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Israel occupation forces close off Al-Aqsa Mosque compound

Israeli security forces seen blocking the Damascus gate as tension rises between Israeli forces and Palestinians outside of Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Eastern Jerusalem on 29 January 2020 [Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency]
Israeli security forces seen blocking the Damascus gate outside of Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem on 29 January 2020 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli occupation forces in Jerusalem have shut off access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the Old Jerusalem area this afternoon, further increasing tensions in the city amid the proposed 'peace plan' offered to the Palestinians by the US and Israel.

According to an official source from Jerusalem's Islamic Endowments Department (Waqf) who informed Palestine's Ma'an News Agency, the Israeli authorities closed all of the doors to the compound while preventing anyone from entering or exiting it.

Accounts from eyewitnesses at the scene reported that the occupation forces detained two young Palestinian men at the compound and took them to the Bab al-Silsila police station, adding that they were severely beaten by the police while walking around the Al-Aqsa compound.

Jordan slams Israel over aggression at Al-Aqsa Mosque

Raids, closures, and arrests in the Islamic religious site in Jerusalem by the Israeli authorities are an extremely common occurrence, with the added invasion of the compound by Jewish settlers making it difficult for Muslim and Palestinian worshippers to fully access the compound at times.

Last week alone saw cases of occupation forces storming the Al-Aqsa compound, arresting four Palestinian worshippers, banningthe Imam of the Mosque, and Jewish settlers setting Palestinian mosques and churches on fire – all separate incidents.

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