Israeli forces attack, expel Palestinian worshippers from Al-Aqsa Mosque

Middle East Monitor  /  October 3, 2023

Israeli occupation forces today attacked Palestinian journalists and forced Muslim worshippers out of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem, reported WAFA news agency.

Under the pretext of disturbing the Jewish settlers who stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque to perform Talmudic rituals and prayers to mark the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, Palestinian worshippers were assaulted and forcibly removed by the Israeli occupation soldiers.

Sukkot is a week-long holiday, which started on 29 September and continues until 6 October, ending a season of Jewish holidays that started by observing the Rosh Hashanah (New Year) holiday on 15 September.

Palestinians accuse Israel of systematically working to Judaize East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, and obliterate its Arab and Islamic identity.

The attacks imposed on Palestinians at Al-Aqsa Mosque complex come after a statement released by the Islamic Waqf (Religious Endowment) Department, stating that Israeli forces closed Al-Mughrabi Gate, southwest of Al-Aqsa Mosque, “after allowing 602 Jewish extremists” into the site.

Israeli forces began allowing the settler incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in 2003, despite repeated condemnations from Palestinians.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the world’s third-holiest site for Muslims. Jews call the area the “Temple Mount,” claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980, a move never recognized by the international community.