Hamas warns Israel against ‘violations’ during Ramadan

On Tuesday, the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas warned Israel that it would respond to any "violations" at a sensitive holy site in Jerusalem during the upcoming Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The warning came less than two weeks before the start of Ramadan and amid an escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict under Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

According to Salah al-Aruri, deputy head of Hamas' political bureau, the risk of escalation is entirely dependent on "Israeli occupation violations across Palestine and at Al-Aqsa mosque" in annexed east Jerusalem.

Al-Aqsa, a mosque compound administered by Jordan, is Islam's third holiest site. It is constructed on top of what Jews refer to as the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site.

Any attempt by Israel to "impose" its policies during Ramadan would be met with a "reaction of our people," Aruri said, according to his movement's official website.

Meanwhile, Hamas has no plans to escalate during Ramadan, according to the English-language version of Aruri's remarks, though this clarification is missing from the Arabic version.

Non-Muslims are permitted to visit the site at specific times but are not permitted to pray there.

In recent years, an increasing number of Jews, mostly Israeli nationalists, have secretly prayed at the compound, which Palestinians have condemned.

When Israel's far-right national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, visited the site in January, he sparked international outrage.

A controversial visit by then-opposition leader Ariel Sharon in 2000 was one of the main catalysts for the second Palestinian intifada, which lasted until 2005.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has claimed the lives of 81 Palestinian adults and children, including militants and civilians, since the beginning of the year.

According to an AFP tally based on official sources from both sides, thirteen Israelis, including three children and one police officer, and one Ukrainian civilian have been killed during the same period.

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