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Palestinian Foreign Ministry, Hamas condemn Israeli FM’s visit to occupied East al-Quds

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (Photo via Twitter)

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry and Hamas resistance movement have strongly condemned the latest visit by Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to East al-Quds, amid heightened tensions across occupied Palestine as the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan begins.

“We condemn Lapid’s provocative visit to the Damascus Gate in the occupied al-Quds, and the promises he made to Jewish extremists to deploy more occupation forces and provide security during Jewish holidays,” the ministry said in a statement.

It denounced the promises as “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 stressed that Lapid’s statements are nothing but a denial of the fact that it is the Jewish extremists who attack Christians and Muslims and desecrate their sanctities.

“The Israeli apartheid is exhibited this time in al-Quds and by Lapid, who completely ignores that the territory is an occupied land. His security measures have completed bids meant to suppress Palestinian citizens,” the Palestinian Foreign Ministry noted.

Hamas: Visit in line with ‘sinister plots’

Moreover, Hamas spokesperson Mohammad Hamadeh slammed Lapid’s visit, stating it is a clear sign of the Israeli regime’s insistence on carrying out its sinister plans in al-Quds and the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Hamadeh condemned the move as “dangerous and escalatory,” saying it provokes the feelings of Palestinians as well as Muslims worldwide during the month of Ramadan.

“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,” the Hamas spokesman said.

Lapid, accompanied by high-ranking Israeli officials, visited the occupied East al-Quds through the Damascus Gate early on Sunday.

The al-Aqsa mosque compound, which sits just above the Western Wall plaza, houses both the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa mosque.

The Jewish visitation of al-Aqsa is permitted, but according to an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government in the wake of Israel’s occupation of al-Quds in 1967, non-Muslim worship at the compound is prohibited.

Last May, frequent acts of violence against Palestinian worshipers at the al-Aqsa mosque led to an 11-day war between Palestinian resistance groups in the besieged Gaza Strip and the Israeli regime, during which the regime killed at least 260 Palestinians, including 66 children.

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