Dozens of Jewish settlers stormed into Al-Aqsa Mosque on Tuesday morning under Israeli police protection. Officers prevented Palestinian Muslim worshippers from entering the sanctuary.
A mosque guard told Turkey’s Anadolu news agency that the Israeli police allowed the settlers to enter the mosque and have prevented Palestinians under the age of 40 from entering since Monday evening. The guard pointed out that dozens of Muslims were forced to perform the dawn prayers outside the mosque gates.
The Media Centre for Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Affairs claimed that as many as 173 Jewish settlers were involved in storming into Al-Aqsa on Tuesday.
Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Simari said that officers imposed restrictions on the entry of Muslim worshippers to the mosque on the pretext that “some young Arabs intend to commit acts of disorder in the mosque.”
Thousands of Israeli police were deployed around East Jerusalem on Tuesday morning in preparation for the Jewish Yom Kippur festival, which lasts until Wednesday evening.
The Euro Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor pointed out in a report released on Tuesday that Israeli incitement and violations against Arabs in Jerusalem have increased dramatically in 2015.
The report — “Fire under the Ashes: Provoking Muslims in Jerusalem” — notes that in 2014, nearly 11,000 Jews stormed into Al-Aqsa compound, 28 per cent more than during 2013, and almost double the figure for 2012. “This year, April witnessed the highest percentage of violations,” the report revealed, “as 1,412 settlers accompanied by 93 officers and soldiers stormed into Al-Aqsa compound.”