The period of Jewish high holidays has seen thousands of Israeli settlers invade the Al Aqsa Mosque compound under the guard of Israeli forces.
Since the start of the weeklong Jewish holiday of Sukkot, over 3000 settlers and police have entered the compound.
During these incursions, settlers have been provocative; singing the Israeli national anthem and practicing rituals and prayers inside the mosque.
According to an article published by Middle East Monitor (MEMO), 3,647 settlers entered Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in August,while July saw 3,315 Israelis enter, with only 1,391 settlers in June.
Mohammed Hussein, The Mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories, said the occupation authorities are exploiting Jewish holidays to intensify their infiltrations into occupied Jerusalem in general, and especially the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Under the pretence of increased security measures, Israeli forces have installed iron barriers and confiscated the ID’s of Muslim worshipers before allowing them entry.
They have also arrested several mosque workers and guards, barring them entry from periods ranging from one week to three years.
Several Muslim worshippers and staff members of the Islamic Endowment Department (Waqf) – which is in charge of Al Aqsa Mosque – have also been assaulted by occupation security forces over the week.
A statement released by Waqf said “Israeli police have been provoking Muslims and the Mosque guards since the morning, stopping them and checking and holding their identity cards.”
The statement added “the police violently and brutally attacked the guards and worshippers and forced them to leave the area for the benefit of the Jewish fanatics.”
Saeb Erekat, Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee strongly denounced the actions taken by Israeli forces and police at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
On Twitter, Erekat stated; Israel continues to brazenly violate the universal human rights/ freedoms with its attacks today against Palestinian worshipers at Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound.
A testament to its long record of violations and abuses of all international norms and above all human dignity.
This week also saw Israeli Knesset member for the Jewish Home political party, Shuli Mualem, enter into Al-Aqsa.
Israeli forces had deployed across the compound before her arrival.
In July of this year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lifted a ban that previously barred Israeli Knesset members from visiting Al-Aqsa Mosque.
This rule was first established in November of 2015.
Non-muslim worship is banned at Al-Aqsa in accordance to an agreement signed between Israel and the Jordanian government in 1967, after Israel’s illegal occupation of East Jerusalem.
Source: Palestine Monitor