Middle East

Ben-Gvir’s Aqsa visit ‘puts Israel in fight with half of world’: Lapid

Itamar Ben-Gvir enters Al-Aqsa Mosque complex amid warning of unrest

Abdelraouf Arnaout  | 03.01.2023 - Update : 04.01.2023
Ben-Gvir’s Aqsa visit ‘puts Israel in fight with half of world’: Lapid


Former Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Tuesday criticized the visit of National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to the al-Aqsa Mosque complex in East Jerusalem.

"In order to allow Ben-Gvir to enjoy 13 minutes on the Temple Mount (Al-Aqsa Mosque complex)", Israel was put in a fight with half of the world,” said Lapid, who is now the opposition leader.

The former premier termed Ben-Gvir's tour as "irresponsible on a national scale and only emphasizes the weakness of (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu in the face of his ministers."

Early on Tuesday, the far-right minister entered the flashpoint site, a day after announcing he postponed the visit amid warnings of unrest.

The visit drew Palestinian and international condemnations, including the US, Jordan, Türkiye, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world's third-holiest site. Jews, for their part, call the area as the Temple Mount, saying it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, in a move never recognized by the international community.

Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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