Israeli settlers stormed the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Sunday morning, accompanied by military reinforcement security from the Israeli occupation army.
According to the sources of the Islamic Endowments Department, Israeli Minister of Agriculture, Uri Ariel, was leading a group of Israeli extremist settlers who entered through the Mugrabi Gate in the western wall of the mosque.
Ariel is from the “Jewish Home” party, which is known for its far right positions towards Palestinians and Arabs. He led an incursion into the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which led to clashes between worshipers and the occupation forces on 13 September 2015.
This follows a 3 year ban that Netanyahu imposed on members of Knesset, which prohibited them from visiting the holy site, due to security concerns.
In June this year, that ban was lifted and allowed members to visit once every three months, although this rule has already been dismissed as this most recent entry is followed by a similar one in mid November.
Since the ban was lifted, there has been an increase in settler activity and disturbance, where Al-Aqsa is “being subjected to daily dangerous raids and violations that provoke the feelings of the Muslims and Arabs,” Jordan’s Minister of Endowment Abdel Nasser Abul Basal said in early December.
Abul Basal said that “it is our duty” to open a dialogue with the global community “about the dangers facing the holy site through an international conference”, including a focus on holy Christian sites that may be threatened in Jerusalem. The conference will take place on 20 December 2018.
In Islamic religion, Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock is the third holiest site and the most holy site to the Jewish religion.