Israeli extremists offer $5,500 bounty for provocative animal sacrifices at Al-Aqsa

Israeli extremists offer $5,500 bounty for provocative animal sacrifices at Al-Aqsa
The extremist Israeli group has looked to carry out animal sacrifices at the Muslim holy site.
2 min read
31 March, 2023
Al-Aqsa is the third-holiest site in Islam [Getty]

Israeli religious extremists are offering thousands of dollars to followers who are arrested for carrying out a provocative animal sacrifice at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound during Passover, according to reports.

The 'Returning to the Mount' movement has called for animal sacrifices at Al-Aqsa to mark the Jewish holiday on 5 April, pledging a 20,000 Israeli shekel ($5,557) reward, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The act would likely inflame already high tensions in occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is situated, and the West Bank, which has been subject to fierce Israeli settler and military assaults over the past few months killing at least 90 Palestinians.

Al-Aqsa, the third-holiest place in Islam, is also reportedly the location of the Jewish Second Temple, with extremists attempting animal sacrifices or prayers at the site despite a ban on such rituals.

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'Returning to the Mount' have also posted online Arabic-language messages and pasted posters on walls in Jerusalem's Old City, promising money to locals who host sacrificial lambs during Passover.

These rituals were traditionally carried out at the Second Temple during Passover until its destruction. Jewish extremists have attempted similar animal slaughters at Al-Aqsa in recent years, including last April when six people were arrested.

Extremists also carry out regular raids of Al-Aqsa compound under the protection of Israeli soldiers.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new government includes a host of far-right and religious extremist parties, who are pushing through radical reforms such as a ban on leavened foods in hospitals during Passover.

Non-Muslims are allowed to visit Al-Aqsa but cannot pray or carry out other religious rituals there according to an agreement with the custodian of Jerusalem's holy sites, Jordan.

Far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir sparked outrage by raiding Al-Aqsa in January.