Israeli settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque and climb Dome of the Rock 18Jan14 January 18, 2014
MEMO-Middle East MonitorÂ Â Â -Â Â Â 27 January 2014
Israeli settlers have stormed repeatedly Al-Aqsa Mosque compound over the last two days, and on Thursday even climbed the Dome of the Rock Mosque. The settlers were led by the radical Rabbi Yehuda Glick, who is the former head of the Temple Institute. He was accompanied by a journalist on Thursday who carried a camera to document the attack, while settlers reportedly engaged in verbal altercations with angry Muslim worshipers defending the mosque. Witnesses reported that Rabbi Glick returned to storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque twice on Friday, joined by groups of Jewish settlers whom he lectured to about the alleged Temple.
The settlers have now become accustomed to storming the mosque regularly, usually touring around the yards starting from the Mughrabi Gate and then going to Al-Marwani Mosque, Rahma Gate, Al-Asbat Gate and King Faisal Gate until the Alqtanin Gate, exiting from Al-Selselah Gate. However, this is the first incident where the settlers have climbed the Dome of the Rock Mosque.
The General Director of Muslim Endowments and Al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs, Sheikh Azzam Al-Khatib, has condemned the incident and described it as a provocative and dangerous step. Meanwhile, the Islamic-Christian Committee to support Jerusalem and its holy sites issued a press statement affirming that the incident represents “a flagrant violation against places of worship” and pointing out that the Israeli occupation authorities have almost completed their efforts to Judaise Al-Aqsa Mosque and its surroundings and are preparing to announce it as a Jewish synagogue.
In related news, Israeli occupation forces arrested three young Palestinian men from inside Al-Aqsa Mosque on Thursday and took them to a police station in the occupied city of Jerusalem.