MORE than 560 Israeli settlers stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of East al-Quds under the protection of the regime’s forces in the latest provocation against the Palestinian people and their holy sites.
The settlers desecrated the al-Aqsa Mosque on Wednesday morning to mark a Jewish religious occasion and perform Talmudic prayers under the full protection of Israeli forces.
Hardline Israeli legislators and extremist settlers regularly storm the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied city, a provocative move that infuriates Palestinians. Such mass settler break-ins almost always take place at the behest of Tel Aviv-backed temple groups and under the auspices of the Israeli police in al-Quds.
On September 8th, dozens of Israeli settlers stormed the compound while receiving protection from the regime’s forces, as Jews celebrated their New Year, Rosh Hashanah. Later in the day, settlers embarked on a provocative tour inside the compound before leaving through the Chain Gate.
Back in May, frequent 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.
The al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which sits just above the Western Wall plaza, houses both the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque.
Jewish visitation of al-Aqsa is permitted, but according to an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government in the wake of Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem al-Quds in 1967, non-Muslim worship at the compound is prohibited.
Following the provocative visitation, Ekrima Sa’id Sabri, the head of the Higher Islamic Council in al-Quds, said yesterday the Israeli insistence on allowing Jewish settlers to defile the al-Aqsa Mosque in large numbers reflects a real intent to impose a new fait accompli at the holy site, the Palestinian Information Centre reported.
‘The settler groups do not dare storm al-Aqsa Mosque without tight police protection, which confirms their fear of raising the ire of the Jerusalemite natives, who are the rightful owners of the holy sites,’ the preacher of the al-Aqsa Mosque and former Grand Mufti of al-Quds stressed in a press release.