Israeli police shut down, on Sunday, the gates of al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, denying entry and exit of Muslim worshipers to and from the compound.

Israeli police claimed, according to WAFA, that the site was shut down after some worshipers at the compound pelted stones at Israeli settlers who were performing rituals near the Moroccan Gate, just outside the compound.

The police declared that the site will remain closed until the worshipers hand over those who pelted stones at the Israeli settlers.

In the meantime, Israeli police allowed for the entry of a group of Jewish fanatics to the compound in the morning, where they toured the holy site and performed rituals.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam and is also venerated as Judaism’s most holy place. Disputes surrounding visitation to the site have historically flared tensions in the occupied Palestinian territory.

In 2003, the Israeli government unilaterally decided — despite the objections of the Islamic Endowments Department — to allow non-Muslim visitors into the complex.

Since then, under increasingly right-wing Israeli governments, extremist Jewish settlers have been allowed into the site in ever greater numbers — usually protected by Israeli security forces — while Palestinian access to the site has become increasingly restricted.

(PNN archive image.)

Also of interest: Rabbi Lau: 3rd Temple Can be Built Without Destroying Al Aqsa