Middle East Monitor / February 7, 2020
Hundreds of Palestinian worshippers making their way to Al-Aqsa Mosque for Friday prayers were prevented from entering the holy site.
Stationed at the entrance of Jerusalem, Israeli occupation forces stopped buses ferrying Palestinians to the holy site for morning prayers and forced them to U-turn and return to their homes. Occupation forces claim the move was an effort to prevent disorder at the site.
According to the Times of Israel, thousands of extra occupation forces were deployed in Jerusalem ahead of Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
“Police have no right not to allow us to come to the mosque. They punish people for no reason and this is not the first time,” some worshippers commented according to Ynet News.
The large-scale deployments were reinforced as a strict pre-emptive security measure after an upsurge of violence this week that resulted in the killing of at least three Palestinians, following the release of US President Donald Trump’s so-called “peace plan”, which has been rejected by all Palestinian parties as well as the UN for not being based on internationally recognised resolutions.
Last week, tens of thousands of worshippers headed to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for the first Friday prayers after the “peace plan” was announced. They were attacked by Israel’s rubber coated bullets.
The Palestinian worshippers chanted: “Our soul and our blood, we will sacrifice for the sake of Al-Aqsa.”
The Gaza Strip-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights documented 322 violations of international human rights law by Israeli occupation forces and settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory this week alone, in response to the peaceful protests organised against Trump’s “peace plan”.