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Fears of Violence in Jerusalem as Ramadan Approaches Amid Gaza War

Concerns are growing over the potential escalation of violence, particularly in Jerusalem, as the Islamic holy month of Ramadan is set to begin. With a truce remaining elusive in the ongoing Gaza conflict, there are apprehensions about the situation further deteriorating during this sacred month.
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Hamas has called for increased visits to the al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest shrine in Islam, urging Palestinians to participate in large numbers. Israel has accused Hamas of attempting to instigate regional tensions during Ramadan, which commences on March 11 for Palestinians.

The al-Aqsa Mosque, also known as the Temple Mount in Judaism, has historically been a flashpoint during periods of heightened Israel-Palestinian conflict. The site is of significant religious importance to both Muslims and Jews.

Last week, while the courtyards of al-Aqsa appeared calm, worshippers expressed subdued sentiments, stating that the ongoing war in Gaza dampened the usual enthusiasm for celebrating Ramadan traditions.

Efforts to secure a 40-day ceasefire before the start of Ramadan seem to have faltered. Israeli sources reported that its spy chief held discussions with the U.S. counterpart as part of ongoing efforts to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas. However, Israel claimed that Hamas remained uninterested in a deal.

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