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Palestine: Dozens of Jewish settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque for Hanukkah

13th Dec 2017
Palestine: Dozens of Jewish settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque for Hanukkah

By Eshat Firat

 

JERUSALEM (AA): Dozens of Jewish settlers accompanied by Israeli security personnel forced their way into Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque on Tuesday, according to a statement by Firas al-Dibis, a Palestinian official with Jerusalem’s Islamic Waqf, which oversees the city’s holy sites.

Local eyewitnesses appeared to confirm the report, saying that Jewish settlers had forced their way into the complex where they perform Talmudic rituals in the mosque’s courtyard near the Old City’s Al-Silsile Gate.

Palestinian officials say they expect more settler incursions into the holy site during the eight-day Jewish Hanukkah holiday, which began on Tuesday and runs till Dec. 20.

In late 2015, repeated incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound by Jewish settlers and Israeli security personnel sparked a months-long spate of Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Referred to by some as the “Third Intifada” or “Jerusalem Uprising”, this wave of unrest — which left 160 Palestinians and 26 Israelis dead — tapered out early last year amid a massive Israeli security crackdown.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem — in which the Al-Aqsa is located — during the 1967 Middle East War. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move which was never recognized by the international community.

[Archive Photo: Israeli soldiers inside Al-Aqsa Mosque compound  Photographer: Muammar Awad/AA]

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