The Israeli occupation forces are heavily mobilized in Al-Aqsa Mosque in a bid to provide protection for the illegal Israeli settlers storming the holy site.
The Israeli occupation forces on Sunday turned the courtyards of Al-Aqsa mosque into military barracks in a bid to provide protection for the illegal settlers storming the Muslim holy site on the fourth day of Passover.
The Islamic Endowments Department in Al-Quds said scores of settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque in Groups from the Moroccan Gate, adding that they carried out provocative tours and performed some rites under the protection of the Israeli occupation forces.
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) are heavily mobilized all over occupied Al-Quds, erecting checkpoints within the Old City, which the occupation police evacuated in preparation for the storming.
The IOF stood in the way of young men trying to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque, taking them toward the Lions’ Gate as servicemen from the “Israel Border Police” assaulted youth at the mosque’s entrance, preventing them from entering the place of worship.
Hundreds of Palestinians flocked to Al-Aqsa in light of the storming, in a bid to defend the holy site amid acts of desecration from the Israeli occupation
Later on Saturday, the IOF stormed some of Al-Aqsa Mosque’s courtyards and closed one of its doors, according to eyewitness reports.
In light of the raid, hundreds of worshippers locked themselves in the mosque in preparation for any Israeli acts of aggression aimed at uprooting them from the mosque and preventing them from performing the religious rite of Itikaf, the practice of secluding oneself in a mosque for several days.
Eyewitnesses said the IOF closed one of Al-Aqsa Mosque’s gates and prevented worshippers from entering the compound amid heavy mobilization.
Occupied Al-Quds has witnessed stark tensions since the onset of the week, which kicked off with the Israeli occupation raiding the holy site and assaulting the Palestinians who are stationed there as part of the religious practice of Itikaf.
The IOF provocations sent settlers into a spiral, with Israeli media reporting that the current situation resembled the time leading up to the Seif Al-Quds battle, adding that “an incident in Al-Aqsa can also be dragged into a wide confrontation” this time.
In parallel to the raids, the IOF launched airstrikes, allegedly targeting Resistance positions west of the Gaza Strip, while Israeli helicopters also targeted several positions in the center of the strip.
The first round of aggression spurred up a week of Israeli violence and Palestinian confrontation that spread all over the occupied state in various forms, from rallies to resistance operations.
While the operations were not connected, they came in a context of increased escalation as Palestinians seek to liberate their land and people from years of cruel occupation. The operations, conducted throughout the day on Friday claimed the lives of at least four settlers including one Italian tourist that was killed in a ramming and shooting operation in “Tel Aviv” on Friday evening.
The Palestinian that conducted the operation was later martyred by the IOF and revealed to be a resident of the ’48 territories, from the town of Kfar Kassem. He also held an Israeli residency permit.
The raids have drawn international condemnation and sparked concerns within the Israeli occupation about the severity of the security situation and how the occupation’s actions were backfiring.