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Outgoing police minister warns Ben Gvir could spark full-scale Palestinian uprising

Public Security Minister Omer Barlev attends a faction meeting at the Knesset, in Jerusalem on June 6, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Public Security Minister Omer Barlev attends a faction meeting at the Knesset, in Jerusalem on June 6, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Public Security Minister Omer Barlev, who is expected to be replaced in the coming weeks by far-right MK Itamar Ben Gvir, has reportedly warned that his successor could spark a widescale Palestinian intifada, or uprising, if he goes through with plans to change the status quo in Jerusalem’s Temple Mount holy site.

The Ynet news site reports that during a meeting today summarizing the ministry’s conduct during his tenure, Barlev said he advised presumed incoming prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to put someone other than Ben Gvir in control of the Israel Police.

“If there is a change in the status quo on the Temple Mount there will be a third intifada,” Barlev reportedly said, referring to two previous uprisings, in the late 1980s and the early 2000s, that included many deadly terror attacks against Israelis.

“This is clear to me and also to Netanyahu, but we have seen that his considerations are frequently personal,” he charged.

Ben Gvir has for many years — and also recently — slammed the status quo on the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site and the third-holiest site for Muslims, who refer to it as the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound or the Noble Sanctuary. Jews are currently allowed to visit the site — during limited hours, from a single entrance point, on a predetermined route and with heavy restrictions — but not to pray or display religious or Israeli national symbols.

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