Israeli troops in Al Aqsa (image from Middle East Monitor)

A group of 134 paramilitary colonial Israeli settlers stormed the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque from the Mughrabi Gate on Sunday, with heavy security provided by the Israeli occupation police.

The invasion took place during the Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan, and involved desecration of the third-holiest site for Muslims worldwide.

The Israeli troops forcibly removed the Muslim congregants who were praying in the mosque. The troops pushed them out of the way to allow the desecrators to enter.

The Islamic Endowment in Jerusalem reported that the Israeli colonial settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa courtyards in groups, each of which included 40 settlers, after the deployment of large numbers of the occupation police.

During their invasion, the Israeli colonial settlers carried out provocative tours in the courtyards of the Islamic holy site, received explanations about the alleged “temple”, and performed Talmudic rituals on the eastern side of the mosque and in front of the Dome of the Rock, before leaving from the Bab al-Silsilah side.

Right-wing Israeli colonial settler leaders have frequently invoked their plan and desire to destroy the mosque and build a Jewish temple in its place.

In conjunction with the settlers’ invasion, the Israeli occupation forces stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque, forcibly expelling the worshipers from it, while the occupation police continue to impose strict measures on the entry of worshipers into the courtyards of the mosque.

The Israeli occupation police in Jerusalem began carrying out an intensive campaign of arrests and deportations from the Al-Aqsa mosque, affecting dozens of men and women who were trying to carry out Ramadan prayers, as preemptive measures taken on the eve of the “Jewish Passover” holiday, which begins on Wednesday and lasts for a week.

The Israeli occupation authorities turned the Old City of Jerusalem into a military barracks and mobilized forces in the Old City of Jerusalem and around the walls, and set up barriers in different areas of the occupied city. The army imposed strict restrictions on the entry of Palestinian citizens to Al-Aqsa Mosque, and checked their identities and detained some of them at the external gates.

The April 2nd invasion was similar to one that had taken place on March 28th, just five days earlier: