Al-Aqsa Stormed! Bahrain Delegation Joins Settlers

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A march by Palestinians in Bethlehem against the Bahraini normalisation plans with Israel

A BAHRAINI delegation has joined Israeli settlers in the storming of the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem!

This comes after Bahrain, along with UAE, Sudan and others, made ‘normalisation’ agreements with Israel.
Israeli settlers, under the protection of the regime’s armed forces, have once again broken into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem (al-Quds) to ‘perform silent prayers’ after an Israeli judge facilitated such a move.
Over 60 settlers stormed the site on Thursday morning, shouting anti-Islam slogans, according to Palestinian media reports.
The settlers entered through al-Aqsa Mosque’s Bab al-Amoud Gate, which is also known as the Damascus Gate.
According to the Quds News Network, a Bahraini delegation also took part in the raid. They performed rituals alongside the settlers and took pictures at the al-Buraq Wall.
This came one day after an Israeli court’s decision to grant the settlers the right to ‘perform silent prayers’ on the site.
Under a longstanding guardianship agreement between Israel and Jordan, the latter retains custodianship over Christian and Muslim holy sites in al-Quds (Jerusalem) and prohibits non-Muslim worship at the site.
However, in defiance of the agreement, Israeli occupation authorities have allowed settler incursions into the mosque ever since 2003 under the protection of the regime’s forces, despite repeated objections and warnings by the Palestinian religious authorities.
Israeli forces also repeatedly assault and detain Palestinian worshippers at the holy site.
Back in May, repeated acts of violence against Palestinian worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque led to an 11-day war between Palestinian resistance groups in the besieged Gaza Strip and the Israeli regime, during which the regime killed at least 260 Palestinians, including 66 children.
In an unprecedented decision on Wednesday, an Israeli judge ruled that silent prayer by Israeli settlers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound was not a ‘criminal act’ as it would not violate police instructions.
The ruling came after Rabbi Aryeh Lippo filed a case contesting a police ban on his visits and prayers at the compound.
Jordan condemned the decision, stressing that the Islamic Religious Endowments have the sole legal authority to administer the affairs of the compound.
Hamas has condemned the Israeli court’s decision as giving Israeli settlers more excuses to storm the al-Aqsa Mosque’s compound by granting them the right to ‘perform silent prayers’ on the site.
The Palestinian resistance movement’s spokesman, Hazem Qassem, said the decision ‘constitutes a flagrant aggression against al-Aqsa Mosque.’
The ruling, he added, also amounts to ‘a step on the path of the temporal and spatial division of the mosque, which is a flagrant violation of all human laws and norms.’
Earlier, the judge at the Magistrates Court in the holy occupied city of Jerusalem, Bilha Yahalom, said that the alleged form of prayer ‘cannot be considered a ‘criminal act.’
The compound, Islam’s third-holiest site, is located in the Old City of East Jerusalem, which the Israeli regime occupied as part of the entire Palestinian territory of the West Bank during a war in 1967.
The regime has been dotting the territory with hundreds of illegal settlements ever since the occupation.
Israeli settlers already storm the mosque’s compound at least twice every day under full protection of the regime’s forces.
Premier Muhammad Shtayyeh has also condemned Israel’s decision to allow ‘silent’ Jewish prayer at the flashpoint compound.
Shtayyeh warned against Israel’s attempts to impose a new fait accompli at the mosque and called on the US administration to fulfil its pledges to maintain the ‘status quo’ of the holy site and not to allow any change.
He affirmed continued coordination with Jordan in this regard and called on the ‘Arab and Islamic nations to take serious positions to stop the Israeli measures which constitute a serious violation of al-Aqsa, the first Qibla and the third holiest site in Islam.’
He also called on Israeli leaders to learn the lessons of the past as he recalled the Palestinian worshippers’ success in foiling the Israeli occupation authorities’ attempts to install electronic turnstiles at the entrances of the mosque compound in 2017.
While Jewish worshippers are allowed access to the al-Aqsa compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, they are not allowed to pray there.
The al-Aqsa Mosque compound houses both the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque and is considered the third holiest site in Islam.
Al-Aqsa is located in East Jerusalem, a part of the internationally recognised Palestinian territories that have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.

  • Palestinian organisations and activists are organising campaigns to support West Bank farmers threatened by Israeli settlers as they start the olive harvest season, said a statement by the National and Popular Campaign to Bolster the Steadfastness of Farmers – Fazaa (which means ‘reinforcement’).

Consisting of The Wall and Settlement Resistance Commission; activists from the Popular and the Coordination Committees in partnership with a number of officials, civil and popular institutions; activists in the Popular Resistance Committees and active youth groups, the Fazaa campaign has been launched to support farmers in areas threatened by settlers during the olive harvest season which started this week.
It said attacks by colonial settlers, settlement organisations and the occupation government are growing and expanding and have moved from acts by individuals and colonial gangs to an organised terrorist movement such as Price Tag, the so-called Youth of the Hills, and the Kahana Hi (Alive) group which organise terrorist and criminal acts against farmers, peasants and homes, but have now started attacking entire communities; intimidating and beating people, vandalising houses and assaulting children – as happened in the Mafghara community in Hebron, and before that the attack on the Dawabsheh family and Muhammad Abu Khdeir.
The attacks, meanwhile, continue during every olive harvest season by burning, uprooting and poisoning trees, stealing crops, intimidating and beating farmers and peasants to a point where these criminal attacks have increased by more than 150% from last year.
As a result, Fazaa has been set up and launched a wide defence campaign for this year’s olive harvest.
‘We will not leave our people and farmers alone. We are with them wherever they are,’ said the Fazaa campaign.
It said dozens of voluntary groups will be ready to support farmers in ‘hot spots that need assistance and fazaa (reinforcement) to confront the attacks of the colonists,’ some of which will go from one place to another and others will work in one place.

  • For the second consecutive day, Israeli bulldozers have razed Palestinian land in al-Sawiya village, south of Nablus.

Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors colonial settlement activities in the northern West Bank, said that Israeli bulldozers have been flattening a large tract of the village’s land which runs all the way to the nearby town of Yasuf.
Al-Sawiya has been the scene of frequent settler attacks, including chopping down dozens of olive trees – as is the case with other Palestinian villages and towns in Nablus and Salfit districts, which have the largest concentration of colonial settlements.

  • Five Palestinians were injured on Thursday as they fought off the pillage of their land in the village of al-Lubban al-Sharqiya, which is just south of Nablus.

Local settlement activities monitor Ghassan Daghlas said that the Israeli forces assaulted Nael Awaisa, injuring him in the head before detaining him.
The soldiers also opened fire on other villagers who were trying to prevent the Israeli bulldozers from razing their land in Wadi Yasuf, injuring four of them with rubber-coated steel bullets.
The bulldozers were laying the groundwork for the construction of a settlers-only road.

  • A leading Fatah and government official yesterday slammed Israel’s announcement of the construction of thousands of new settler units, north of occupied Jerusalem.

Fatah Central Committee Member Hussein al-Sheikh, who also serves as the head of the Palestinian Civil Affairs Commission, denounced Israel’s decision to resume an old project to build 10,000 settler housing units in the Qalandia area of occupied Jerusalem, saying ‘it kills the two-state solution’.
‘The announcement of 10,000 settlement units in Qalandia, known to Israelis as Atarot, is a confirmation of the right-wing settlement approach of this government,’ he tweeted.
‘It kills the two-state solution and it sets the beginning of an upcoming explosion and minimises the options,’ he added.