The Prime Minister of Israel, Naftali Bennett, has backed down this Monday after stating a day before that both Jews and Muslims had “freedom of worship” in the Esplanade of the Mosques in Jerusalem, a place known as Temple mount by the Jews. The Prime Minister’s office has rectified and clarified that Bennett meant that both Jews and Muslims “have freedom of right of visit” to the place.
Thus, it has also pointed out that Bennett explained himself poorly when making said statements, which would have been a historical change in the situation, while it has influenced that there will be no changes that affect the ‘status quo’ in the Esplanade of the Mosques.
The statement came after the Israeli Police and several young Muslims clashed in this place, also coinciding with the Jewish celebration of the fasting festival of the Tisha B’Av and with the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr.
Muslims threw stones at the police, according to security forces, while the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) have directly accused the Israeli forces to increase hostilities by throwing tear gas and stun grenades.
Bennett thanked the Minister of Public Safety, Omer Barlev, and the chief of the Israel Police ‘to handle the events on the Temple Mount with responsibility and consideration, while maintaining the freedom of worship for Jews», recoge ‘The Times of Israel’.
Responses to the incident
The Palestinian Authority has held Israel responsible for this incident. These Israeli provocations pose a challenge to the American lawsuits who have called for the preservation of the historic ‘status quo’ in Jerusalem, “he said in a statement collected by the official Palestinian news agency WAFA.
The Palestinian Prime Minister, Mohamed Shtayé, has also criticized the entry of hundreds of “settlers” into the courtyards of the Al Aqsa Mosque and has argued that it represents an attempt to impose a “division” in the mosque, the third most important for Muslims.
For this reason, he has asked the international community to “intervene urgently” to “stop these violations”, due to the danger they pose of a rise in tensions, before adding that they pose “a threat to security, peace and stability in the region.”
The criticism has been joined by the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OCI) and countries such as Egypt, Jordan and Turkey, who have published statements condemning what happened during the day on Sunday, according to local media.
The spokesman for the Jordanian Foreign Ministry, Deifalá Fayez, has specified that Amman has sent an official protest note to Israel calling for an end to its “violations and provocations” and that “respect the historical and legal ‘status quo’»On the Esplanade of the Mosques, as reported in the newspaper ‘The Jordan Times’.