Dozens of Israeli settlers, escorted by troops, have intruded into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of the occupied East al-Quds.
The Palestinian Information Center cited local sources as saying that the settlers toured the mosque’s courtyards before they performed Jewish rituals on Monday morning.
The intrusion came amid Israeli efforts to impose control over the al-Aqsa Mosque.
While the Israeli forces provide protection for setters during their incursions of the mosque, they arrest Palestinian sit-inners at al-Aqsa and ban them from accessing the mosque.
Israel occupied the Old City of al-Quds during the Six-Day War of 1967. After the end of hostilities, the regime allowed the ‘Awqaf’ to retain authority over the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, or the ‘Haram al-Sharif.’
Israel lays claim to the entire al-Quds, but the international community views the city’s eastern sector as occupied territory and Palestinians consider it the capital of their future state.
In May, repeated acts of violence against Palestinian worshipers at the al-Aqsa Mosque led to an 11-day war between Palestinian resistance groups in the besieged Gaza Strip and the Israeli regime. Israel killed at least 260 Palestinians, including 66 children, during the conflict.
Settlers vandalize Palestinian cars in West Bank
Also on Monday, Israeli setters vandalized Palestinian vehicles in the occupied West Bank.
Local sources told the PIC that the settlers hurled stones at Palestinian-owned cars near the settlement of Bet El, north of the city of al-Bireh. Israeli troops were looking on in the meantime.
Israeli settlers routinely engage in violence and vandalism against Palestinians in the West Bank. Palestinians are outraged by rising settler attacks on their villages, with backing from Israeli troops. Israeli rights group B’Tselem has documented hundreds of such attacks this year alone.
However, Israeli authorities rarely prosecute settler assaults on Palestinians and their property and the vast majority of the files are closed due to deliberate police failure to investigate properly.
More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank. All the settlements are illegal under international law. The United Nations Security Council has condemned the settlement activities in several resolutions.