Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid visits the Damascus Gate in occupied Al-Quds (Jerusalem), 3 April 2022. (Photo credit: Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90)
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid made a provocative visit to the Israeli occupied capital of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), entering via the Damascus gate on the morning of 3 April.
Lapid’s visit is considered highly offensive as it took place at the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan. He was joined by other high ranking Israeli officials.
The Palestinian foreign ministry condemned the provocative visit, calling it “an embodiment of the ugliest form of the Israeli apartheid, which the occupying regime imposes on the Palestinian nation within the framework of an expansionist and colonial system that restricts and confiscates the freedom of Palestinians.”
The statement added that Lapid’s promises to protect Jewish settlers with increased security presence in the occupied lands as a denial of the fact that Jewish extremists attack Christians and Muslims alike, as well as violate their sanctities.
“This is a difficult, tense period, but we have a police [force] that can be relied on to get us through this complex period,” Lapid said during his visit.
Palestinian resistance movement Hamas also denounced the visit, referring to it as a “sinister plot” to continue Israeli policies of ethnically cleansing occupied Jerusalem of its Palestinian inhabitants, as well as to desecrate and demolish the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
“We hold leaders of the occupying Israeli regime responsible for the consequences of the escalation of tensions in Al-Quds; because we and the Palestinian people are committed to protecting al-Quds and the Al-Aqsa mosque mightily and through all available means,” Hamas spokesman Mohammad Hamadeh said.
The spokesman also warned that such a visit is “dangerous and escalatory,” in its provoking of the feelings of Palestinians as well as insulting Muslims across the world, given the timing of the visit taking place during Ramadan.
During the night of 3 April, clashes erupted between the Israeli occupation and the local Palestinian inhabitants of Al-Quds. The clashes led to 19 Palestinians sustaining injuries and 10 being arrested, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent and Israeli police.
The visit follows a recent string of Palestinian attacks on Israeli settlers and officers in what is being seen as a new wave of Palestinian uprisings.