Israeli Arabs Under 40 Restricted From Temple Mount During Ramadan

By Yoni Weiss

Palestinians make their way through the Qalandia checkpoint to attend the last Friday prayers of the month of Ramadan, on April 14, 2023. (Flash90)

Israeli Arabs under the age of 40 will not be allowed to enter Temple Mount during the first week of Ramadan, based on a directive from National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, implemented by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

The restrictions on the number of Arabs with Israeli citizenship visiting Temple Mount during Ramadan have sparked criticism.

Ben-Gvir insisted on allowing police to intervene on the Temple Mount grounds with significant force if the Palestinian flag, the banner of Hamas, or any other terrorist organization is displayed, but this demand was rejected.

The decision has been condemned by Israeli Arab MK Waleed Alhwashia of the Islamist Ra’am Party, who sees it as a surrender to Ben-Gvir and a potentially dangerous and racist move that could escalate violence. Security officials are concerned about potential radicalization during Ramadan and aim to isolate the Gaza Strip to prevent violence in other parts of the country.

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