Scores of Israeli settlers invaded Monday, December 19, the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem under the pretext of celebrating the so-called Jewish festival of Hanukkah.
Local media sources reported that Israeli settlers, escorted by Israeli military forces, broke into the courtyard of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in groups on the second day of the Jewish holiday and that more groups of settlers were expected to intrude on the holy site during the day.
Hundreds of Israeli well-armed forces had earlier stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyards through Mughrabi Gate and had forcibly expelled the Palestinian worshipers from the holy site to pave the way for the settlers’ incursions.
Israeli occupation also imposed strict restrictions on the entry of Palestinians to the compound and prevented them from entering the al-Aqsa Mosque.
Israeli groups and extremist Jewish settlers had previously called for massive incursions into the holy site during the Hanukkah holidays.
In this context, a colonial settler performed the so-called ‘epic prostration’ on the doorstep while others conducted provocative Talmudic rituals in the old city of occupied Jerusalem.
As part of a decades-old accord between Jordan and the Israeli occupation, non-Muslims are not allowed to perform any religious rituals inside the confines of Al-Aqsa Mosque, nor are Israeli symbols allowed to be displayed.