JERUSALEM, Sunday, May 24, 2020 (WAFA) – Israeli police today assaulted a number of Palestinian Muslim worshipers performing nightly prayer at Bab al-Asbat, outside Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem.
Dozens of police attacked Palestinians performing the prayer of Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the fasting Ramadan month, at Bab al-Asbat, also known as the Lions’ Gate, which leads to the mosque compound, inflicting bruises across their bodies.
Palestinian Jerusalem residents flocked to the vicinity of the mosque compound to perform the Eid prayer as close as possible to the mosque compound, which was shuttered over coronavirus fears during Ramadan.
Only the Waqf-appointed guards and employees were able to perform the Eid prayer inside the mosque compound.
The Jerusalem Islamic Endowment (Waqf) has announced that it would reopen the site to Muslim worshipers after the Eid holiday.
The site, venerated as the third holiest site in Islam, was closed on March 15 for the first time in over 50 years as part of the measures to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Some right-wing Israeli activists have advocated for the destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound to make way for a Third Temple.
Messianic Jewish settlers are hoping to establish an increased presence on the site of the Al-Aqsa mosque, among the most important Muslim shrines in the world and potent symbols of Palestinian nationalism, and calling for building a third temple on what they term the “Temple Mount”.
Their far-right beliefs were once considered a small fringe movement, but in recent years, they have found favor in the administration of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, receiving the endorsement of many lawmakers.
Settlers incursions into the mosque compound coupled with the takeover of church property in Jerusalem are perceived as part of the plan to transform a multi-religious and multi-cultural city into a “reunified” Jewish city under the exclusive control and sovereignty of Israel.