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Islamic Jihad: Israel responsible for escalation of situation over al-Aqsa violence

Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian man in the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem al-Quds on July 18, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

The Palestinian resistance movement Islamic Jihad says the Zionist regime is responsible for the escalation of the situation in the occupied West Bank in the wake of a raid by settlers into the al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Tariq Salmi, a Islamic Jihad spokesman, told Yemen’s al-Masirah TV on Sunday that the Israeli regime, with its recent aggressive behavior, is trying to create for itself an image of a victor in Jerusalem al-Quds and to prove to the settlers its dominance over the balance of power there.

Palestinian media reported earlier in the same day that dozens of Israeli police officers had raided the holy site through the Chain and Moroccan gates, beating and assaulting the Muslim worshipers who were attending prayers at the mosque.

“Palestinian resistance groups monitor and evaluate the incidents and the situation in al-Aqsa Mosque,” he said, adding that they will never remain indifferent and their response will be strong.

The spokesman said resistance groups in the besieged Gaza Strip, the most prominent of which are the Islamic Jihad and Hamas, brought down former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and are able to “bring down other generals as well.”

He also said the Tel Aviv regime has exploited the normalization of its ties with certain Arab countries to complete its Judaization of Jerusalem al-Quds and undermine the Palestinian cause.

Al-Aqsa under attack

On Sunday morning, scores of settlers, backed by Israeli forces, broke into the courtyard of the al-Aqsa Mosque and injured dozens of Palestinian worshippers while forcing them out of the holy site.

According to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa, dozens of Israeli police officers raided the site and made way for the entrance of hundreds of settlers, who broke into the courtyards once it had been almost completely emptied of Muslim worshippers.

In a statement, the Palestinian Authority called the incident a serious threat to “security and stability” and offensive to the feelings of Palestinians, adding that it held “the Israeli occupation government fully responsible for the escalation.”

Mohammed Hamadeh, a Hamas spokesman in Jerusalem al-Quds, called on the Palestinians to visit the al-Aqsa Mosque in large numbers and to remain there until Tuesday’s Eid al-Adha holiday prayers.

Hamadeh said Israel’s “giving freedom of action to settlers in al-Aqsa Mosque compound doesn’t constitute proof of Israeli sovereignty, rather the opposite.”

“It involves a clear sign of Israeli helplessness, and the Palestinian people always have heroes ready and waiting to defend Al-Aqsa.”

In recent years, there has been a sharp spike in acts of aggression committed by Israeli settlers against the Palestinians throughout the occupied territories.

In particular, the settlers, backed by Israeli forces, regularly break into the al-Aqsa Mosque and attack Palestinian worshippers.

On Saturday, Salmi said Israeli settlers are the “legitimate target” of the Palestinian resistance fighters in light of recent reports showing that settlers and occupation forces cooperated in attacks that killed a number of Palestinians back in May.

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