Storming Al-Aqsa, an Odious Israeli Tradition
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Time and again, extremist Israeli settlers storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque and compound, heavily protected by security forces.
On Sunday and Monday it happened again, the move condemned by United Arab List (UAL).
Part of the Bennett regime's ruling coalition, its leadership called on "activists of the Islamic Movement (to) defend the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque (and compound) with their bodies."
Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi called the provocative visit by extremist settlers "a serious escalation planned in advance."
Joint List chairman Ayman Oded said "(a) month after the (provocative) Flag March, the (Bennett regime) is continuing violence and suppression at Al-Aqsa, the Damascus Gate and Sheikh Jarrah."
"But (live) fire, clubs and stun grenades reinforce the simple truth."
"There is an entire people here under occupation who have the right to be freed from it."
Clashes occurred between Israeli security forces and Palestinians defending Islam's third holiest site.
They continued on Monday, ahead of the July 19 evening to sunset on the 23rd commemoration of Islam's holiest period, the feast of Eid al-Adha.
Day of Arafah on Monday is the Islamic calendar's holiest day, marking culmination of the hajj.
According to the Times of Israel, about 1,700 settlers visited Al-Aqsa on Tisha B'Av, a fast day for Orthodox Jews to mourn destruction of two Jewish temples.
Following violence by Israeli police against Palestinians, a Bennett regime statement "instructed that the orderly and safe ascent of Jews to (what they call) the Temple Mount should continue, while order is maintained at the site."
Crowd dispersal order was maintained by customary mistreatment of Palestinians, including beatings and use of rubber-coated steel bullets to clear the compound for extremist settlers to be where they don't belong without permission not granted.
Hamas condemned what happened, accusing "the occupation (of) giving free rein to…herds of settlers."
Islamic Jihad denounced Israeli "terrorism and aggression that affects all Muslims in the world."
Senior PA official Hussein al-Sheikh said "storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque is an Israeli political decision to establish facts on the ground, in defiance of the international community's will, and bodes poorly for the orientation of the new" Israeli regime.
Storming the Al-Aqsa Mosque and compound breached Israel's 1994 peace treaty with Jordan, its foreign ministry said.
Article 9 of the treaty lets Jews and Muslims access holy places on condition that "parties act together."
The Bennett regime let extremist settlers take over Islam's third holiest site without coordination with Jerusalem's Islamic Waqf, a religious trust in charge of managing the Al-Aqsa Mosque and compound.
Jordan's foreign ministry sent a letter of protest to the Bennett regime.
It called on Israel "to stop its violations and provocations, respect the historical and legal status quo, respect the sanctity of the mosque and the freedom of worshipers and respect the authority of the Jordan-run Jerusalem Endowment Department and Al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs."
Separately, a statement by Jordan's foreign ministry spokesman Daifallah al-Fayez said the following:
"Israeli actions against the mosque represent a violation of the historical and legal status quo, international law and Israel's obligations as an occupying power in East Jerusalem."
The Bennett regime thanked police inspector general Yaakov Shabtai "for managing events on the Temple Mount with responsibility and consideration (sic), while maintaining freedom of worship for Jews on the Mount (sic)."
A statement by UAL's Ra'am Party Bennett regime coalition member called Al-Aqsa "solely the property of Muslims, and no one else has a right to it"— clearly not by Israeli strong-arm tactics.
Patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem Theophilos III condemned "any visit to Al-Haram al-Sharif/Al Aqsa which is not approved by the Islamic Waqf."
Hashemite Fund for the Restoration of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock director Wasfi Al-Kailani said the following:
"Religious leaders in Jerusalem used to welcome visitors during non-prayer hours, but we considered those who enter without permission of the Waqf managers of the mosque to be intruders."
"Those who pray on the mosque compound are trying to claim ownership of one of the three holiest mosques in Islam that has been used for worship by Muslims since (the year) 638."
On Monday, the Middle East Eye condemned "far-right Israeli settlers (for) break(ing) (into) Jerusalem's al-Aqsa compound" — heavily protected by police, adding:
"Dozens of Israeli police officers raided the site…before assaulting Palestinian worshippers attending prayers and making way for the entrance of hundreds of settlers."
Extremists "backed by Israeli forces regularly break into the al-Aqsa Mosque" and compound.
The Bennett regime continues the worst of its predecessors, terrorizing Palestinians for not being Jewish.
The Islamic Waqf condemned Israeli police state actions it warned may "spark fire and religious war."
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