Israeli colonial settlers stormed, on Wednesday morning, the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, while Israeli police arrested one of its guards from his workplace, inside the mosque.

Jerusalemite sources reported, according to Al Ray, that 24 settlers guarded by security forces stormed Al-Aqsa in the early morning hours, via The Moroccan Gate, and attempted to perform Talmudic rituals.

They said that Israeli police arrested the guard, Ehab Abu Ghazaleh, from his workplace inside the mosque, and took him to an investigation center in Jerusalem, after he refused to stay away from the settlers in the mosque.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is exposed, on a daily basis, to such activities, at which the settlers perform Talmudic rituals and desecrate the sanctity of the mosque, under guard of Israeli forces.

Israel seeks, through these actions, to divide the temporal and spatial division of the mosque, and to further Judaize the occupied city of Jerusalem.

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 are publicly calling its followers to participate in wide scale mass raids on the holy site.

(archive photo image)