Israel police storm Al-Aqsa to clear Muslims from compound on Jewish new year holiday

Israel police storm Al-Aqsa to clear Muslims from compound on Jewish new year holiday
2 min read
26 September, 2022
Officers raided Al-Aqsa Mosque and attacked Muslims who were at the compound for early morning prayers, on the occasion of the Jewish New Year holiday.
Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem is the third-holiest place in Islam [Nick Brundle Photography/Getty-file photo]

Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in occupied East Jerusalem on Monday to clear Muslims from the compound so Jews can enter on Rosh Hashanah, or Jewish New Year.

Officers raided Al-Aqsa, the third-holiest place in Islam, and attacked Muslims who were at the compound for early morning prayers, according to officials from the Islamic Waqf, the department tasked with administering the mosque.

The officials said Muslim faithful were pushed out of the site as Jewish extremists waited close to a nearby entrance, official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

Israeli police manning the eight gates on the way to Al-Aqsa stopped Muslims below 40 years old and students from accessing schools within the compound.

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Meanwhile Jewish extremists carried out acts of worship in violation of the longstanding status-quo agreement that governs the site.

Radical Israeli groups have urged their supporters to raid Al-Aqsa on Monday and over the coming weeks as Jewish religious holidays are observed.

Palestinians consider Israeli raids at Al-Aqsa, which are a common occurrence, part of an attempt to change the status-quo agreement and either transform the compound into a wholly Jewish site or split it between the two faiths.

Palestinian and Islamic leaders have urged Muslim believers to maintain a constant presence at Al-Aqsa to stop this.

The Monday raid comes after Israeli authorities recently banned over 100 Palestinians from Al-Aqsa and Jerusalem, a move Wafa said aims to make raids at the site easier.

Israel has strengthened its forces' numbers in Jerusalem and encouraged its citizens to be constantly armed while marking the Jewish religious festivals, according to Wafa.