More than 70 Jewish settlers broke into the sacred courtyard of Al-Aqsa Mosque on Wednesday morning, performing Talmudic rituals and writing racist phrases on the walls before they left. According to Al-Aqsa Association for Religious Endowments and Heritage, clashes erupted between the Jews and Muslim worshippers who tried to stop them.
The Association also noted that settlers slashed the tyres on three cars and wrote slogans insulting Jesus Christ on the walls of Al-Mosalabeh Monastery in Jerusalem. The monastery has been attacked several times this year, as has Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Islamic-Christian Commission for Protecting Jerusalem and Holy Sites condemned the settlers' attacks on Islamic and Christian sites. The Commission called for the continuous violations by the Israeli settlers against places of worship such as mosques, churches and monasteries to be stopped by the authorities. "Such holy places have special sanctity," said the Commission, "and this must be respected and protected from all kinds of aggression."
The General Secretary of the Commission, Hanna Isa, put the responsibility for Jewish settler attacks on Israel's rabbis and government. "The rabbis," he pointed out, "have issued several religious rulings permitting Israeli Jews to kill Muslims and Christians in Palestine."
Commenting on the timing of the attacks, Isa said: "The Israeli authorities allow the settlers to act in a way that hurts Christians in the run-up to Christmas. This is unbelievable extremism and racism."
The Commission called for the International Council of the Churches, the Vatican, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the international community and all related organisations to bear their responsibilities towards protecting Islamic and Christian holy sites from the ongoing Israeli violations.