Protected by Israeli forces, settlers storm Al-Aqsa Mosque for 2nd consecutive day
Palestinian resistance groups reaffirmed their readiness to retaliate against the Israeli occupation for their desecration of the Islamic holy site
By News Desk - April 18 2022

(Photo credit: Quds News Network)

Israeli settlers have stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound under the protection of heavily armed Israeli police forces, for the second day in a row.

Upon entering the courtyard on the morning of 18 April, Israeli troops began to violently clear the area of Palestinian worshippers to make way for the settlers, which Al-Qastal reported as amounting to over 560.

The southern prayer hall of Al-Qibli was also besieged, trapping worshippers inside the mosque, in a tactic that was used the previous day.  Israeli forces broke the windows of the mosque during this provocative raid.

According to Wafa News Agency, snipers were positioned on the roof of the mosque and other nearby buildings.

Across occupied Palestine, protests and rallies were held in support of Al-Aqsa and the people of occupied Jerusalem.

Protests were held in Haifa, Gaza, and elsewhere. In Haifa, heavily-armed police arrested a few of the participants, according to Wafa.

In Gaza, female Palestinian students set up their own massive gathering outside their school.

Ziyad al-Nakhalah, the Secretary General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), stated: “The enemy’s threats to stop the facilities for Gaza cannot make us remain silent about what is happening in Al-Quds and the occupied West Bank.”

The entry of extremist settlers into the compound started at the onset of the Passover holiday, which lasts from 15–23 April. Israeli authorities have also closed off the crossings of the West Bank and Gaza during this period.

During the previous raid on the Islamic holy site on 15 April, Israeli forces prevented settlers from entering the compound. Some settlers brought animals on which to provocatively perform ritual sacrifices, an act that Israeli authorities feared would lead to a military response by the Palestinian resistance.

However, on 17 April extremist settlers were finally allowed to storm the holy site under full protection by Israeli forces.

Similar provocations during the holy month of Ramadan in 2021 prompted the Palestinian resistance to retaliate against the Israeli occupation, leading to an 11-day war which saw the occupation troops kill over 250 Palestinians in Gaza.

Palestinian resistance movement Hamas stated that Al-Aqsa is a red line and the continuation of attacks on Palestinian worshippers and on the sanctity of Al-Quds would backfire on the occupation and its settlers.

The PIJ also warned the occupation authorities that the violations and attacks on Al-Aqsa will lead to a “comprehensive confrontation.”

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