Authorities warned of unrest if Muslims barred from Temple Mount on Ramadan

Channel 12 news reports that unnamed senior police officials are warning that unrest could be sparked in Jerusalem and mixed Arab-Jewish cities in the event that authorities place curbs on Muslim citizens attending prayers atop the Temple Mount over Ramadan.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, who has authority over the police, has reportedly pushed for men under a certain age to be banned from reaching the compound, considered the third holiest in Islam.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed security officials at a cabinet meeting earlier this month to present options for age criteria and quotas that could be placed on Arab citizens who wish to visit the holy site for the holiday, reportedly sparking warnings from Shin Bet head Ronen Bar that the move could lead to religiously tinged violence.

According to Channel 12, police officials noted that Arab citizens of Israel did not protest the country’s military campaign in Gaza, lowering fears that they could prove a security risk.

That same point is also made in a letter to police chief Kobi Shabtai from the Abraham Initiatives coexistence group, which highlights increased tensions between police and worshipers during the sensitive period. The letter notes that Muslim citizens are entitled to freedom of worship as any other citizen.

“We warn against the unrest that could break out following irresponsible actions, whether on the ground or in racist or Islamophobic statements,” the group says.

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