Middle East Monitor / April 5, 2023
Jewish settlers yesterday stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque guarded by Israel Police who restricted the entry of Muslim worshippers to the holy site.
Eyewitnesses told Anadolu news agency that settlers proceeded to storm the mosque through Al-Mughrabi Gate accompanied by members of the Israeli occupation forces.
Eyewitnesses noted that police were restricting the entry of Muslim worshippers who are under the age of 45 to Al-Aqsa Mosque.
A number of Palestinians performed the Duha prayer in front of Al-Qibli prayer hall, amid the deployment of police forces in the courtyards of the mosque.
Eyewitnesses told Anadolu that the police arrested three young women and a Palestinian journalist at the mosque, without stating the reasons for their arrest.
The Israeli police fired stun grenades to disperse Palestinian youths at the Lion’s Gate, which leads to Al-Aqsa Mosque, after preventing them from entering the mosque to perform the Fajr prayer.
This comes hours after occupation forces stormed the site and fired tear gas and rubber coated metal bullets into Al-Qibli prayer hall, arresting more than 400 worshippers and injuring many more, some of whom were beaten using the butts of the soldiers’ guns.
The Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs said in a written statement that some of those detained were being released on the condition that they be banned from Al-Aqsa Mosque for a week.
Far-right Israeli settler groups had called for the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque in conjunction with the beginning of Passover, which began last night and continues until 12 April.
According to reports, the Return to the Mount movement allocated sums of money as rewards for Jewish settlers who attempted to make a sacrifice at Al-Aqsa Mosque during Passover. Anyone who offers a sacrifice would be paid 25,000 shekels (around $7,000), and 2,500 shekels (around $700) if they are arrested inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque and are in possession of the sacrifice, the groups promised.