Israeli settlers have once again intruded into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of al-Quds under the protection of the regime’s forces as Jews celebrated their New Year, Rosh Hashanah.
Palestine’s official Wafa news agency quoted eyewitnesses as saying that the settlers broke into the site on Tuesday through the Moroccan Gate on the western side of the compound, which has been under the Israeli regime’s control since the beginning of the occupation of East al-Quds and the West Bank in 1967.
They then embarked on a provocative tour inside the compound and performed Talmudic rituals.
Other groups of settlers were waiting outside the Moroccan Gate, also known as Maghariba Gate, to be let in for the incursion.
Israeli right-wing groups have called for the storming of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound so as to increase Jewish presence there as Jews celebrate Rosh Hashanah from Monday until Wednesday.
The extremist right-wing groups openly call for turning the holy site into a Jewish worship area and tearing down the Islamic shrines in order to build a Jewish temple on the location.
Hardline Israeli legislators and settlers regularly storm the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied city, a provocative move that infuriates Palestinians. 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.
In July, Israeli settlers broke into the compound ahead of the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha. Israeli forces also attacked Muslim worshipers, fired tear gas canisters at them, and detained a number of them.
The Israeli regime enables the Jewish visitation of al-Aqsa despite the fact that an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government in the wake of Israel’s occupation of East al-Quds in 1967 prohibits non-Muslim worship at the compound.
Back in early October last year, an Israeli court upheld a ban on Jewish prayers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, after an earlier lower court’s decision stirred outrage among Palestinians and across the Muslim world.
Judge of the district court in al-Quds Aryeh Romanov on October 8 confirmed that Jews are barred from worshiping openly at the site and only Muslims are permitted to pray there.
In May 2021, frequent acts of violence against Palestinian worshipers at al-Aqsa led to an 11-day war between Palestinian resistance groups in the besieged Gaza Strip and the Israeli regime, during which the regime killed at least 260 Palestinians, including 66 children.
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.
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