Groups of extremist Israeli settlers, early Monday, stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque, in the occupied holy city of Jerusalem, a Palestinian source confirmed to Al Ray.
The General Director of the Islamic Awqaf and al-Aqsa Affairs, Sheikh Azzam Al-Khatib, said that dozens of extremists settlers forced their way into Al-Aqsa Mosque from Al- Magharebah Gate, under heavy protection of Israeli special police and forces.
Al-Khatib noted that the settlers provocatively toured the compound and performed their Talmudic rituals, creating a state of tension among Muslim’s worshippers and inside the holy shrine.
Colonial settlers regularly storm Al-Aqsa under police protection, in an attempt to divide the mosque temporally and spatially.
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.