The Har Habayis – and the area around Al-Aqsa Mosque – proved to be a flashpoint again Sunday, as the Islamist Ra’am faction – a member of Israel’s governing coalition – condemned the hundreds of Jewish worshipers who ascended to the site.
“The Al-Aqsa Mosque, in its 144 dunams, is solely the property of Muslims, and no one else has any right to it,” the Islamist party said in a joint statement with its parent organization, the Islamic Movement, reported The Times of Israel (TOI).
According to the status quo, the Waqf, the Jordanian Islamic religious authority has responsibility for the site, which has been in force since Israel decided after the Six Day War in 1967 to not assert its rights over the Har Habayis. Any Jewish presence at what is Judaism’s holiest site is usually seen as a “provocation” and a convenient reason to begin unrest.
Ra’am objected to the Israel Police clearing the area of stone-throwing Palestinians in the morning and the presence of Jewish Knesset (Israel Parliament) members, some of whom sang “Hatikvah,” Israel’s national anthem.
Ra’am maintained that such actions could lead to renewed escalation between Israelis and Palestinians.