Photo Credit: Jamal Awad / Flash 90
Palestinian Authority Arabs pray during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan at the Al-Aqsa mosque in the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem's Old City on April 15, 2022.

No decision has yet been made by the Israeli government on whether to restrict Israeli Muslim Arab access to the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem for the upcoming Islamic Ramadan holiday, which begins March 11. on Israel’s Muslim Arab population, Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy told reporters Monday during the daily briefing.

“It’s my understanding that decisions have not yet been made,” Levy said. “We are waiting for an opinion of the Israel Police, and of course decisions will be made in accordance with interests of public safety and security.”


Nor has any final decision been reached on whether to allow Palestinian Authority Arabs to enter Israel for pilgrimage to the site.

Should Israeli Arabs Have Unrestricted Access?
The question of whether to allow unrestricted access to the site by Arab Muslims with Israeli citizenship remains unanswered as well.

There are vast differences in the ways Israeli Arabs and their Palestinian Authority counterparts view the “Iron Swords War” launched on October 7th against Israel by Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization, and its outcomes.

Israeli Arabs were nearly evenly divided over whether Israel is justified in its response to the horrific invasion by Hamas and its terrorist allies on October 7, and the tortures, massacre and abductions that followed, according to a survey carried out by the Moshe Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University.

About one-half of the Arab public (47 percent) felr that the Israeli response to the attack by Hamas on October 7, 2023 was justified and 44 percent did not feel that way, according to the survey, published December 3, 2023.

Most of the Arab public (57 percent) said they believe that Hamas militants intentionally harmed women and children in the Western Negev Jewish communities.

A significant majority (85 percent) positively viewed the initiatives by Arab citizens to provide aid to residents of the Western Negev, and 81 percent of the respondents reported feeling less secure as a result of the war, among other findings.

Palestinian Authority Terrorists Participated in Oct. 7 Massacre
“Fatah’s own terror group the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades has also claimed that its fighters participated in the October 7th Its spokesperson has released videos of terrorists abducting and taunting victims from Israel, wearing clearly recognizable yellow scarves associated with Fatah (as opposed to the green color associated with Hamas). The video says, first we “liberate the Gaza Strip,” then the rest of “Palestine” – “tomorrow at the gates of Jerusalem,” IDSF wrote in an extensive report.

Top Palestinian Authority officials refused to condemn the slaughter and in fact celebrated it. Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly expressed his interest in forming a partnership with Hamas for a “unity government” in hopes of regaining control over Gaza, seized by Hamas in June 2007 from the PA’s ruling Fatah faction.

Nearly 75% of PA Arabs Say Hamas Was Right to Attack Israel on Oct. 7

Nearly 75 percent of the Palestinian Authority population believes Hamas was right to launch its attack on October 7, according to a survey by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research that polled 1,231 Arab adults in the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria between Nov. 22 and Dec. 2, 2023.

Amazingly, 89 percent of the respondents denied the terrorists committed war crimes on Oct. 7, while 95 percent claimed that Israel breached international law during its defensive operation against Hamas in Gaza.

Israel Police Propose Limited Access
On Sunday, Israel Police presented the government cabinet with a proposal to restrict access to the site to men ages 40 and up during the first week of the month-long festival, with a follow-up decision to be made at the end of that first week. Not was the question of access for women and children resolved.

But no final decision has yet been made by the government, despite reports to the contrary.

Israeli media offered differing reports on what was discussed and whether any decision had been made, including over the question of whether to allow Palestinian Authority citizens to enter Israel for the purpose of praying at the site, despite the risk involved.

Ben-Gvir: ‘Take a Look at the Polls!’
National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir remains adamantly opposed to allowing any Palestinian Authority resident to enter Israel for any reason, including for the purpose of pilgrimage to the Al Aqsa Mosque, which has traditionally been a flashpoint during Ramadan.

“It is absolutely forbidden to allow the entry of residents from the ‘Palestinian’ Authority into the territory of Israel,” Ben-Gvir said on Saturday night ahead of the cabinet meeting.

“It cannot be that while kidnapped women are being raped in Gaza, Israel is allowing a Hamas victory celebration on the Temple Mount.

“The positions of some of the security officials recommending the approval of a massive entry of PA residents into the Temple Mount show that they have learned nothing from October 7.

“I recommend that those security officials take a look at the polls conducted in the Palestinian Authority, where they will discover the tremendous support for the massacre committed by Hamas on the seventh of October,” he advised.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.