Israeli occupation forces intensified their presence around the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem this morning, hindering Muslim worshipers from accessing the mosque’s courtyards and impeding the entry of Palestinian citizens and students to the compound. Meantime, scores of Israeli Jewish settlers entered the compound in separate groups, where they conducted provocative tours through the courtyards of the mosque, received explanations about the alleged “Jewish Temple,” and performed Talmudic rituals near the Dome of the Rock. The Islamic Waqf Department said a press statement that since the early morning hours, Israeli forces have provocatively allowed a large number of settlers to enter the courtyards of the mosque. Simultaneously, they assaulted Muslim worshipers and prevented those under the age of 50 from entering the holy site. The statement also reported that Israeli police are working to evacuate Muslim worshipers from the Al-Aqsa courtyards, and so far, approximately 15 Muslim worshipers have been forcibly removed out of the holy site. Israeli occupation forces also arrested two individuals who were present in the vicinity of Al-Aqsa Mosque. Their identities remain unknown at this time. This latest incident adds to the ongoing tensions surrounding Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third most revered site in Islam. The Islamic Waqf, the Jordan-run authority in charge of the holy site, has repeatedly called for international intervention to prevent these incursions, which are seen as a direct challenge to the status quo of the holy site and an affront to the sentiments of Muslims worldwide.
Source: En – Palestine news & Information Agency – WAFA