In a recent act against Islamic holy sites in occupied Palestine, a large group of settlers, numbering around 600, entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyards today, shielded by the Israeli police.
Coming in waves through the Moroccan Gate, these settlers conducted Talmudic rituals inside the mosque. Videos they shared depicted them holding palm fronds and some in religious attire.
The Israeli police’s significant presence inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque restricted local citizens’ movements, making way for the settlers. Jerusalem activist Hanadi Halawani was reportedly assaulted, and the Chain Gate area in the Old City was forcibly evacuated.
Aligning with the Jewish Sukkot holiday’s second day, restrictions were placed on Palestinians from Jerusalem and the 48 territories, with rigorous ID checks and some detentions at the mosque’s entrances.
The Sukkot holiday, lasting until October 7th, has seen calls from certain Jewish groups to increase settler visits to the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Israeli authorities often utilize Jewish holidays to amplify their military actions and suppressive measures against Palestinians, especially in Jerusalem. This includes increased scrutiny at military checkpoints and heightened incursions by extremist Jewish factions into religious sites like the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron.
Regularly, except on Fridays and Saturdays, the Al-Aqsa Mosque faces multiple settler entries, suggesting an attempt to establish a pattern of shared access to the site.