Ex-Mossad chief warns Ben-Gvir could ignite entire Middle East

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Ex-Mossad chief warns Ben-Gvir could ignite entire Middle East

EXCLUSIVE: Danny Yatom tells Jewish News that Ben-Gvir's plans to visit Temple Mount as national security minister could also damage the Abraham Accords.

Israeli far right lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir visits the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City May 29, 2022 REUTERS/Sinan Abu Mayzer
Israeli far right lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir visits the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City May 29, 2022 REUTERS/Sinan Abu Mayzer

Former chief of Mossad Danny Yatom has warned Jewish News that Itamar Ben-Gvir, leader of the far-right Jewish Power party, could ignite the entire Middle East and damage Israel’s normalisation deals with Arab countries if he makes do on his promise to visit the Temple Mount after being sworn in as national security minister. 

When asked if Ben-Gvir’s planned visit could be compared to Ariel Sharon’s infamous visit to the Temple Mount in 2000, which helped ignite the second intifada, Yatom replied “no doubt.”

“It will ignite the vicinity of the Temple Mount,” as well as the West Bank and possibly the entire Middle East, Yatom said.

Falling short of promising to change the status-quo on the Temple Mount, which forbids Jews to pray there, Ben-Gvir said on Sunday that he will “work against the racist policy on the Temple Mount,” and that he intends to visit the Temple Mount in the coming months in his new role as National Security Minister.

Yatom warns that Netanyahu will “destroy his achievements” he made when he signed the Abraham Accords if he allows Ben-Gvir to visit the Temple Mount. It would also affect Israel’s relationship with Jordan and Egypt, he added.

Yatom said the new government, which he calls the most “extreme right-wing in Israel’s history” will undoubtedly make it more difficult for Israel to build in the Abraham Accords and normalise ties with other Arab states.

“Until a few years ago, those extremists weren’t accepted at the Knesset and all of a sudden they are normalised,” Yatom said.

“We are going to face very difficult times tense relationship with the Palestinians that might affect our ties with the U.S.,” he added.

The former Mossad chief also said that the ultra-orthodox parties in the government will be powerful politically and work against the interests of American Jewry. “I am worried,” Yatom concluded.

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