Hundreds of Israeli policemen surrounded the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in preparation to evacuate nearly 200 Palestinian staying there, allegedly to protect the mosque from likely settler attacks. The police are demanding that the Palestinians ‘leave the mosque and surrender’, and are threatening to evacuate them by force if they fail to do so.

Ali Abu Sheikha, one of the leaders of the Islamic Movement, stated that the police surrounded the gates of the mosque and started to demand the residents to leave immediately.

The police is threatening to break into the mosque if the residents ‘do not comply’.

Abu Sheikha warned that breaking into the mosque could lead to a massacre, and added that the residents “would protect the mosque with their souls and bodies”.

The Maan News Agency that Hatim Abdul-Qader, in charge of the Jerusalem file at the Palestinian Authority, and Jerusalem Governor, Adnan Al Husseini, are holding talks with the police in an effort to prevent them from breaking into the mosque.