For the fourth day in a row, Israeli police forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem this morning, evacuating the mosque of worshipers and pilgrims, before groups of settlers stormed its courtyards.
Eyewitnesses said that the occupation forces surrounded the rest of the worshipers inside the Al-Qibli prayer hall, as well as the women inside the Dome of the Rock.
The occupation forces beat a number of women stationed in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Al-Jazeera correspondent in Jerusalem, Najwan Samri, was removed from the courtyards and gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
At dawn today, the Israeli police imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian youths to Al-Aqsa Mosque to perform the dawn prayer, and spread widely at the gates of Al-Aqsa Mosque to prevent worshipers from returning and entering the mosque again.
Press coverage: “The moment the occupation forces forcibly removed the people from Al-Aqsa Mosque” pic.twitter.com/NLYwqnjIgC
– AlQastal Castle (@AlQastalps) April 20, 2022
On the other hand, a group of Almoravids stayed inside the Al-Qibli Mosque to prevent its storming. This group is also trying all the time to knock on the doors and windows of the mosque, in an attempt to confuse and disturb the settlers and the occupation soldiers deployed in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The occupation forces fired sound and gas bombs inside Al-Aqsa Mosque, to silence the sounds of roads, and members of the occupation police climbed the roof of the Al-Qibli Mosque.
Hundreds of settlers have stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque on a daily basis, since last Sunday, coinciding with the Jewish Passover holiday, which began last Friday evening, and continues until Thursday.
Preventing the entry of Jews
And Israeli media had reported that the Israeli political and security leadership decided to close Al-Aqsa Mosque to the entry of Jews, but starting next Friday, which coincides with the end of the Jewish holiday of Passover, and until the end of the month of Ramadan.
The Israeli media reported that the decision came after consultations held by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, against the backdrop of heightened tension, and in an attempt to defuse the explosion.
According to the decision, Jews will not be allowed to enter the time periods allotted to them by the Israeli authorities throughout the week, from Sunday to Thursday, knowing that they are religiously prohibited from entering on Friday and Saturday.
On the other hand, Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper said that the Israeli police summoned the officials of the flag march and informed them of its refusal to secure the march after the threat of Hamas.
The occupation forces withdrew from Al-Aqsa Mosque after a number of extremists stormed the mosque’s courtyards on the Jewish Passover holiday, for the third time in 3 days.
Clashes in the West Bank
In the West Bank, more than 90 Palestinians were injured in confrontations between the Israeli occupation forces and Palestinians at the entrance to the village of Burqa, north of Nablus, who were protesting against the occupation army’s security of the settlers’ buses arriving at the ruins of the Homesh settlement outpost that the Israeli government vacated in 2005.
In the city of Hebron, the Israeli occupation authorities continue to close the Ibrahimi Mosque to Palestinians and allow dozens of Jews to perform their religious rituals in its squares under the pretext of Jewish holidays.
The occupation also tightened its military measures inside the Old City of Hebron and closed a number of streets leading to the Ibrahimi Mosque.
The Ministry of Islamic Endowments in Hebron said that the occupation authorities closed the Ibrahimi Mosque permanently to Palestinians on Monday and Tuesday, prevented the call to prayer through its loudspeakers, and allowed settlers to use the Muslim section to perform religious rituals and celebrate the holiday inside it.
For its part, the Palestinian Authority accused Israel of seeking to divide the space and time of Al-Aqsa.
Hamas also called on the Palestinian people in the West Bank to mobilize and mobilize to stop the violations of the occupation in the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron.
The movement considered the occupation authorities’ closure of the mosque in front of worshipers to hold a concert as a serious violation of Islamic sanctities and a provocation to Muslims’ feelings.
Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Islamic movement inside the Palestinian territories, also called on the United List, which is the political arm of the southern Islamic movement, for the immediate withdrawal from the Israeli government.
Sheikh Raed Salah had arrived at Al-Aqsa Mosque after incursions carried out by settlers yesterday morning, under the intense protection of the occupation police.
Al-Jazeera correspondent said that the Islamic Endowments Council met with a delegation from the Palestinian interior, in the presence of Sheikh Raed Salah and Muhammad Baraka, head of the Follow-up Committee and Representative Osama Al-Saadi for the Joint Arab List.
Sheikh of Al-Aqsa, Raed Salah in his… pic.twitter.com/uhX2jbFjqx
– AlQastal Castle (@AlQastalps) April 19, 2022
And Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz threatened to strike hard at what he described as terrorist organizations in Gaza if the shooting and incitement continued, as he put it.
Gantz said that the Israeli army and security services are ready to deal with every emergency and every scenario, and to preserve freedom of worship in Jerusalem, as he put it.
The permanent representative of Palestine to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, called on the UN Security Council to act to stop the aggression against the Palestinians in Al-Aqsa Mosque and Al-Haram Al-Sharif immediately.
It also called on the Security Council to provide international protection for the civilian population under occupation.
An American commitment to Israel’s security
In a parallel context, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid informed US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken about the reasonable and responsible efforts – as he put it – that Israel is making to preserve freedom of worship for all religions in Jerusalem.
A statement issued by the Israeli Foreign Minister’s office added that Minister Blinken called Minister Lapid, and that the latter emphasized the importance of the Jewish holidays, the Christian Passover, and the month of Ramadan.
Lapid told Minister Blinken that Israel would not be willing to accept calls for violence, and stressed the need for international support to restore calm to Jerusalem.
In international reactions, the US State Department reported that Blinken spoke with his Israeli counterpart, Yair Lapid, about the importance of Israelis and Palestinians working to end the cycle of violence by exercising restraint and refraining from actions that stoke tension.
The two ministers also discussed joint efforts to confront global challenges such as Iran and its proxies, according to the statement’s description.
The US Secretary of State reiterated the US administration’s firm commitment to Israel’s security, and condemned the recent rocket attacks from Gaza.
Blinken stressed his country’s support for the negotiated two-state solution and the desire to expand and deepen Israeli relations in the region after the Negev summit.
The US State Department also said that Blinken discussed with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas the increasing tension and violence in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.
He stressed the importance of Palestinians and Israelis working to end the cycle of violence by refraining from actions and rhetoric that would escalate tension.
Blinken affirmed the United States’ commitment to improving the lives of Palestinians in tangible ways and America’s support for a negotiated two-state solution.