Arab lawmakers vow to defy Al Aqsa Mosque ban in Israel

After Netanyahu's ban on Israel Knesset members entering Jerusalem site Israeli Arab lawmakers vow to defy ban

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to the media after attending a meeting in an army base near the West Bank city of Nablus, October 6, 2015

Arab lawmakers have vowed to defy Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu's latest decision to ban parliament members from entering the Al Aqsa Mosque complex, which is a holy place for Muslim community.

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the Israeli police to ban entry of ministers and Knesset members to Al Aqsa Mosque compound, according to Israeli media. Muslim Knesset members will still be able to enter the compound.

Netanyahu apparently gave the order during a security consultation last week, according to Haaretz, however, the cabinet ministers have not yet been formally briefed over the new order.

Israeli Agriculture Minister, Uri Ariel visited the mosque compound last week and showed tremendous support for the Orthodox Jews and illegal settlers to pray in the compound. Normally, Jews and non-Muslims can visit the site but are banned from praying there.

This new directive comes following intense confrontations between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police, who repeatedly used live bullets in the clashes, in addition to tear gas and rubber bullets.

The Israeli prime minister also canceled his trip to Germany in light of the situation.

In the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, tensions have been exacerbated by the killing of two Jewish settlers last week near the Jewish-only Itamar settlement located near the West Bank city of Nablus.

Israel annexed West Jerusalem in 1967, a move that is not recognised by the international community.

On Wednesday, Israeli police shot and killed a Palestinian woman on the spot, after she was seen stabbing an Israeli man in Jerusalem’s Old City.

An Israeli policeman is pictured near the car of a Palestinian driver who was shot by Israeli soldiers at the Za'im checkpoint near the Israeli West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim, adjacent to Jerusalem October 7, 2015.

According to Israeli news outlets, the Palestinian woman armed with a knife came from behind and stabbed the Israeli man in the upper body. Two other Israeli men were reportedly stabbed by a Palestinian man on Wednesday, both people survived the attack.

In light of recent unrest, White House spokesman expressed deep concern about the situation on Wednesday, urging Israelis and Palestinians to restore calm.

"The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms violence against Israelis and Palestinian civilians," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said at a news briefing.

"We call upon all parties to take affirmative steps to restore calm and refrain from actions and rhetoric that would further inflame tensions in that region of the world."

Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces across the West Bank on Wednesday, including in Jericho, Bethlehem, Hebron and Ramallah, where students of Birzeit University had called for a "Day of Rage".

Hundreds of Palestinians have been injured by Israeli gunfire – and two Palestinian youths were killed – over the past three days in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem amid ongoing clashes with Israeli security forces.

Israeli soldiers detain a wounded Palestinian protester during clashes near the Jewish settlement of Bet El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, October 7, 2015.

“Since Oct. 3, at least 500 Palestinians have been injured in clashes with Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem,” the Palestinian Red Crescent said in a statement. “Forty-one Palestinians have been injured by live ammunition, 134 by rubber bullets and 307 by excessive tear gas, while 18 others were beaten.”

TRTWorld and agencies