Crowds of extremist Israeli settlers under armed protection from the Israeli occupation police broke into the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem on Sunday morning, and vandalized the courtyard.
Local sources confirmed that approximately 20 settlers broke into the courtyard and defiled the plazas. Muslim worshippers peacefully confronted the settlers, chanting Allahu Akbar (God is great).
Israeli occupation soldiers reportedly handed out coloured cards to Muslim worshippers at the entrance to the mosque compound in order to facillitate their arrest should the ‘work of policemen’ be ‘disrupted’, said al-Jazeerah.
This comes after 20 Palestinians were arrested on 26 May when the mosque compound was stormed by scores of Zionist settlers to mark the Jewish holiday of Shavuot.
“At least 60 Jewish settlers in groups – backed by Israeli police – stormed the holy compound through the Al-Magharbeh Gate,” Sheikh Omar al-Qiswani, Al-Aqsa Mosque director, told Anadolu Agency.
“The settlers inspected the complex, passing by the Al-Qibali and the Dome of the Rock mosques, and tried to perform Talmudic rituals before leaving the compound through the Al-Silsila Gate,” he said.
Al-Aqsa mosque has been the site of regular provocative visits by Israeli settlers who are protected by the IOF. Palestinians are often arrested when they protest against these visits.