Former Israeli Minister of Internal Security and Shin Bet director Avi Dichter, on Wednesday morning, stormed the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque under strict guard of Israeli occupation police.
PNN sources confirmed that Dichter, accompanied by a group of settlers and guarded by occupation forces stormed Al-Aqsa and made several provocative rounds in the courtyards.
It 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.
The number of Israeli settlers storming the holy site has risen since US president Donald Trump’s declaration of occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Members of the so-called “Temple Mount” movement have been publicly calling its followers to participate in wide scale mass raids on the holy site.