Israeli minister visits Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa complex and stirs up controversy


Israel’s minister of national security, Itamar Ben Gvir, paid a visit to the Al Aqsa Mosque complex in Jerusalem on Wednesday. During his visit, he said that the disputed holy site “belongs only to the state of Israel.”

Ben-Gvir said that his visit was a direct response to three European countries’ recent unilateral acceptance of an independent Palestinian state.

“We will not even allow a statement about a Palestinian state,” he declared emphatically.

The Al Aqsa Mosque complex, perched atop a hill, holds immense religious significance for both Muslims and Jews. The rival claims to the spot have resulted in numerous violent incidents in the past.

 Al Aqsa

Jews are welcome to visit the complex, but Israel forbids them from praying there.

This comes after Palestine was formally recognized as a state by Norway and Ireland.

“If there is no recognition, there cannot be peace in the Middle East,” stated Norway’s prime minister, Jonas Gahr Støre.

According to Gahr Store, on May 28, the Nordic nation will acknowledge the existence of a Palestinian state.

The head of the Norwegian government declared, “Hamas and militant groups who are not supporters of a two-state solution and the state of Israel have committed the terror.”

The Palestinian Authority, together with its opponent Hamas, welcomed Ireland’s, Spain’s, and Norway’s recognition of a Palestinian state. Although Gaza is still under Hamas’ control, the Palestinian Authority exercises limited self-government over the West Bank.

Several European Union countries, such as Malta, Ireland, Spain, and Slovenia, have said in recent weeks  that they intend to recognize each other, arguing that two-state solution is required for long-term peace in the region. Despite not being part of the EU, Norway takes its lead in supporting the idea of Israel and Palestine 

having two states.

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