Israeli settlers break into Jerusalem Al-Aqsa Mosque

Ahram Online , Wednesday 24 May 2023

Dozens of extremist Israeli settlers Wednesday morning stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem, under heavy protection from Israeli police, said the Islamic Waqf, responsible for administering the site.

Al-Aqsa Mosque
Israeli police escort Jewish visitors marking the holiday of Passover to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount, in the Old City of Jerusalem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Sunday, April 9, 2023. AP


The Waqf said that settlers, divided into groups, raided the holy Islamic Mosque from Al-Maghariba gate and took provocative tours in its compounds, according to Palestinian News Agency WAFA.

The extremist settlers performed rituals in the eastern part of the Mosque, the agency reported.

This comes at a time when Israeli forces are intensifying measures against Palestinians coming from Jerusalem to enter the mosque, such as inspecting their IDs and briefly detaining them.

Such repeated provocations have escalated since the assumption of office by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ultra-extremist cabinet earlier this year, blatantly disregarding the agreement reached with Jordan, the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem since the city's occupation in 1967.

The agreement with Jordan explicitly emphasizes the importance of maintaining the status quo in Al-Aqsa, recognizing it as a Muslim holy site and allowing non-Muslims to visit the compound at specific times but prohibiting any form of worship by non-Muslims.

On Sunday, Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque for the second time since becoming a member of Israel’s government. Both times generated global condemnation and concern.

Arab activists in Jerusalem called for a congregating at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Thursday to oppose the alleged ‘Temple Groups’ who are calling for an invasion of the mosque during the Jewish holiday of ‘Shavuot,’ reported the Palestinian News Agency SAFA.

The activists emphasized the importance of converging at the Al-Aqsa and praying within its courtyards, and intensifying presence inside the mosque to thwart the extremist settlers’ plans.

Palestinians also called for widespread participation in popular events in the occupied West Bank on Friday to confront the settlers’ plans, SAFA added.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will hold Wednesday an emergency meeting in Jeddah to discuss the ongoing Israeli attacks on the Al-Aqsa compound.

Meanwhile, Israeli occupation forces raided several homes in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem on Wednesday morning, arresting 12 individuals, including two children.

Local sources reported that the occupation forces confiscated a piece of land and demolished a wall, belonging to a Palestinian family, in the town of Sur Baher in Jerusalem, SAFA said.

Several military vehicles and bulldozers from the Israeli occupation army moved southeast of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip and conducted sweeping and combing operations amid intermittent shooting, which resulted in no injuries, according to German Press Agency DPA.


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