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Palestine: 1,700 Jewish settlers storm the Al-Aqsa mosque during Eid al Adha prayers

13th Aug 2019
Palestine: 1,700 Jewish settlers storm the Al-Aqsa mosque during Eid al Adha prayers

By Anees Barghoti

 

JERUSALEM (AA): Hundreds of Jewish settlers on Sunday forced their way into Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound with support from Israeli police forces, as Muslims were praying Eid al-Adha prayers. The worshippers had to flee in fear of their lives.

“Since the morning, over 1,729 Jewish settlers have entered the compound,” Firas al-Dibs, a spokesman for Jerusalem’s Religious Endowments Authority said in a statement.

“The settlers incursions were backed by Israeli police officers,” he said.

Palestinian Red Crescent, meanwhile, said that 61 Palestinian were injured after Israeli forces attacked the worshipers with rubber bullets, teargas and truncheons.

“The worshipers were moderately injured and 16 of them were transferred to hospitals for further treatment,” it added.

The Islamic Waqfs in Jerusalem decided to delay Eid prayers to 7.30 a.m. (0430 GMT) instead of 6.30 a.m. (0330GMT), to address settlers’ call to storm the Al-Aqsa in the so-called “memory of the destruction of the Temple.”

Extremist Jewish organizations, known widely as Temple Mount groups, had called for massive raids on the Al-Aqsa during this week.

Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, told the Palestinian Wafa News Agency, “The storming of Al Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem by Israeli occupation forces this Eid morning is an act of recklessness and aggression, designed to provoke religious and political tensions in the City and across Palestine”.

“We condemn this aggression, which is reprehensible and dangerous and hold the Israeli political establishment fully responsible for its grave consequences,” she said in a statement.

“To score points in election season, Israeli politicians are competing on who can exhibit higher levels of aggression and hostility against the Palestinian people during this important religious holiday, including the endorsement of Israeli settler plans to storm Al Aqsa Compound.

“These Israeli attacks and political endorsements of extremism are stoking the flames of religious fervor and threaten to plunge the region in sectarian war. They reflect a dangerous and irresponsible agenda that must be confronted with blanket and unequivocal international condemnation”.

Ashrawi said the international community must “confront this belligerence and intervene to stop any further deterioration in Jerusalem.”

For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third holiest site. Jews, for their part, refer to the area as the “Temple Mount”, claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, in which the Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.

In a move never recognized by the international community, it annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as the Jewish state’s “eternal and undivided” capital.

Additional report from imemc.org

[Photo: Israeli forces with Jewish settlers attack Palestinian worshipers during Eid al Adha prayers in Al-Aqsa mosque complex on August 11, 2019. Photographer: Faiz Abu Rmeleh/AA]

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