A group of far-right settlers has stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem under the protection of Israeli occupation forces, while clashes erupted elsewhere in the city and the West Bank following a series of raids and arrests.
Several dozen far-right settlers entered Al-Aqsa Mosque on Sunday morning, which has been the target of repeated raids this year, as Israeli forces looked on and prevented their interruption by local Palestinians. The settlers have repeatedly tried to uproot the area’s olive trees, which has led to confrontations between settlers and the Palestinians defending their land.
Meanwhile, settler groups near Hebron continue preparations to seize land owned by Palestinian families near the Adora settlement. The settlers have been setting up an encampment on the land, which they want to become part of their settlement, for the past three days.
The provocations and ensuing violence mark a continuation of the violence that earlier this year culminated in Israel’s brutal onslaught on the Gaza Strip, followed by a humiliating climbdown for the occupation.
The raids started early on the morning of Sunday, 15 August, as Israeli forces raided the homes of two young men in Bab Al-Amoud area and Salah El-Din Street. They arrested one of the men, Sa’adi Burqan.
Clashes also erupted in the West Bank town of Azzun, east of Qalqilya, after occupation forces raided the home of resident Tariq Salim before arresting him. Several people were injured after Israeli forces fired tear gas into crowds opposing the operation.
In the town of Ya’bad, southwest of Jenin, Israeli infantry raided a series of neighbourhoods, but no one was arrested.
And south of Nablus, the Jabal Sabih area in the town of Beita saw clashes between residents and Israeli forces throughout Saturday night into the early hours of Sunday.
Further tensions are expected on Monday, 15 August, when Israel’s supreme court is expected to rule on the case of Sheikh Jarrah, a neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem where four Palestinian families are facing forced eviction to make way for yet more Israeli settlers.
The court was due to give its final ruling on the matter back in May, but this was postponed after daily protests by Palestinian residents in the area. The protests were met with a high level of brutality from the Israeli state and settler groups, with rubber-coated bullets, tear gas, and percussion grenades used against local people.