccupation with Syria and the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli peace talks have provided radical Israelis with the long-awaited opportunity to establish a regular Jewish presence on land around Islam’s third-holiest mosque, which they consider the holy Jewish Temple Mount. What was a once-in-a-season infiltration by radical Jews has now become a nearly daily affair often involving mainstream Israelis.

Israeli security forces are also carrying out unprecedented closures of the entire mosque area to accommodate the growing interest of mainstream Jews rather than a few radicals. As extreme political forces within Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and the Knesset have cemented their power, the Israeli police have raised the security flag less and less often. The chief of Israeli police has the right to judge whether he feels that the entry of Jews into the mosque compound would cause a security risk.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.