Israeli settlers call for animal sacrifices at Al-Aqsa compound during Jewish passover

Israeli settlers call for animal sacrifices at Al-Aqsa compound during Jewish passover
An extremist Israeli group associated with the Temple Mount Movement called for followers to carry out animal sacrifices at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound next week.
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Israeli settlers raid the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on the first day of Ramadan on March 23, 2023 [Jerusalem Islamic Waqf/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty]

An Israeli settler group has called on supporters to bring live animals to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound next week and slaughter them for sacrifice on the occasion of Passover.

The extremist Temple Mount movement asked followers on Tuesday evening to gather at the entrance to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on the eve of the Jewish Passover holiday, which takes place on 5 April.

Supporters were told to bring animals for sacrificial slaughter inside the Al-Aqsa compound, the third-holiest site in Islam and an area where non-Muslim prayers and rituals are forbidden by long-standing agreement.

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Sheikh Omar Al Kiswani, director of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, The New Arab's Arabic-language sister edition, that the announcement was "very dangerous".

He vowed that the mosque authorities would stop settlers from going ahead with the sacrifices.

"This is what we are telling the occupation, and we demand that it rein in its extremist settlers," he said.

Political  analyst Rasem Obeidat warned that these sacrifices would lead to an "explosion" in tensions at the gate of the Al-Aqsa compound.

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"In the event that they enact their threats with support from their extremist government, matters might explode across all the Palestinian territories, like the Saif Al-Quds ("the Sword of Jerusalem") battle which took place in May 2021 - in fact it could be on an even wider scale which could lead to a regional war," said Obeidat, who was referring to a 10-day conflict between Hamas and Israel in 2021 which was provoked by Israeli police attacks on worshippers at Al-Aqda.

Scores of Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the early hours of Wednesday morning, in what has become a regular occurrence at the holy Islamic site.

They often enter with heavy police protection to provoke Muslim worshippers and perform rituals at the compound, which is under the custodianship of Jordan.

It comes amid an increase in violence in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank following the establishment of a far-right government in Israel. At least 90 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in 2023 alone.

This is an edited and abridged translation from our Arabic edition. To read the original article click here.