Palestine: Hundreds of Jewish settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque

22nd Oct 2019
Palestine: Hundreds of Jewish settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque

By Abdelraauf Arnaout

 

JERUSALEM (AA): Hundreds of Jewish settlers forced their way into Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Monday, according to a Palestinian agency.

“Around 122 settlers backed by Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa compound since early morning,” the Religious Endowments Authority, a Jordan-run agency responsible for overseeing the city’s Muslim and Christian holy sites, said.

The incursions have caused frictions between Muslim worshippers and Israeli forces near the flashpoint compound.

According to the authority, Israeli police detained four worshippers inside the site, without specifying the reason for the arrests.

On Octoober 17,  hundreds of  settlers broke into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, guarded by Israeli police, according to Director of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Omar Kiswani.

Kiswani said that some 432 settlers, including students of Talmudic yeshivas, broke into the holy mosque in groups, under heavy protection from Israeli police, and went on provocative tours through the holy site.

The settlers also performed Talmudic rituals and prayers at the holy site.

He added that Israeli authorities tightened access restrictions for Palestinians in the area, under the pretext of securing protection for the settlers.

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 Middle East War. It formally annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as its capital — a move never recognized by the international community.

[Archive Photo: 1000 Jewish settlers invade Al Aqsa mosque compound in East Jerusalem on 22 July 2017. Photographer: Mostafa Alkharouf AA]

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