Israeli media: Netanyahu (left) accepted Ben Gvir’s recommendation to impose restrictions on Palestinian access from within the Green Line to Al-Aqsa during Ramadan (European)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said - today, Monday - that Israel will place some restrictions on the entry of worshipers into Al-Aqsa Mosque during the upcoming month of Ramadan, according to security conditions.

Netanyahu's office added that the Prime Minister took what he described as a balanced decision that allows freedom of worship according to the security conditions, according to the opinion of the specialists.

This comes after Israeli Channel 13 reported that Netanyahu agreed to restrict the entry of Palestinians to Al-Aqsa Mosque during the month of Ramadan, according to the request of National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir.

Ben Gvir's plan stipulates preventing Palestinian worshipers coming from the West Bank and from within the Green Line from entering occupied Jerusalem to pray in Al-Aqsa Mosque during the month of Ramadan.

The Israeli Broadcasting Corporation also quoted two sources as saying that the Israeli police presented a “consensual proposal” regarding the entry of worshipers into Al-Aqsa Mosque during the month of Ramadan, which includes a proposal to prevent men under the age of forty from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque and to determine the ages of children and women later.

The authority explained that Netanyahu expressed his support for the police proposal and requested its study. It added, according to a government source, that the target number of worshipers during Ramadan in Al-Aqsa Mosque is “50,000 at the same time.”

The government source said, "Any decision is subject to change depending on the combat situation in Gaza and if an agreement is reached to release the hostages."

The broadcaster also quoted Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz as saying, "We will allow freedom of worship and any restrictions imposed will be for security reasons."

For its part, Maariv newspaper quoted Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich as saying that restricting entry to Al-Aqsa Mosque is an excellent opportunity to change course. Smotrich added that Ramadan will be difficult in the West Bank, as there are no workers and no salaries, and he said that the Palestinians must understand that there is a price they must pay.

"religious war"

While the preacher of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Ikrimah Sabri, said that the decision to prevent Muslims from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque is “invalid and contradicts freedom of worship,” the Palestinian News Agency “Wafa” quoted the Supreme Fatwa Council in Palestine warning of what it described as a religious war following the Israeli decision.

The Supreme Fatwa Council in Palestine also urged those who can reach Al-Aqsa Mosque to travel there and protect it, noting that the Israeli decision aims to empty the mosque of its visitors “in implementation of the Judaization plan.”

The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) condemned the Israeli occupation's intention to restrict Palestinian access to the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan.

Hamas said - in a statement - that Netanyahu’s adoption of extremist Minister Ben Gvir’s proposal to restrict the entry of Palestinians from inside and Jerusalem to Al-Aqsa Mosque during the month of Ramadan is “an extension of the Zionist crime and the religious war led by the group of extremist settlers in the terrorist occupation government against the Palestinian people.”

Hamas considered that the violation of freedom of worship in the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque indicates the occupation’s intention to escalate its aggression against Al-Aqsa Mosque during the month of Ramadan.

In a statement, the movement called on the Palestinian people in the occupied territories, Jerusalem, and the occupied West Bank to reject this “criminal decision and to resist the brutality of the occupation,” and to mobilize, set off, and stay in the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque. Hamas also warned Israel against harming Al-Aqsa Mosque or freedom of worship there.

Tel Aviv's decision to restrict Palestinians' entry into Al-Aqsa Mosque to perform prayers during the upcoming month of Ramadan was met with widespread criticism within Israel.

The nature of these restrictions has not been officially announced, but the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation said - today, Monday - that “the security departments are scheduled to submit to the mini-ministerial council their recommendations regarding the nature of the restrictions that will be imposed on the entry of worshipers into the Holy Mosque during Ramadan.”

The Israeli authority stated that this measure will be implemented during the first week of Ramadan, and a decision will be taken at the end of it whether this mechanism will continue to work or whether facilities will be added to it.

The Israeli security establishment had warned that Al-Aqsa would unite Muslims against Israel on both sides of the Green Line.

Source: Al Jazeera + agencies