For the first time ever, Jewish settlers raid Al-Aqsa Mosque via Lions Gate

Jewish settler groups raided Al-Aqsa Mosque under the protection of the Israeli police (Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolou Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  August 29, 2022

Extremist Jewish settlers raided Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday via Lions Gate. Sources from Jerusalem noted it was the first time since the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem began in 1967.

Usually, the Israeli occupation authorities allow settler groups to break into the holy site through the Moroccan Gate, on the western side of the compound.

Sheikh Omar Kiswani, director of Al-Aqsa Mosque, described the raid from the Lions Gate as a “serious measure that violates the status quo at the holy site and the agreements signed between Israel and Jordan concerning the affairs of the Mosque.”

Since 2003, the Israeli occupation authorities have allowed settlers to raid the compound almost on a daily basis, except on Fridays.

The Jordan-run Islamic Waqf Department which is in charge of the holy site has repeatedly described the settlers’ presence at Al-Aqsa Mosque as provocative, saying that Palestinian worshippers and guards at Al-Aqsa feel uncomfortable with the presence of Israeli police and settlers touring the Islamic holy site.

Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, in a statement, condemned the Israeli measure as “a blatant violation of the mosque’s status quo aimed at perpetuating the temporal division of Al-Aqsa Mosque on the way to dividing it spatially.”

The ministry held the Israeli government fully responsible for the consequences of its aggression against Jerusalem and its Islamic and Christian holy sites, particularly Al-Aqsa Mosque.