Israeli Settlers Storm Al-Aqsa Compound Under Heavy Security

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A Palestinian boy was arrested for raising the Palestinian flag within the mosque’s compound after 1,023 Israeli settlers stormed in the holy site under heavy security.

 

More than 1,000 Israeli settlers barged their way into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound under heavy police security to commemorate Tisha B'av, the historic destruction of Jewish temples.

According to Palestinian sources, Israeli police stormed in before the settlers, approximately 1,023 of them, and swiped the area for security threats.

A Palestinian boy was arrested for raising the Palestinian flag within the mosque’s compound.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque is considered the third holiest site in Islam, while for the Israelis, it represents the most holy site; they call it the “Temple Mount,” claiming two ancient Jewish temples were present there in ancient times.

Firas al-Dibis, an official with Jerusalem's Jordan-run Religious Endowments Authority, said Muslim worshippers were only allowed in the mosque after their IDs had been snatched.

Moreover, hundreds of settlers gathered outside the gates of the holy mosque’s compound. They performed prayers, danced and shouted anti-Arab and anti-Muslim slogans.

Palestinians believe this is an act of provocation.

Jewish visitation is allowed in the Al-Aqsa Mosque but non-Muslim worship is prohibited, according to an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government, which was reached after Israel’s forced occupation of East Jerusalem in the 1967 Arab- Israeli war.

Even though the agreement was signed, Israelis hardly abide by it; Israelis regularly visit the mosque’s compound under heavy guard, while Palestinians are restricted access.

The Israeli settlers storming of the holy site’s compound was condemned by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein, who warned of a “religious war.”

He said in a statement the settlers would not change the Islamic pattern of Jerusalem, but warned of consequences if such acts persevered.

“But perseveration of such attempts will drag the region into a religious war,” he said. Hussein added Palestinians will continue to protect the holy religious site.

The move comes mere days after a controversial bill was passed in Israel, which defined it as a “nation-state of the Jewish people” and encouraged the advancement of Jewish settlements.

Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma

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