Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Far-right Jewish groups desecrate Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa Mosque

Mostafa Alkharouf/AA

Dozens of Israeli settlers on Tuesday morning broke into the Al Aqsa Mosque and desecrated the compound accompanied by heavy protection of the Israeli police.

The extremist settlers entered the Mosque through Al Maghariba gate raising provocative slogans. They were further divided into several groups, and each group violently raided the holy Mosque waving Israeli flags.   

The settlers also performed Talmudic rituals in the eastern part of the Mosque while the police forces shielded them with a human fence.

Earlier on last Thursday, many extremist Jewish-Zionist groups have publicly announced their plan to march to Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem to “end its Islamic status” and “Judaize” it. 

Various far-right Zionist groups took part in the joint statement on the first day of ‘Hanukkah’, a Jewish festival that lasts eight days. It was stated that they would hold a provocative march to the Mosque in the coming week. 

The statement also mentioned that the march would be organized with the aim of “ending the administration of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf in Masjid al-Aqsa,” which is responsible for the administration of the Muslim holy site, and “reestablishing full Jewish sovereignty” in Jerusalem and over Al-Aqsa Mosque.

At the same time, the Israeli forces have been intensifying measures against Palestinians coming from different parts of Jerusalem and other distant regions to enter the Mosque. Many were stopped for hours in the name of inspection, and sent to brief detention before they were forced to return.

For past six weeks, Israeli authorities have imposed tight restrictions on Palestinians, banning them from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque even for Friday prayers, leaving the mosque all but empty.

Waqf Department officials in Jerusalem told Wafa News Agency that only around 4,000 Palestinians, most of them elderly, had managed to reach the venerated mosque to perform Friday prayers last week – down sharply from the usual 50,000.

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