Hundreds of extremist Jewish settlers broke into the Al-Aqsa mosque complex in East Jerusalem on Sunday. Jerusalem’s Religious Endowments Authority said the settlers were protected by the Israeli police.
The Jordanian-run authority stated, “Israeli police shut the compound’s Al-Mugharbah Gate after allowing 334 settlers through it into the site.” This is the second such incident in less than 10 days. On June 2, hundreds of Zionists who are part of the ‘Third Temple Movement’ barged into the shrine. On other occasions too, settlers have entered the compound and prayed, with the protection of the police. This is not only a provocative move but also illegal. As per Israeli law, Jews are only allowed to visit the compound at specific hours and are not allowed to pray.
Al-Aqsa is the third holiest shrine in Islam. However, Jewish extremists have often called for the demolition of the compound as it is also the site of the Temple of Solomon which was demolished during Roman rule. Israel occupied East Jerusalem in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. After the war, a joint guardianship agreement was signed between Israel and Jordan according to which the latter has control over Christian and Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem.
The undersecretary of Palestinian wakfs and religious affairs ministry Husam Abu Al-Rob called for global pressure to put an end to such incidents. In a statement, Mr. Al-Rob said, “Jerusalem will remain Islamic and the occupation will not deprive it of its identity no matter what it does.”