Senior sources in the Israel Police have warned that the recent clashes at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem could spread to Israeli cities with mixed Arab and Jewish residents, Israeli Channel 12 news reported on Wednesday.
During Israel’s war with Hamas in May 2021, Jewish and Arab residents rioted in mixed Israeli cities, such as Ramle, Lod and Acre.
In addition, Israeli military intelligence officials recently warned the nation’s political leaders that there is a higher risk of another regional war in the current climate than periods that are relatively more calm. Such wider conflict could involve Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iran-affiliated terrorist militias in Syria.
Saleh al-Arouri, a senior official in Hamas, recently branded the Gaza-based terrorist organization as a “defender” of the Al Aqsa Mosque, which is situated on top of the Jewish Temple Mount.
“The resistance forces have the power and means to stop the aggression against the mosque and will work for its liberation,” said al-Arouri at an event in Beirut.
“[Israel] has never before experienced similar division,” said al-Arouri, referring to the current political divisions in Israeli society over the government’s judicial overhaul plans.
In an effort to lower tensions, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to ban Jews and other non-Muslims from visiting the Temple Mount for the remaining 10 days of the Muslim month of Ramadan.
“The prime minister and the ministers instructed to invest all the necessary operational forces in order to protect the worshippers who will come to the Western Wall, and the delegates who are led to it,” read the statement announcing the ban.
However, Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir blasted the prime minister’s decision as “a serious mistake that will not bring peace but may only escalate the situation.”
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.