Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Israel Turns Jerusalem into Military Barrack with Start of Jewish Holidays | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Media ID: 55371343

Archive photo of Israeli police forces in the old city of Jerusalem. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Ramallah- As celebrations in Passover commence, groups of settlers entered on Monday Al-Aqsa Mosque, under heavy protection by Israeli forces. They invaded the Mosque in batches and tried again to slaughter sacrifices inside it as a provocation to Muslims – often banned from entering.

They also carried out tours inside the mosque and practiced Talmudic rituals, while the mosque was surrounded by other settlers who set up tents to support the invaders and offer food and drinks to them.

Invasions of Aqsa Mosque have always sparked confrontation between Palestinians and Israelis that led later on to revolutions. Muslims say that Aqsa is an Islamic endowment while Jews say that it was built on the ruins of a temple.

Officials, religious men and factions called on Palestinians to take action and protect the Aqsa from these invasions – Israel, however, closed the West Bank and transformed Jerusalem into a military barrack, placing more barricades and preventing youths from entering while arresting others.

Palestinian Foreign Ministry rejected the Israeli measures in Jerusalem, which coincided with the Jewish holidays, saying that Israel has deployed more forces, police and security officers on the Palestinian occupied land and imposed a security siege on the West Bank including Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.

The ministry denounced “the punitive procedures of the occupation against Palestinian citizens. These procedures are a reflection of a colonial policy adopted by the Israeli government to constraint Palestinians, especially those in East Jerusalem. This serves the purposes of: judaization of Jerusalem, changing its contours and wiping out its Palestinian identity.”

According to the ministry, these suppressive procedures encourage settlers and extremist Jews to continue their invasions to Aqsa Mosque.