Israeli settlers storm Al Aqsa Mosque compound to perform 'Talmudic rituals'

Arrests and raids took place in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank amid intensifying air strikes on the Gaza Strip

The settlers entered the mosque through the Moroccan Gate. AFP
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Israeli settlers stormed the flashpoint Al Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday, the Palestinian Wafa news agency reported.

The settlers entered the mosque through the Moroccan Gate, also known as the Mughrabi Gate, and performed “provocative Talmudic rituals” in the mosque's courtyard, eyewitnesses told Wafa.

The incident took place under the protection of Israeli police. Security in the Old City and around the mosque was tightened.

Al Aqsa Mosque compound is a site considered holy by Muslims, Jews and Christians and is often a focal point of Israeli-Palestinian tensions.

Meanwhile, in the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces clashed with Palestinians.

The forces carried out arrests and raids in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank amid intensifying air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

Two people were arrested in Shuafat refugee camp, north of Jerusalem, on Tuesday night.

Elsewhere in the West Bank, Israeli forces arrested 15 citizens from the towns of Sa’ir and Yatta, north and south of Hebron.

The men's homes were “raided, searched and their contents tampered with,” Wafa reported.

In Nablus, locals reportedly suffocated from “poisonous gas” from smoke bombs, during confrontations with the Israeli army in the village of Madama.

A 36-year-old woman from Jenin was also arrested in Nablus. Director of the Prisoner's Club in Jenin, Montaser Sammour, told Wafa that Hala Suleiman Sirisi was detained while on her way to work in Nablus as a civil engineer.

Roads closed

In addition to the raids, vital roads that farmers use to reach their land in Bethlehem were also closed off by Israeli authorities.

“Settlers and occupation forces escalated their violations and attacks against landowners in the town, by stealing grape leaves, preventing citizens from accessing and seizing their lands, and demolishing agricultural rooms,” Wafa said.

The recent flare-up of tension in the West Bank and East Jerusalem comes amid Israeli air strikes on refugee camps in Gaza that have killed scores of Palestinian civilians, sparking widespread international outcry.

At least 12 Palestinians were killed in a two-day Israeli raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank last week.

Updated: May 29, 2024, 1:19 PM