Arab members of Bennett’s gov’t warn of violence after Jews visit Temple Mount

The Islamist party member of Israel’s governing coalition warned of “ongoing violations and escalations against the Al-Aqsa Mosque by extremist settlers.”

By Aryeh Savir/TPS

The Islamist Ra’am party, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s coalition partners, issued a statement warning the Israeli government and police of a pending violent outburst after Jews arrived at the Temple Mount and one reportedly waved an Israeli flag.

The Islamic Movement stated that it is warning the government and police of “ongoing violations and escalations against the Al-Aqsa Mosque by extremist settlers, including prayers, marriage ceremonies and the blowing of the shofar. All this inside the courtyards of the mosque under the guard of the occupation police.”

“We have declared it before and we declare it again: Al Aqsa is a red line and is the holiest temple for us in this country. We will not allow any violation of its sanctity or any change in the status quo at the site,” the Movement stated.

Member of Knesset (MK) Sami Abu Shehadeh, of the Joint List, tweeted that the government has “apparently learned nothing from the Intifada last May, and it is leading to another round of escalation.”

He was referring to the countrywide Muslim riots against Jews as the IDF was engaged in Operation Guardian of the Walls against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

“The Palestinian people have decided that the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem, in general, are a red line, and will not allow it to be crossed or make any change in the status quo. The only change that will be accepted is the end of the occupation,” said Abu Shehadeh.

In response, MK Ofir Sofer, of the Religious Zionist Party, stated that “the ease with which a Knesset member in Israel allows himself to threaten the citizens of the State of Israel with an intifada is inconceivable.”

“The legitimacy [for the Ra’am party] was repeatedly given by the High Court, which did not disqualify supporters of terrorism from running for the Knesset, and by Zionist parties that allowed the Israeli government to become dependent on the pro-terrorism Ra’am party,” he stated.

MK Itamar Ben Gvir stated that “we are all tired of the agitations of Knesset members from Balad [part of the Joint List] and Ra’am who incite violence and encourage terrorism. If they continue to make threats and run amok, I will ascend the Temple Mount, with the Israeli flag, the holiest place for the Jewish people and the police will not be able to prevent this due to the Immunity of Knesset Members Law.”

Bennett remained silent on the issue.