A group of Israeli settlers, on Sunday morning, stormed the courtyards of Al-Aqsa mosque via the Moroccan Gate, accompanied by heavy guard of Israeli occupation police.
Jerusalemite sources reported that 77 settlers toured the courtyards, accompanied by rabbis, and received explanations about their claimed temple grounds, provoking Palestinian Muslim prayers.
Palestinian prayers and the students of Quranic circles tried to defend the Islamic holy site, preventing the settlers from touring freely in the courtyards.
According to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, Israeli settlers storm the Islamic holy site on a daily basis, in an attempt toÂ divide the mosque temporally andÂ spatially.
It is the third holiest site in Islam and also venerated as Judaismâs most holy place, alleged to be the original site of Solomonâs Temple. Disputes surrounding visitation to the site have historically flared tensions in the occupied Palestinian territory.
In 2003, the Israeli government unilaterally decided â despite the objections of the Islamic Endowments Department â 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 â usually protected by Israeli security forces â while Palestinian access to the site has become increasingly restricted.
The number of Israeli settlers storming the holy site has risen sinceÂ US president Donald Trumpâs declaration of occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.Â Members of the so-called âTemple Mountâ movement have been publicly calling its followers to participate in wide scale mass raids on the holy site.
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Christopher Carlson is a full-time student of Religious Studies at Mount Mercy University, USA. He has been with the IMEMC since 2013. (firstname.lastname@example.org)