March 3, 2024

Ultranationalist Jews have called for the destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the construction of what has been referred to as the Third Temple [Anadolu Agency]

Moon Desk: Hundreds of ultranationalist Jews have entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem – under the protection of Israeli authorities – for the second day in a row, as Israeli police attacked Palestinians gathered in the compound and prevented others from entering.

The Palestinian Red Crescent says at least three Palestinians were injured on Monday by Israeli forces, while journalists reported that 10 others were arrested in and around the compound. Israeli forces were seen using batons to attack Palestinian women and elderly men, as well as journalists.

Palestinian journalists reported on Monday that at least 264 ultranationalist Israelis had entered the compound – one of the holiest sites in Islam and a Palestinian national symbol – in Jerusalem’s Old City, which Israel occupied and illegally annexed in 1967. On Sunday, more than 400 had entered.

The number of ultranationalist Jews – supporters of Israel’s settler movement – entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound increased on Sunday and Monday in light of Rosh Hashanah, or the Jewish New Year, which is from September 25 to 27 this year.

Some of those who entered prayed at the site, despite a general consensus among Orthodox Jews that Jewish prayer is not allowed in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Jewish prayer at the site, which is also known as the Temple Mount to Jews, is seen as provocative by Palestinians, and a reversal of a decades-long consensus to not allow the practice.

That has led to increasing tension with Palestinians, who fear attempts by far-right Jews to take over the site. Some far-right Jews have openly expressed a desire to demolish Muslim structures in the Al-Aqsa compound to make way for what is referred to as the Third Temple.

Palestinians had gathered in the compound in an attempt to defend the site.

An elderly Palestinian man, Abubakr al-Shimi, was hospitalised after suffering head injuries when he was pushed to the ground by Israeli police in an incident that was filmed.

Israeli forces pushed away medical staff who attempted to treat al-Shimi.

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