Israeli settlers stormed Al-Aqsa this morning, whilst Palestinian visitors are refused entry unless they undergo intrusive searches, according to the Palestinian Information Centre.
Entering through the Mughrabi Gate under the protection of armed Israeli police, a group of settlers stormed the compound. Numerous other gates to the mosque remain closed.
Some of Al-Aqsa’s gates were reopened yesterday after the installation of metal detectors at each entrance, which Muslim visitors refuse to pass though. Sheikh Omar Qiswani, head of the Islamic Waqf which manages the mosque, encouraged Muslim worshippers at Lion’s Gate not to enter if they had to undergo searches.
Restrictions on Palestinian access to the mosque are seen as a violation of the status quo, which refers to the arrangement between Israeli occupying forces and the mosque authority in allowing worshippers to visit the Muslim holy site.