Israeli minister calls for Al-Aqsa change
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Internal Security Minister Gilad Ardan called on Tuesday for a change in the status of al-Aqsa mosque so that Jews could pray, saying the situation in the mosque since 1967 was unfair to Jews.
"The Jewish prayer must be allowed by individuals or groups, whether open or closed," he said.
The status quo has prevailed in the mosque since the Ottoman period, where the Islamic Waqf Department is responsible for the mosque, where Muslims only pray.
The Israeli government claims it respects the status quo, but the Islamic Waqf says Israel violates its powers and allows Jews to storm the mosque without its consent and despite protests.
On Sunday, Israeli police allowed settlers to storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque after the crackdown on Muslim worshipers near the Mughrabi Gate. Clashes erupted with Palestinian worshipers.
The police removed the settlers and assaulted the worshipers, causing 61 injuries in their ranks, 16 of whom were transferred to hospitals in Jerusalem, according to statistics of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society.
Extremist Jewish groups call for the division of the Al-Aqsa Mosque between Muslims and Jews, which the Islamic Waqf Department strongly rejects.
The groups and organizations of the "alleged structure" demanded Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to allow the Jews to storm Al-Aqsa, even if it is a day of Muslims, ie during Eid al-Adha.