A large number of right-wing Israeli settlers attempted to storm Al-Aqsa Mosque on Wednesday morning accompanied by a group of Israeli occupation forces that entered the compound to confront the Palestinian protesters inside the Mosque, before being pushed back.
According Al-Jazeera English, the settlers included nationalist politicians. At least 20 Palestinians were reportedly injured during the clashes.
Anadolu news agency quoted the director of Islamic Awqaf in Jerusalem, Sheik Azzam Al-Khatib, as saying that: “A large number of settlers invaded Al-Aqsa Mosque and toured around its Sanctuary Yards under the protection of the Israeli police.”
Micky Rosenfeld, an Israeli police spokesperson, reportedly wrote on his Twitter account: “[Israeli] police dispersed [Palestinian] rioters using stun grenades only. Situation on Temple Mount is quiet after disturbances. Temple Mount open regularly for visitors.”
The Israeli police announced afterwards the closure of Al-Aqsa Mosque to non-Muslim visitors.
Extremist Israeli settlers have repeatedly called for storming Al-Aqsa Mosque ever since the attempted assassination last week of extremist Rabbi Yehuda Glick, who was reportedly shot by a former Palestinian prisoner, who himself was killed by Israeli police the following day.
Earlier today, Israeli forces barred several prominent Palestinian and Arab-Israeli members from entering Al-Aqsa, including a Palestinian minister and two Knesset members.
Images: Anadolu Agency