Dozens of settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque again on Wednesday. The Muslim sanctuary in Jerusalem has now witnessed clashes with police officers protecting the Jewish extremists for several days.
Eyewitnesses told the Kuwait News Agency ( KUNA ) that special Israeli police units entered Al-Aqsa, attacked worshippers inside and detained many of them in the nearby Al-Kebeli Mosque. They added that the security forces began by locking the mosque gates with chains to protect the extremist Jewish settlers. The whole area is now very tense.
It is alleged that the police fired tear gas and even "petrol bombs" at Muslim worshippers in the mosque. Many were also beaten severely by the officers.
It appears as if the Israelis are determined to provide a "safe passage" through which extremist Jews can enter the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa, which is Islam's third holiest site, to perform Talmudic rituals. This route extends from the Moroccan Gate to various parts of the main mosque hall.
Hundreds of Palestinians heeded a call to go to Al-Aqsa Mosque to protect the site from Israeli incursions. A statement issued by Al Aqsa Foundation for Religious Endowments and Heritage said that "a large number of Israeli military and private security forces gathered at the Moroccan Gate amid a tense atmosphere that reflected the escalation of the situation."