More than 150 Israeli settlers, escorted by military forces, intrude into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of al-Quds in the latest act of provocation against the sacred site.
On Sunday morning, 151 Israeli settlers were inside the al-Aqsa Mosque in groups through its Maghariba Gate and toured its courtyards under full protection of police forces, the Palestinian Information Center, citing local sources, reported.
Israeli settlers received lectures from rabbis about the Temple Mount during their tour of the sacred site, the report further said, adding that some settlers provocatively performed rituals and Talmudic prayers in the Mosque’s courtyards.
According to the report, Israeli police also imposed movement restrictions on Muslim worshipers at the entrances and gates of the al-Aqsa Mosque.
Police closed Maghariba Gate at 10:30 a.m. after the settlers completed their morning tours at the holy site. Later in the afternoon, the same gate was reopened for evening tours by Israeli settlers.
Such mass settler break-ins almost always take place at the behest of Tel Aviv-backed temple groups and under the auspices of the Israeli police in al-Quds.
The al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which sits just above the Western Wall plaza, houses both the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Jewish visitation of al-Aqsa is permitted, but according to an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government in the wake of Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem al-Quds in 1967, non-Muslim worship at the compound is prohibited.
Israeli police shoot, wound 3 Palestinians in Tulkarm
Separately on Sunday morning, three Palestinians were injured by Israeli gunfire in Tulkarm in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Information Center said in a separate report.
In a statement, the Palestinian Health Ministry said Israeli soldiers at the Tayba checkpoint in western Tulkarm opened fire at two young men and wounded them. They also wounded another Palestinian youth by a rubber bullet in his shoulder during a raid by Israeli forces on Nur Shams refugee camp near Tulkarm City.
Palestinians want the occupied West Bank as part of their future independent state and view al-Quds’ eastern sector as the capital of their future sovereign state.