JERUSALEM, November 25, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli settlers and rabbis Wednesday broke into the courtyards of al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, fueling tension at the site, according to WAFA correspondent.
He said Jewish hard-liners and rabbis stormed and toured al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the morning, provoking tension with Palestinian worshipers who chanted religious slogans in defiance of the Jewish entry.
Meanwhile, Israeli police continued to impose restriction on the entry of Palestinians into the site, especially women and youth, reserving their identity cards prior to their entry.
The site has witnessed violent clashes in recent months between Palestinians and Israeli police, most frequently due to provocative visits by Jewish extremists who believe the mosque should be destroyed and replaced with a Jewish temple.
Reports that Israel was planning to enforce a temporal division of the mosque between Muslims and Jews also helped fuel the current round of unrest in the occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel.
The site is the third holiest place for Muslims, and has since 1967 been the center of the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict. While it is widely known as Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jews refer to the site as the “Temple Mount” and believe it was the site of two Jewish temples destroyed in ancient times.
Palestinians worry that if Jewish visitors were allowed to pray in the holy al-Aqsa Mosque, it would eventually lead to a permanent change which will result in full Israeli control and ban on Muslims’ prayer.
Despite the fact that the site is the location of al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock, two of the most holy destinations for Muslims, hundreds of Jewish extremists regularly attempt to legalize prayer at the compound, a move that will “inevitably” trigger Palestinians, said Israeli police.