ISRAELI MPs stoked tensions by visit to Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque

ISRAELI MPs stoked tensions when they went to Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque yesterday after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lifted a ban on visits by politicians. Large numbers of heavily armed police and bodyguards accompanied Knesset members to Islam’s third-holiest site — administered by Jordan — just a month after protests forced the removal of new security measures.

It was the first visit by Knesset members to the site since October 2015, when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu banned politicians from the mosque and the Temple Mount in response to a wave of stabbing attacks across the city and the wider occupied territories.

Al-Aqsa director Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani said Mr Netanyahu was “trying to show that he controls the mosque.”I mposing facts on the ground “through the barrel of a gun and through occupation does not give them the right to control al-Aqsa,” Mr Kiswani insisted.
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