|Palestinian Muslims at the Al-Aqsa Temple (which Israel calls the Temple Mount) in Jerusalem, April 22, 2022. (Photo: AFP/VNA)
This was the first visit by an Israeli minister to the area in five years and there was no sign of him entering the temple. However, the opposition leader, former Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, warned that Ben-Gvir's visit would increase friction with Palestinians after a surge of violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank in 2022.
Hussein Al-Sheikh, Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said Ben-Gvir's presence at the Al-Aqsa mosque as Israel's security minister was a "blatant challenge".
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh cast the visit by a far-right Isreali official to a contested Jerusalem holy site as a bid to turn the mosque “into a Jewish temple”. He called on the Palestinians to confront such incursions aimed at making Al-Aqsa Mosque "a Jewish temple, which constitutes a violation of all norms, values, agreements, and international laws’. The Islamic Jihad Movement in Gaza said in a statement that Ben Gvir's entry into the Al-Aqsa Mosque would "open the door to an open uprising."
In a statement on Tuesday, Jordan's Foreign Ministry protested Ben Gvir's trip to the Al-Aqsa Temple. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have also condemned the visit.