Fri 1-March-2024

Endowments Ministry reports on Al-Aqsa Mosque incursions in January

Tuesday 6-February-2024

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)

The Palestinian Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs said on Monday that Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem 22 times, while the Israeli occupation army prevented the call to prayer at the Ibrahimi Mosque in al-Khalil 47 times during last January.

Minister of Endowments and Religious Affairs Sheikh Hatem Al-Bakri explained in a statement that “the Al-Aqsa Mosque is subjected to settlers’ incursions daily except on Saturdays and Fridays, during two morning and evening periods, in an attempt to impose temporal and spatial division on it. Other than their repeated attacks on the Ibrahimi Mosque.”

Al-Bakri clarified that Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque 22 times during January, while the Israeli occupation authorities imposed restrictions, tightened security measures, and blocked Palestinians’ access to the Mosque, scrutinizing their IDs, detaining worshippers at its external gates, and deporting dozens of them for varying periods.

On a nearly daily basis, settlers storm Al-Aqsa twice, in the morning and after the noon prayer, through Bab el-Maghareba Gate in the western wall of the Mosque, with full Israeli police protection.

While the incursions of extremist settlers are protected by the occupation security, the Israeli police restrict entry of Palestinians into the holy Islamic site, reducing the number of worshippers to record lows compared to before October 7, 2023.

In al-Khalil, “the occupation prevented the call to prayer at the Ibrahimi Mosque 47 times last month,” according to the ministry’s report.

Since 1994, Israel has divided the Ibrahimi Mosque between Muslims and Jews, following a massacre committed by a settler that resulted in the martyrdom of 29 worshippers.

The call to prayer room is located in the section that was seized since then and allocated to Jews.

Al-Bakri also mentioned other Israeli violations against mosques, pointing out that “settlers have carried out acts of sabotage inside the Okasha Mosque west of Jerusalem since October 7 last year, turning it into a Jewish synagogue.”

He indicated that “the Israeli occupation authorities stormed two mosques in the city of Tulkarem in the West Bank and caused damage to them.”

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