Heavily armed Israeli forces and police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem, after midnight, on Sunday, and evicted Muslim worshipers, eyewitnesses told Maan News.
Dozens of worshipers remained in the compound to perform Tarawih prayers, or night prayers, offered during Islam’s holy month of Ramadan.
Sources added that this is the fourth time that Israeli forces police have stormed the compound and forced out worshipers during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, located just above the Western Wall plaza, houses both the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, next to Mecca and Medina.
The same site is also venerated as Judaism’s most holy place, being where Judaism claims the First and Second Temples once stood.
Jewish visitation is allowed at the compound, however, non-Muslim worship at Al-Aqsa is prohibited, according to an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government after Israel’s illegal occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967.
Despite this agreement, Israeli authorities regularly allow Jewish visitors typically right-wing politicians, to enter the site, often under armed guard, to perform Talmudic rituals at the Muslim holy site.
The lenience for Jewish Israeli visitors, has proven to be the reverse for Palestinian Muslims, whom face constant restrictions from the occupying forces, including arrest, detention, and being banned from entering the holy site.