06 November 2017
Some 68 per cent of Israeli Jews believe that the status quo at Al-Aqsa Mosque should be abolished, allowing them to perform rituals at the holy site, according to a poll conducted for right wing think tank, a poll by the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies (JISS) has shown.
Additionally, nearly three quarters (72 per cent) believe that Israel should ensure that it maintains sovereignty over the Al-Aqsa compound, regardless of future diplomatic agreements that may recognise the right of Palestinians to the site.
Over half of the respondents also supported the Greater Jerusalem bill that would see illegal West Bank settlements annexed as part of the city’s municipality and 64 per cent said they believe Israel must control the entire Jerusalem “envelope” for security and ideological reasons.
The same proportion answered that dividing the city between Israeli and Palestinian control would “endanger the future of the Jewish state”.
The newly launched JISS institute commented on the report’s findings, saying that the organisation would work to reinforce the “healthy conservative leanings” of the Israeli public.
Israeli settlers have increased the number of break-ins at Al-Aqsa Mosque in recent months, especially since the crisis surrounding access for Palestinians in July. Extreme settler groups have repeatedly called for increasing raids of Al-Aqsa Mosque, especially on significant Jewish holidays.
The hundreds of settlers that have stormed the compound have strained tensions in occupied East Jerusalem. Whilst Israelis have been permitted to enter the mosque at will, Muslim worshippers still face heavy restrictions when trying to enter the site to perform their daily prayers.
Last month, Israeli settlers also pledged to rebuild the alleged Jewish temple that they claim stood the site, as they performed other religious rituals in the Muslim sanctuary.
In September, the Israeli government fixed times for Members of the Knesset (MKs) to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque. The government made the move in response to a petition submitted to the Israeli Supreme Court by far-right MK Yehuda Gluck, who demanded that the court overturn a ban on incursions at the site by state ministers.
SOURCE: Middle East Monitor