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Israeli Government Takes ‘Caution’ in Jerusalem

Israeli Government Takes ‘Caution’ in Jerusalem

Tuesday, 20 July, 2021 - 08:30
Palestinians pray on the first day of Eid al-Adha, in the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, in the Old City, East Jerusalem, July 20, 2021. (Reuters)

The new Israeli government is trying to maintain calm in Jerusalem and other occupied territories through several measures aimed at appeasing settlers and averting tensions.


Israel’s Channel 12 reported that the government requested a postponement of the Supreme Court’s decision to evacuate Khan al-Ahmar village, east of Jerusalem in the West Bank.


The network indicated that Foreign Minister Yair Lapid sent a request on Sunday to Cabinet Secretary Shalom Shlomo and Attorney General Avichai Mandeblit asking for a further delay of the demolition of the village located in Area C.


Lapid noted that the demolition is a particularly “sensitive issue,” the government is requesting more time to examine the necessary conditions for the evacuation of the outpost and conduct a significant and in-depth inquiry of all the legal and international consequences of the move.


The government also decided to issue about 150,000 entry permits to Palestinians of the ‘48 in the West Bank throughout the Eid al-Adha holiday that begins Tuesday and ends on Friday.


The right-wing Channel 20 estimates the Israeli authorities will grant 20,000 permits for prayer in al-Aqsa Mosque during Eid, citing an official in the Israeli security services.


Prime Minister Naftali Bennett recanted earlier statements in which he said Israel would preserve freedom of worship for Jews on the Temple Mount.


Haaretz reported that the statement deviated from Israel’s status quo, in which Jews are banned from prayer on the site.


“There is no change in the status quo,” a Monday morning statement from Bennett’s bureau read, noting that the intention behind the message was that the right of Jews to visit, rather than to pray at, the Temple Mount would be preserved.


The newspaper said that the status quo in Jerusalem was according to an Ottoman-era arrangement when it was agreed between all religious leaders under the authority of the ruling Ottoman Empire to maintain an image that preserves the rights of religions and sects and protects historical and religious monuments.


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