JERUSALEM, Sunday, May 22, 2022 (WAFA) – Scores of Israeli settlers escorted by Israeli police broke today into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied Jerusalem and performed rituals across its courtyards, according to witnesses.
WAFA correspondent said scores of Israeli settlers entered the holy site in groups and performed rituals and Talmudic prayers there under the protection of Israeli police officers.
This comes amid calls by Zionist nationalists upon their fans to hold a flag-waving march inside the holy compound on May 29 marking the anniversary of Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem.
Bentzi Gopstein, a radical Israeli far-right politician, has urged settlers to take part in the provocative march on May 29, and said the move will mark the beginning of “the destruction of the Dome of the Rock”.
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement today that Israel's sense of impunity was encouraging it to escalate its aggression against Jerusalem and its holy sites.
“The Israeli flag-waving march and the accompanying incitement campaigns are an integral part of the occupation's projects to fully Judaize the Holy City and impose Israeli sovereignty over it,” said the Ministry in a statement, which held Israel responsible for all of the possible consequences of the provocative march.
The latest development comes after nearly month-long tensions fueled by increased presence by hardcore Israeli settlers inside the holy site during the past Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Jerusalem's Islamic Waqf has repeatedly described the settlers' presence in Al-Aqsa Mosque as "provocative", and said that Palestinian worshippers and guards at Al-Aqsa feel uncomfortable with the presence of Israeli police and settlers touring the Islamic holy site.
Israel captured East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa Mosque is located, during the Six-Day War in 1967 in a move never recognized by the international community.