On Wednesday, the leader of an Israeli far-right group demanded that the Dome of the Rock Mosque be demolished.
The founder and leader of Lehava, Bentzi Gopstein, posted the controversial post online in which he called on Israeli settlers to assemble on “Jerusalem Day” on 29 May to begin dismantling Al-Aqsa and pave the way for a Jewish temple to be built at the revered Muslim site.
“Jerusalem Day, which falls on 29 May, marks the day the Dome of the Rock is demolished,” Gopstein wrote.
In a statement, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned Lehava’s call to destroy the Dome of the Rock. Calling it a “Jewish terrorist group”.
Israeli settlers and forces performed Jewish prayers at the mosque repeatedly last month. It was causing tensions in the city and leading to a violent police crackdown.
Last year, activists from Lehava called for mobilization and picked up arms, and marched in the city shouting. “Death to Arabs”.
Far-right activists have repeatedly pushed for increased Jewish presence at the site. despite a long-standing agreement between Israel and Jordan. Which administers the mosque, and prohibits non-Muslim prayer at the site.
Israel’s right-wing activists and groups such as Lehava have openly advocated for the destruction of al-Aqsa Mosque. The Dome of the Rock in order to build a Third Temple.
According to Palestinian witnesses, the fighting began after police entered the mosque compound and began firing.
According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, more than 330 Palestinians had been injured by afternoon, with at least 250 hospitalized. The medical aid group said one person was hit in the head by a bullet and was in critical condition. With two more in serious or critical condition.
According to the police, at least 21 police officers were injured.
For weeks, Hamas has threatened to respond with force to Israeli provocations in Jerusalem. Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri said on Sunday night that tampering with Jerusalem would result in burning the heads of the occupiers.