Tue 04 Apr 2023 4:23 pm - Jerusalem Time

The Chief Rabbi of Israel prohibits the carrying of Passover offerings to Al-Aqsa Mosque

The Chief Rabbi of Israel announced, on Tuesday, the ban on carrying the Jewish Passover offerings to be sacrificed at Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem.

This came in a statement issued by the Western Wall Heritage Foundation (Al-Buraq) "in the wake of news of extremist Jews' intention to bring Easter offerings to Al-Aqsa Mosque."

The statement said, "Under the direction of Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, Rabbi of the Western Wall and the Holy Places, we will work to prevent bringing animals into the area and the square of the Mughrabi Gate," which leads to the Western Wall and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Western Wall, the holiest site in which Jews can pray, is located below Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam, while the Jews call it the "Temple Mount" and consider it their holiest religious place.

The Jewish holiday of Passover begins on Wednesday and sheep and goats are usually sacrificed on the eve of the holiday.

In previous years Jewish activists had tried to smuggle animals into the mosque to re-enact the sacrifice as described in the Jewish Bible.

The Temple Mount Trustees, an extremist Jewish group, called for "carrying offerings and sacrificing them on the Temple Mount (Al-Aqsa Mosque). Whoever succeeds in this sacred mission will win 20,000 shekels," or 5,570 US dollars.

The police said that "the group's official was arrested on Monday as a precautionary measure."

On Tuesday, the Israeli rabbi of the Sephardic Jews, Yitzhak Youssef, published a memorandum banning worshipers from visiting Al-Aqsa because it is a "flagrant violation of Jewish law."

This year, Easter coincides with the month of Ramadan, which attracts huge crowds to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, said on Monday, "The Zionist settlers' planning to slaughter sacrifices and desecrate Al-Aqsa Mosque adds fuel to the fire, and the Israeli occupation bears full responsibility for its repercussions."

Al-Aqsa Mosque is at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Israeli forces control the entrances to the site, which is administered by the Islamic Endowments Department of Jordan.

The mosque witnesses from time to time tensions between worshipers and the Israeli police because of the Palestinians' refusal to allow Jews to enter and pray in it, considering this step as a provocation to them.


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The Chief Rabbi of Israel prohibits the carrying of Passover offerings to Al-Aqsa Mosque