Israeli extremists storm Al-Aqsa Mosque ahead of Flag March
Former PM Benjamin Netanyahu and far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir took part in storming the holy grounds
By News Desk - May 29 2022

(Photo credit: AP)

Hundreds of extremist Israeli settlers stormed the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem under the protection of armed occupation troops on 29 May.

Israeli troops trapped Palestinian worshippers inside Al-Qibli Mosque, blocking its doors with iron chains. They also set up barriers in the Old City of Jerusalem to prevent Palestinians from reaching Al-Aqsa.

Palestinian protesters were met with rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas, leaving at least 10 injured. Israeli forces also prevented Palestinian journalists and photographers from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque and threatened them with arrest.

Settlers also attacked an ambulance affiliated with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society as the emergency medical crew were attempting to reach the injured.

This incursion into the holy grounds was led by far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir. Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu also joined Jewish supremacists in storming the compound.

Jewish worship is not permitted in the compound of Al-Aqsa Mosque, according to Israeli law, and it is also forbidden by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

This provocative raid on Al-Aqsa comes just hours ahead of the so-called Flag March, marking Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1967.

The last time the Flag March took place, in May 2021, an 11-day war broke out between Palestinian resistance groups in the Gaza Strip and occupation forces. The violence resulted in the deaths of over 260 Palestinians, and the destruction of large sections of the Gaza strip.

Earlier this week, Palestinian resistance movement Hamas warned Israel against instigating another war by allowing these provocative actions in occupied East Jerusalem.

“I expect that Hamas and the other [military] factions are ready to do all they can to prevent this event, regardless of how much it costs us … The decision is in the hands of the Israelis and the international community. They can avoid a war and escalation if they stop this mad [march],” Bassem Naim, a top official in Hamas’s department of politics and foreign relations, said.

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah also warned Israel of dire consequences should a dangerous escalation take place on the holy Islamic and Christian sanctuaries in occupied East Jerusalem.

“Our biggest fear is that the marchers will enter the compound of Al-Aqsa Mosque and harm it … I want to tell the Israeli government and everyone involved – any harm to Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock will lead to a major explosion in the region. This is a provocation against all Arab and Muslim peoples,” Nasrallah said on 25 May.

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