Local sources report that a number of Jewish settlers broke into the al-Aqsa compound and began drinking wine and smashing bottles on the floor.Consumption of alcohol is forbidden in Islam and such acts are considered desecration. The group allegedly broke through a gate near the Western Wall and were protected by Israeli police. Police only intervened to ensure that angry worshippers from the mosque were kept separate from the settlers.
The al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock are considered the third holiest site in Islam. The act of desecration was allegedly a result of calls to celebrate the Shavuot holiday at the site. Tensions have been particularly high in East Jerusalem recently as a result of inflammatory marches on ‘Jerusalem day’ last week and Israeli MK Michael Ben-Ari’s tour of the mosque with a group of settlers on Tuesday.