JERUSALEM: Israel’s national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir visited the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound Sunday, police said, a controversial move by the extreme-right politician amid heightened tensions in annexed east Jerusalem.
“Minister Ben-Gvir visited the Temple Mount this morning. There was no incident during the visit,” police said in a statement, using the Jewish name for the holy site in the heart of the Old City.
Posting a photo of himself at the compound on Telegram, Ben-Gvir said: “Jerusalem is our soul.”
“The threats of Hamas will not deter us, I went up to the Temple Mount!” he wrote, referring to the militant group that rules Gaza and had denounced Ben-Gvir’s last visit to the site in January.
Al-Aqsa mosque is the third holiest site in Islam. Non-Muslims are permitted to visit the site, but not pray there.
The compound is also the most sacred site for Jews, who pray below it at the Western Wall.
Ben-Gvir’s visit comes three days after he and tens of thousands of Israeli nationalists marched through the Old City to celebrate its capture in the 1967 Six-Day War.