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Palestinians demand halt to provocative Israeli march on al-Aqsa

Israeli forces walk next to extremist Jewish settlers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, while tension arises during clashes with Palestinians in the occupied Old City of al-Quds on April 5, 2023. (Photo by Reuters)

The Palestinian Authority‘s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called for international pressure to halt a planned march by far-right Israeli groups and extremist settlers on al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds. 

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates called for international intervention to stop the controversial parade by extremist Israeli settlers against al-Aqsa Mosque.

The organizers of the planned march say they reached an agreement with Israeli police to let the show roll in al-Quds' Old City on Thursday evening.

The march's exact route is unclear, but the Israeli police reportedly said they would not allow the participants to come near the al-Aqsa Mosque. 

Hundreds of Israeli police forces would be deployed at major intersections throughout occupied al-Quds, and roadblocks have been set up on the main roads disrupting normal life for Palestinians.

 The march sponsored by Israeli right-wing groups would be demanding full Israeli control of the holy site, seeking to revoke the Islamic Waqf’s rights to administer al-Aqsa.

The Jewish visitation of al-Aqsa is permitted but as part of a decades-old agreement between Jordan – the custodian of Islamic and Christian sites in al-Quds – and Israel in the wake of Israel’s occupation of East al-Quds in 1967, non-Muslim worship at the compound is prohibited.

Hardline Israeli officials and settlers regularly storm the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied city, a provocative move that infuriates Palestinians. Such mass 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.

Illegal settler incursions under police protection to the al-Aqsa Mosque have been on the rise in recent years, during which many Palestinians have been injured, killed, or arrested.

Palestinians maintain that the Israeli regime is systematically working to Judaise al-Quds, where al-Aqsa Mosque is located, and obliterate its Arab and Islamic identity.

The march is also an attempt by extremist settlers to slam what they call the Tel Aviv regime’s failure to deal with the Palestinians and affirm their presence in the occupied Palestinian city and its holy sites.

Palestinian resistance groups say the Israeli regime’s insistence on holding the march should wake up the entire Muslim and Arab Ummah and warn Israel of the consequences.

In May 2021, frequent acts of violence against Palestinian worshipers at al-Aqsa Mosque led to an 11-day war between Palestinian resistance groups in the besieged Gaza Strip and the Israeli regime, during which the regime forces killed at least 260 Palestinians, including 66 children.

Israel launched the latest devastating war against Palestinians on October 7 after the Gaza Strip-based Palestinian resistance groups staged Operation al-Aqsa Storm, a surprise attack on the occupied territories, in response to the Israeli regime’s intensified crimes against the Palestinian people.

The Tel Aviv regime has killed over 16,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children.

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