In light of escalated violations by Israeli forces and settlers against al-Aqsa Mosque and other holy sites, including Christian, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah is urging the international community to protect the Palestinian people and put an end to these attacks.Hamdallah recently visited the mosque of Abu Bakr in the village of Aqraba, to the south of Nablus, after settlers attacked it, Tuesday, according to WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency. He denounced the aggression, reiterating that the Israeli government’s negligence to hold the settlers accountable for such violence encourages even further violence.
Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement activity, told Ma’an News Agency that a group of settlers broke the doors and windows of the Abu Bakr al-Saddiq mosque and, then, vandalized the interior with racist slogans.
The settlers then set fire to part of the mosque before being chased away by villagers.
Locals managed to extinguish the fire and prevent it from destroying the entire mosque.
“Not only does the Israeli government fail to act against its settlers’ attacks against Palestinians, their properties, and religious sites, but it even provides them with protection,” the Prime Minister said.
He called upon the international community and the countries of the world to uphold their responsibilities and act against these daily violations committed against holy sites and, in particular, al-Aqsa Mosque.
He stressed that the right to worship is a sacred right.
Attacks against the mosque, which has always been a target for Israeli forces and their settlers, have recently been escalated in attempts to divide it temporally and spatially between Muslims and Jews.
The Israeli government has been enforcing its illegal partition of the mosque and, lately, worshipers have been denied access while settlers are allowed to tour the grounds and perform rituals, proving the Israeli government’s intentions.
At least 10 Palestinians suffocated by tear gas and four others were arrested, on Wednesday, after Israeli police sustained its three-day long crackdown on the mosque, in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem, according to WAFA correspondence.
Police permitted dozens of Israeli settlers to break through the compound to perform religious rituals to observe the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, provoking Muslim worshipers who were denied entry.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinians assembled at the gates and in adjacent alleys, in an attempt to break the siege.
Police guards fired stun grenades and tear gas canisters towards the protesting worshipers at al-Asbat Gate, suffocating 10 at least. Another group of protesters gathered at Hetta Gate, where a woman suffered severe suffocation from tear gas.
The protesters, after waiting for hours, chanted slogans and demanded the police to step aside. They entered the compound after the settlers left.
WAFA reports that, among the protesters were religious figures, Israeli Knesset Arab members, and other political figures who arrived from multiple towns and areas across Palestine.
The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, called upon the Palestinian people to join a one-day campaign to protect the mosque against the continuing Israeli violations, warned against further Israeli violations, and noting that many police guards are still stationed at al-Asbat Gate.
The latest offensive comes in a surge of recurrent tension which usually erupts at this time of the year, when Jewish extremists celebrate Jewish holidays by organizing provocative visits to the compound.
Just last Monday, dozens of worshipers were injured and others suffocated by tear gas fired by Israeli police, who raided the mosque in large numbers and chased protesters towards the southern main building.