Israeli police escorts nearly 1,500 Jewish settlers into Al-Aqsa Mosque as Sukkot holiday arrives
Nearly 1,500 Israeli settlers entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Monday, October 2. The unusually high number of fanatical settlers visiting the holy site is due to the Jewish holiday of Sukkot – a weeklong holiday that comes five days after Yom Kippur.
According to the Islamic al-Awqaf authority, 1,142 settlers entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque through the al-Magahrabeh Gate between 07:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. An additional 326 entered after the conclusion of the afternoon Muslim prayer.
The Jordanian-controlled al-Awqaf authority maintains that the Israeli police is the side that allows Jewish visits to the Al-Aqsa and that visits are done without coordination with Muslim officials.
Palestinians are wary of settlers' visits to the Al-Aqsa Mosque because of calls echoed by extremists to build a Jewish temple in place of the Dome of the Rock.
The presence of the Israeli police at the gates of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and inside the compound has become more felt in recent years, occasionally leading to friction with Palestinians and Muslim worshipers.
On Monday morning, Israeli policewomen pushed Palestinian women to the ground as they were chanting "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great). The incident happened near one of the gates leading to the Al-Aqsa Mosque known as Bab al-Majles.
Watch Israeli police assault Palestinian women near the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Monday morning for voicing opposition to settlers' visits to the holy site. Muslims are wary of extremists' calls to replace Dome of the Rock with a Jewish temple. Site is holy to Muslims and Jews. pic.twitter.com/g8UjhLzzKD— Ibrahim Husseini | إبراهيم الحُسيني (@husseiniibrahim) October 2, 2023
In the past several days, the Israeli police have blocked some Palestinians from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque. In one instance, the police did not allow Palestinians from the occupied West Bank through because "their permits were valid only for work or medical reasons, but not visiting the Al-Aqsa".
Recently, Israel's far-right government minister, Itamar Ben Gvir, posted on X about the situation in the Al-Aqsa.
"This is what sovereignty looks like! Take a deep breath, and slowly, everyone will accept our policy," he wrote.
The post referenced an article in the Israeli daily Ma'arive that reported: "A rise in the number of requests to enter Temple Mount. The Temple Mount administrators are getting ready to admit thousands of ascendants to the Temple Mount during Sukkot...". A photo in the report showed several Israeli police standing between the Dome of the Rock and Al-Qibli Mosque.
Israel illegally annexed East Jerusalem after the 1967 war, a move that is not recognised by the international community.