‘Under Police Protection’ – Hundreds of Settlers Storm Al-Aqsa Compound for Passover 

Hundreds of illegal Jewish settlers stormed Al-Aqsa for Passover. (Photo: via Silwanic)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The Jewish settlers’ incursions were carried out under the protection of police, who tightened military measures at the gates of the Old City.

More than 500 illegal Jewish settlers forced their way into the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday to celebrate the Jewish Passover holiday, the Anadolu news agency reported.

“More than 500 settlers stormed Al-Aqsa from the Mugharbah Gate and carried out provocative rounds and performed Talmudic rituals in its courtyards,” the Islamic Endowments Authority in Jerusalem said in a statement, according to Anadolu.

The Authority said that the Jewish settlers’ incursions were carried out under the protection of police, who tightened military measures at the gates of the Old City and Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Settler invasions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque are expected to continue until afternoon prayers on Sunday, it added.

Extremist Groups’ Call

Since the first day of Passover, which began on Monday evening, hundreds of settlers have been storming the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex daily under tight police measures, causing severe tensions in various parts of Jerusalem’s Old City. The Jewish Passover lasts a week.

On Thursday, nearly 1,700 illegal Israeli settlers forced their way into the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in groups to celebrate Passover, according to the Authority.

‘Passover Sacrifice’ – Jewish Settlers Try to Smuggle Goats into Al Aqsa Compound 

Right-wing Jewish extremist groups have previously called for widespread incursions into the mosque on the occasion of Passover.

Calls intensified this year as the Temple Movement groups called on their followers to carry out massive incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque at midnight before the Jewish Passover, to offer an animal sacrifice there.

This year, the “Returning to the Temple Mount” group offered financial rewards of up to 50,000 shekels (over $13,000) for those who are able to succeed in carrying out a slaughter in the Al-Aqsa compound.

Settlers Detained

Israeli police detained 13 settlers on Monday for attempting to smuggle goats into the Al-Asqa compound, according to The Times of Israel.

“The suspects, all of whom were between the ages of 13 and 21, were caught with goats in their possession, including one that was being hidden inside a baby carriage and another inside a shopping bag,” the paper said, citing a police statement.

Passover is considered one of the most important holidays on the Jewish religious calendar.

Since 2003, Israel has allowed illegal settlers into the flashpoint compound on an almost daily basis with the exception of Fridays and Saturdays.

West Bank Arrests

Meanwhile, Israeli forces detained at least 15 Palestinians, including a young woman, during the early hours of Sunday during multiple raids into Palestinian towns and villages in the occupied West Bank, according to the official Palestinian news agency, WAFA.

The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) and the Prisoners Affairs Authority said in a joint statement on Sunday that the arrests took place in the governorates of Tulkarm, Qalqiliya, Jenin, Tubas, Salfit, Jericho, and Jerusalem.

In the Tulkarm province, an Israeli army unit involving 20 military vehicles stormed the town of Illar, where they detained four young men after raiding their homes and interrogating the occupants.

In the Nablus province, Israeli forces stormed the village of Deir el-Hatab, where they arrested a young woman after raiding her home. The woman was identified as Narmeen Jamal Hussein, reported WAFA.

Israeli military forces also broke into the village of Hazma, east of occupied Jerusalem, and arrested a 22-year-old Palestinian after raiding his home.

In Qalqiliya, north of the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces stormed the town of Kafr Qaddum, where they arrested a 19-year-old teenager after raiding his family home and assaulting him.

(PC, Anadolu)

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