Israeli settlers, on Sunday morning, again stormed the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem, amid heavy security procedures.
Jerusalemite sources said, according to Al Ray, that 19 settlers stormed the mosque via the Mughrabi gate and carried out provocative and suspicious tours in the courtyards.
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 are publicly calling its followers to participate in wide scale mass raids on the holy site.
Only two days prior, Jewish Israeli settlers spray-painted anti-Palestinian graffiti on walls and torched a Palestinian-owned vehicle, after raiding the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Safafa.