Israeli forces have attacked Palestinian worshippers at Bab as-Silsila, one of the main entrances to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem, according to local sources.
Israeli forces imposed tight security measures on Sunday, ejecting worshippers from Al-Aqsa Mosque and intensifying their presence around it, denying access to any Palestinian below the age of 50 to clear the way for Israeli settlers on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
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In celebration of Rosh Hashanah, hundreds of ultranationalist Israelis made an incursion into the Al-Aqsa courtyard through the Morocco Gate under the protection of Israeli troops, according to news outlet Al-Mayadeen.
Media coverage: "Israeli occupation police assault Palestinian women trying to defend Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound amid provocative visits by extremist Israeli settlers to the holy site, today." pic.twitter.com/kRkiDW3mFe
— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) September 17, 2023
The Jerusalem Islamic Endowments Department confirmed that the army was working to clear the compound prior to the settler incursion.
Israeli settler groups had been calling for unfettered access to the compound to celebrate Rosh Hashanah on what is known to Jews as the Temple Mount.
A number of Muslim worshippers had gathered at the holy site following dawn prayers to object to the harassment and intrusions by Israeli settlers.
تغطية صحفية: "مستوطنون يرقصون ويغنون في طريق باب السلسلة بعد خروجهم من المسجد الأقصى، في محاولة لاستفزاز الفلسطينيين الذين مُنعوا من دخول المسجد". pic.twitter.com/ex0hslDMDA
— المركز الفلسطيني للإعلام (@PalinfoAr) September 17, 2023
Translation: Press coverage: “Settlers dance and sing on Bab as-Silsila Road after leaving Al-Aqsa Mosque in an attempt to provoke the Palestinians who were prevented from entering the mosque.”
Israeli forces “physically assaulted and beat up three worshippers”, including an elderly man and elderly woman, near Bab as-Silsila, Palestinian news agency WAFA said, adding that the three had objected to an Israeli settler blowing a horn at the entrance to Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Two men were arrested inside the compound and transferred to “an unknown destination”, Al-Maydeen added.
Video footage showing settlers touring the Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyard was circulating on social media.