Israeli settlers storm Al-Aqsa mosque compound under police protection, amid Gaza onslaught

Israeli settlers storm Al-Aqsa mosque compound under police protection, amid Gaza onslaught
Hardline Jewish settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque's compound on Wednesday as Israel escalated its bombing of the Gaza Strip.
2 min read
11 October, 2023
Israeli settlers regularly storm the Al-Aqsa mosque with police protection [Getty]

Hardline Jewish settlers continued their raids on the Al-Aqsa Mosque's compound on Wednesday, backed by Israeli police who tightened measures against Palestinians, stopping them from entering the Islamic holy site.

The settler group "Beyadenu- Returning to the Temple Mount" called on the Israeli government to completely close off the Al-Aqsa Mosque to Muslims until Israeli prisoners captured by Hamas during its massive attack on Saturday against Israel were released.

The far-right group, which regularly carries out incursions and performs provocative Jewish rituals at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, said in a statement that "there must be a complete closure of the Temple Mount to Muslims until the last Israeli hostage returns to Israel."

Israeli forces tightened entrance measures to the Old City of Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, preventing a large number of Palestinians from entering as Israeli settlers stormed the holy site.

The settler group incited against Palestinians on X on Sunday, calling on Jewish settlers to "go up to the Temple Mount and demand a free ascent to the Temple Mount and the expulsion of the Waqf!" 

The Al-Aqsa Mosque is under the administration of the Jordan-affiliated Islamic Waqf. While non-Muslims are allowed to visit, they are not permitted to worship under a long-standing status quo agreement.

However, attacks by far-right groups advocating for Jewish control and over Al-Aqsa have been ongoing for years.

In recent months, radical Israeli settlers have increasingly been storming the mosque under the protection of Israeli security forces. Hamas said that its attack on Israel was motivated by the settler provocations. 

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Israeli police arrested a Jewish man, also member of the Beyadenu group, on his way to sacrifice a lamb on the Al Aqsa site on 1 October, just days before the current war broke out between Israel and Hamas.

Israeli forces also deployed in force in the Palestinian Silwan area south of the Old City of Jerusalem since Wednesday morning.

They erected multiple barriers after two Palestinians were killed and left bleeding to death without medical assistance, according to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed's correspondent in the West Bank.