The policies of the Israeli occupation in East Jerusalem and the West Bank continue to prevent students from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque. Police officers stationed at the gates and inside the mosque itself stop any Palestinian under the age of fifty from entering the Noble Sanctuary; students attempting to attend science workshops in the sanctuary have been targeted particularly. The workshops were to be supervised by Al-Aqsa Building Foundation.
Officials of the Foundation claim that the police action “is part of an attempt to prevent [the science workshops], especially in the area near the Maghrebi Gate, which has been controlled by the Israelis since the occupation of East Jerusalem began in 1967.” That gate is reserved for use by Jewish groups and tourists to Al-Aqsa Mosque, against the wishes of the Islamic Endowment Department which is supposed to have control over the sanctuary.
Four worshippers at the mosque have been arrested by Israeli police for opposing an incursion by extremist Jewish groups. Witnesses say that such groups have resumed their attempts to storm the mosque, with Jewish extremists roaming around the Noble Sanctuary’s grounds. Palestinians trying to stop them have been arrested by the police.