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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Israel to impose restrictions over access to Al-Aqsa in Ramadan

As the holy month of Ramadan approaches, tensions are once again escalating in Jerusalem over access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Israel, citing security needs, announced plans to impose restrictions on worshippers during this sacred time. The decision has sparked outrage among Palestinians, with Hamas denouncing it as another act of oppression by the Israeli government. The Al-Aqsa compound holds immense religious significance for both Muslims and Jews, adding a layer of complexity to the issue.

History of Friction  

Access restrictions at Al-Aqsa have long been a flashpoint for conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Religious holidays, such as Ramadan, often exacerbate these tensions. Previous attempts by Israeli forces to impose limitations on worshippers have resulted in violent clashes, further inflaming the situation. The volatile nature of the issue highlights the deep-seated divisions in the region and the challenges of finding a peaceful resolution.

Read More: Israeli settlers attack Palestinian women in Al Aqsa Mosque

Hamas Condemns Restrictions  

Hamas, the Palestinian group governing the Gaza Strip, has strongly condemned Israel’s planned restrictions on Al-Aqsa during Ramadan. Describing it as “Zionist criminality,” Hamas has called on Palestinians to mobilize against the decision. The group’s denouncement reflects the broader sentiment of frustration and resistance among Palestinians in the face of ongoing Israeli policies they perceive as oppressive. The rhetoric from Hamas signals a potential escalation in tensions in the coming weeks.

Israeli Assault on Gaza Intensifies

In addition to the Al-Aqsa restrictions, Israel has also vowed to continue its assault on Gaza during Ramadan. The densely populated Rafah area in the south has been a particular focus of Israeli military operations. The announcement has raised concerns about the humanitarian impact on Gaza’s civilian population, already devastated by previous conflicts and a prolonged blockade. The international community has called for restraint, but Israeli leaders remain steadfast in their pursuit of what they term “total victory” over Hamas.

Read More: The Israelis set for new Jewish temple on Al-Aqsa site

Efforts to broker a ceasefire and exchange of prisoners between Israel and Hamas have hit a roadblock in recent weeks. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed Hamas’ demands as “delusional,” while the United States, Israel’s top ally, has signaled reluctance to support a UN resolution calling for a ceasefire. Meanwhile, international pressure on Israel to halt its assault on Gaza continues to mount, with concerns growing over the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the enclave.