Extremist settlers, guarded by  Israeli special forces, stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque yards on Sunday morning,  via the Mughrabi Gate.

The settlers, led by archaeological and historical guides, toured the Al- Aqsa  compound and took some photos for different places, Jerusalemite sources said.

Worshipers and religious science circle students defended the mosque with chants of “Allahu Akbbar!” (God is Greatest).

Israeli police also detained mosque guard Luay Abu-Saadi,  at Al- Asbat Gate.

According to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, Israeli authorities seek, by such intrusions, to devote the temporal and spatial division of Al- Aqsa mosque compound and Judaize Jerusalem.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam and also venerated as Judaism’s most holy place, alleged to be the original site of Solomon’s Temple. 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.

Christians outside of the Levant remain divided on the issue, as biblical end times prophecy states: “I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” ~Revelation 21:22

However, settler attacks on Christian holy sites have been progressive and on the increase, in recent years.

This past Thursday, Israeli police continued their aggression against the mosque and the staff of the Rehabilitation Committee. Six of the staff, including the director of the committee,  were taken into.

For the second day in a row, the Israeli police prevented the committee staff from completing the renovation works inside the Dome of the Rock, at the mosque compound.

Media expert in the affairs of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa mosque, Mahmud Abu Atta, said that “Israeli police had arrested both of the director of the committee, Bassam al Hallaq and other five employees including: Mohammad al-Dabbagh, Suleiman Abdullatif, Moatasem Karama, Anass al-Dabbagh and Mahmud Annata.”

Israeli occupation forces broke into the Dome of the Rock in the morning and  halted the reconstruction works, while detaining six of the rehabilitation staff and taking them to Al Selsela Gate police station, Abu Atta added.

Abu Atta said “The aggression of the Israeli occupation against the Islamic Waqf officials including the Rehabilitation Committee and Al-Aqsa mosque guards is completely unprecedented and dangerous.”

On today’s intrusion, he confirmed that 21 Israeli settlers had broken into the mosque yards and taken a provocative tour around it. They  also  performed Talmudic religious rituals at Al- Rahma gate,  east of Al- Aqsa, according to Abu Atta.

He added that troops also deployed special forces  inside the courtyards .

Israeli police deported Isa Salhab, an observer of the Rehabilitation Committee in the Islamic Waqf, from al-Aqsa for two weeks.

On Wednesday, Israeli police released, with no conditions, the director of the Rehabilitation Committee Bassam al Hallaq and others, after interrogating them for several hours at Al- Qishleh Police Centre, in the Old City district of Jerusalem.

As reported by advocate Muhammad Mahmud, the magistrate court judge extended the detention of Sayf al-Din Abu Juma (21 years), his brother Amir (18 years), Kamal  Alami (20 years) and Yousef  Abu Juma (17 years) to  7/8/2016 and Munir Muheisen to  9/8/2016.

Since the early hours of the morning, Muslims worshipers from Jerusalem and pre-1948 Palestine came into al-Aqsa Mosque yards  where they spread out in educational circles, reading verses from the Quran  and  defending the mosque from settlers break-ins with Takbeer.

The aggression of the Israeli occupation against Al-Aqsa  guards, as well as staff from the Islamic Waqf, has escalated dramatically, whereupon Israeli forces detained and deported nine guards and employees.

Furthermore, Israeli police have been keeping al-Aqsa Mosque guard Fadi Alayyan jailed since the last June.

Related interest — 2015: A Dangerous Escalation at Al-Aqsa Mosque

Ramadan 2016: Harassment, Collective Punishment and Settlement Expansions in the Occupied West Bank

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