Hamas chief calls for Arab riots on Temple Mount during Ramadan

Ismail Haniyeh urges Arabs to ‘barricade themselves’ on the Temple Mount during upcoming Ramadan holy month.

By World Israel News Staff

Hamas chairman and former Palestinian Authority premier Ismail Haniyeh called for mass riots on the Temple Mount during the upcoming Islamic holy month of Ramadan, in the hopes of escalating tensions at the holy site.

During an interview with the Hezbollah-aligned Lebanese television network Al-Manar, Haniyeh called Wednesday on Palestinian Arabs to “barricade themselves” inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque ahead of Ramadan, in order to break “the siege” on the Temple Mount.

Ramadan, which this year begins on March 10th and lasts through April 9th, is often marked by violent clashes and Arab terror attacks across Israel, with tensions highest in and around the Temple Mount.

Given the ongoing war against Hamas and Hezbollah and the elevated terror risk throughout the country, the Israeli government is considering limiting the number of visitors to the Temple Mount during Ramadan.

The Palestinian Authority condemned the plan, saying it constituted a declaration of a “holy war” on Muslim pilgrims.

On Wednesday, Haniyeh called for “a broad and international movement to break the siege on al-Aqsa Mosque,” with rioters barricading themselves inside the mosque in defiance of the limits imposed by police.

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Haniyeh also urged Palestinian terror groups and Arab states to force aid into the Gaza Strip, without specifying how, and to “restrain” Israel and prevent the planned ground operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

“It is the duty of the Arab and Islamic nations to take the initiative to break the starvation conspiracy in Gaza.”

“The occupation and its partner, the United States, will not be able to achieve through political machinations what they did not achieve in combat. The world, especially Arab states, must restrain the enemy and refuse to let them invade the city of Rafah.”