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A fragile status quo on prayer rights at Jerusalem holy site comes under fresh strain

July 20, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 19.7%. 1 min read.

The scenes of Israeli forces firing stun grenades and tear gas inside Jerusalem's Al Aqsa mosque earlier this year had a galvanizing effect on Palestinian public opinion.

Ever since Israel captured Jerusalem's Old City from Jordan in 1967, a delicate status quo has existed at a complex known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) and to Jews as the Temple Mount.

Asked by CNN whether Bennett's comments represented a policy shift, an official at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) insisted there was "no change in the status quo regarding the Temple Mount.

Unnamed officials in the PMO were quoted in Israeli media saying that whatever the statement might have said, what Bennett meant was that Jews have visitation rights at the Mount.

The Jordanian-run waqf, or Islamic trust, which administers the Haram al-Sharif, pulled no punches in a statement, accusing the Israeli government and police of allowing "groups of extremists Jews to storm the mosque and provocatively pray and make public rituals in the compound. "

"When you say, 'right of Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount' you have changed the status quo," Seidemann said, adding that Bennett's original words gave "the stamp of approval to a highly problematic erosion [of the status quo] that has taken place over the last few years. "

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