On Wednesday Israeli deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin accompanied by a group of settlers and Israeli soldiers entered the Islamic holy site of al-Aqsa. The group toured the site for about 30 minutes before they left. Later, Likud official Yehuda Glick and a group of about 50 settlers entered the site. Maannetnews reported earlier today that around midday Israeli FM Zeev Elkin accompanied by a group of settlers and Israeli soldiers, entered the Islamic holy compound of al-Aqsa through the Moroccan gate.
The visit offended many worshipers and pilgrims gathered at the site for the annual occasion of Ramadan. The visit, viewed as provocatory, caused many worshipers and Palestinian guards to confront the group, causing them to leave the site and return serenity to the holy site.
About thirty minutes later, Likud official Yehuda Glick and another group of fifty settlers appeared. The new group faced the same reaction, forcing them to leave the compound.
Considered to be Islam’s third holiest place, the visits were not the first provocatory acts by Israeli officials to the site. Jewish fanatics claim that the site belongs to Judaism because the old Jewish temple was built on the same site two and a half millenniums ago.
Rabbi Yaakov Medan said a few weeks ago that the Israeli intelligence service Shin Bet supports the visits. The Saudi Gazette stated that “Jewish presence is essential to maintaining Israeli sovereignty.… therefore the numbers of Israeli agents and security personnel should be increased at the site”.